Arcadia vs Monrovia – $1MM

Yesterday we got a taste of desirable South Pasadena and its $1MM homes versus Arcadia’s. Today, let’s pull a 180 turn and check out $1MM properties on the other side of town. Yes, even though I often bash Monrovia due to its recent crime problems and school ranking performance, some 37,000+ people still call it home.

As you can see, Monrovia borders Arcadia and carries its share of mountain-side homes.

We already know what $1MM can buy you in Arcadia, so let’s see how far your money will go here:

140 E Hillcrest Blvd.
Monrovia, CA 91016

Price: $995,000 ($249 per sq. ft.)

  • Beds: 4
  • Baths: 4.25
  • Sq. Ft.: 3,994
  • Lot Size: 0.33 Acres

Right off the bat we have a 4,000sf home in good condition, third an acre lot and listing for only $249 per sq. ft. Nothing in Arcadia will come even close to this property in terms of house + pricing. Unfortunately, Monrovia must be un-desirable enough to even begin considering this a good deal. The listing prices speak volumes:

Listing History

Date Price
Feb 01, 2008 $1,250,000
Feb 29, 2008 $1,199,000
Mar 20, 2008 $1,100,000
Mar 28, 2008 $1,050,000
Apr 25, 2008 $995,000

$255,000 in price reductions and this homes remain unsold after 151 days.

Monrovia, CA 91016

Price: $975,000 ($659 per sq. ft.)

  • Beds: 3
  • Baths: 1.5
  • Sq. Ft.: 1,479
  • Lot Size: 0.77 Acres

As we all have seen, mountain homes with a view command a significant premium in Arcadia. Well, it’s no different here. Compared to the adbundance of living area in the home above, this property offers only 1,479sf.


This is obviously a wishing price at $659 per sq. ft. If you take a look at the interior photos, this home is in need of a serious re-gutting.  But hey, I guess some people really want the “panoramic view”!

How cheap will a home have to be in Monrovia before you consider it over Arcadia, South Pasadena or even Pasadena?

11 thoughts on “Arcadia vs Monrovia – $1MM”

  1. 779 NORUMBEGA Dr is basically asking $900k for the land. I am not familiar with the location, but my gut tells me that it will not get any serious bid until lowering to $650k or so.

    140 E Hillcrest Blvd shows age in structure with matured charm. The yard looks nice too. Is the neighborhood so bad that it can not sell at this price?

  2. Based on the previous threads, I’m presuming there are at least two factors that contribute to Monrovia’s being considered and inferior territory – 1., it doesn’t have a super-star school district, and 2., it has recently had many gang shootings and might be attracting more gang residents.

    It’s really a shame though – it has a charming downtown and a wonderful Friday night street fair. Hopefully the city and its residents will be able to weather the gang storm and turn the tide around.

  3. Awesome job, and these comparisons of yours helped me greatly.

    Monrovia has always been, buy more home, send to private school area.

    So if we have referenced Arcadia at $200 to $300 p/sqft, then I figure Monrovia will bottom out at $175 to $200 p/sqft.

    and can someone post the url for comparing high schools again…



  4. Oh yea, I definitely love the small town feel (in some neighborhoods) and old town area. A lot of new construction have went on the past couple years and I wouldn’t be surprised to see people slowly moving in and bringing some positive influence into the city.

    If you’re really looking for home vs price value, then Monrovia should be on your radar. They were just as affected by this housing bubble and I expect price declines to hit harder than Arcadia’s.

  5. From what I can see, this neighborhood isn’t your typical ghetto area. Is it old? Yes. But if this home comes down anywhere close to its 2002 sales price of $610,000, or even ~$750-800k, then I can see many people lining up to check it out.

  6. MTB,

    Thanks! I’m glad you find the post helpful. This is also a learning experience for me since Monrovia has never been on my radar until we started doing research on Arcadia and its surrounding neighbors.

  7. Hey,

    So the credit bubble is causing issues in the banking industry.

    I hear about Wamu, Wachoiva, Countrywide, etc…. I almost never hear about Wells Fargo…

    Does anyone else hear anything about Wells Fargo…

    The comparisons, really show the effects of the credit bubble and the RE mania… Arcadia prices almost look sane compared to the Monrovia ones…

  8. It’s funny reading comments on this blog. People have to remember, as if they need a reminder, that homes prices can not rise indefinitely. There comes a point of low to no affordability.

    While Arcadia is desirable for it’s schools at what point does it make more sense to buy 2x the property for the same money and send junior to private school?

    Right now, Monrovia has much more upside for the next boom. Gangs or no gangs, demand for nice homes close to LA and SGV attractions will win out.

  9. The recent crime problems in Monrovia are in the southeast corner of the city. Two of the gang homicides actually were committed in the extreme south end of the unincorporated area of Monrovia that is also adjacent to Arcadia city limits. The area just happens to have a Monrovia post office address.

    If your north of Huntington Dr. in Monrovia, there’s less crime than there is in Arcadia. Arcadia has more than ten times more purse snatching, armed robberies, assaults, auto burglaries, home burglaries, car jacking, rapes, drug crimes etc. than Monrovia. How often do you hear of a purse snatching or a strong arm robbery taking place in Monrovia ? Not often where as it happens every day with in Arcadia.

    Any home north of Foothill in Monrovia is safer than any other city in the SGV. The neighborhoods north of Foothill Blvd. in Monrovia are one of the few neighborhoods in California where a good looking young woman could walk down the street at 3:00 a.m. and just not feel safe but is safe except the possibility of being attacked by a mountain lion.

    Monrovia has many Victorian and craftsman homes and Arcadia doesn’t. Rule of thumb, the newer a home is, the less quality in workmanship and materials will be found compared to older homes.

    Most homes built in the past thirty years are poorly constructed. Most were built by unskilled tradesmen. What counts is what is hidden behind the walls. Are the water lines all copper ? Are the electrical circuit runs Romex or are all the conductors run through metal conduit (EMT, rigid pipe, flex) ? Are all of the basic circuits for lighting and receptacles on a 20 amp circuit using # 12 ga. THHN wiring or did the contractor cut corners and used # 14 ga. wiring on a 15 amp circuit ? Remember the building codes are just the minimum. A contractor who takes pride in his work will go beyond what the code calls for as a minimum.

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