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Real Estate in West Altadena vs. East Altadena: The Great Divide

When it comes to property values, where exactly is the dividing line of East and West Altadena?

So often people ask me this question, "Where exactly is the dividing line of West Altadena and East Altadena?" Well, if you ask any Realtor, they'll tell you Lake Avenue is the dividing line.  After all, most streets in East Altadena have sidewalks and people seem to care more about their properties and keep in touch with their neighbors. And the home values seem to be a bit higher. But, hey, wait...I live in West Altadena! We may not have sidewalks on my street, but, I take care of my property and I have some real great neighbors. There are some streets that do have sidewalks, too. Does that make the house worth more?

Perhaps the dividing line should move further West. Like maybe Marengo, or Fair Oaks or even Lincoln Avenue. But, isn't La Vina over there? How do you put a value on a piece of property in pristine condition in West Altadena vs. a property in East Altadena?  The multiple listing service doesn't separate East and West Altadena. But, they do separate NE Pasadena, SE Pasadena, NW Pasadena and SW Pasadena. I know some blocks in both East and West Altadena that I wouldn't want to live on. A local Realtor should know the area. They should know the good blocks, bad blocks, and history of the area.

I happen to live on Alameda over near Santa Rosa (Christmas Tree Lane). The property has been in my family since 1966. In 2003, my husband, a contractor, and I built a new house on the property.  A few years ago I had someone call me saying he was looking for a home in West Altadena because it was cheaper than East Altadena. I told him that I had a listing on Alameda coming on the market soon. He said, "Oh, no. Alameda's a bad street".

Of course, I took a personal offense to that statement taking pride in my neighborhood. I asked him why he thought that way and he said that there's nothing but riff raff going on on the street. Then I thought for a moment, he must be talking about the one block where all the apartments are over near Lake Avenue where it's over run with cars and people stop their cars in the middle of the street to talk to someone not allowing room for other cars to pass. Perhaps this might be his only perception?

I pointed out the other beautiful million dollar homes on the other blocks of Alameda and told him how long the people have been in their homes and how nice everyone is, but, that didn't matter. His mind was set. His naivety may have prevented him from getting a rather nice home.

On the West side of Lake Avenue there are beautiful homes and neighborhoods that shouldn't be discounted just because they're "on the other side". There are small cul-de-sacs that are little communities in themselves that make you feel like you're in a story book land.

As for safety, you'll find more home robberies in East Altadena and more vehicle robberies in West Altadena. There are more street lights in West Altadena than in East Altadena. And, yes, there are more sidewalks in East Altadena.

How do you feel about the great divide? Should it stay at Lake Avenue? Should it move further West or even East? How does YOUR block stack up to others around you? I'd love to hear your opinions.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Linda Lane-White May 13, 2011 at 03:17 PM
Alexander! This is AWESOME. I had no idea this was out there in cyber world. Thank you for sharing this link! Very informative.
Linda Lane-White May 13, 2011 at 03:22 PM
Yes, Lisa. That was about the same time, in 2008, that the riff raff WAS going on. Also, you may remember 2 people who used to live in the apartments over there. I think the guy in the white mustang who used to race with the guy in the red trans am must have left the area...or possibly his racing days got him into trouble! Haven't seen him for over a year. Hooray!!
Linda Lane-White May 13, 2011 at 03:32 PM
From all of the comments here, it seems that we ALL love our neighborhoods. We love Altadena. We all agree that there are some sketchy areas amongst us. We take pride in living here and try to stay involved in community events to keep us closer to one another as "a community". By the way, I hope to see some of you tonight at the Fancy Food Truck Fridays at Webster's. Webster's is in East Altadena, but, some of us will have to park in West Altadena. Oh my!!!!
michele Zack May 13, 2011 at 03:40 PM
@alexander: the data on that map are old, and if you read the fine print it says it is based on samplings and has margin of error. That map paints a picture far more "black and white" than the current census data, and actuality, present. It also misses the trend of more young white families moving in west of Lake. But there's no doubt that in general, housing stock East of Lake, as well as infrastructure such as sidewalks, support its higher prices. Much less uniformity on west side, where you find a great house next to a not so great one — which brings price of great one considerably lower than if it was on east side.
Gabhlan May 22, 2011 at 06:27 AM
I have been in Michelle's house and Michelle has been in mine.. I'm sure neither of us would move but the point remains. There are many not so nice people in this town and frankly everywhere else around here. The key seems to be getting to know your neighbors. Also, if you see anything in Altadena that looks out of the ordinary, call the Sheriff. They have been quite effective in rooting out the undesireables when they get the calls and have the tools. The tools being the COPS and CRASH programs..

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