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.