Reel Life as Good as Real Life in South Pasadena, California

If you watch movies or television shows, you've more or less been to South Pasadena, California. This is because the makeup of homes and the tree-lined streets on which they sit more resemble the American Midwest and Northeast than Southern California. Shows that include Modern Family, Desperate Housewives, Parenthood, Legally Blonde and Freaky Friday were shot on location in South Pasadena for its wholesome, comfortable American aesthetic.

Not that there’s anything ho-hum about the homes in South Pas, as it’s sometimes called. Recent listings of Craftsman (built 1910; architect Frederick L. Roehrig), Mid-Century Modern (1951; Jean Roth Driskel) and Bavarian-style (1907; Timothy Walsh) homes were each priced north of $1.0 million. There are also plenty of houses at both ends of the price spectrum. The median price for detached homes is around $880,000 while for condos and townhomes it can hit around $430,000 (2013). Un-built lots are occasionally available for under $300,000.

But perhaps what best characterizes South Pasadena is its lack of pretense. Advertising for even the most expensive homes stress proximity to quality public high schools (South Pasadena Middle and Senior High schools earn top academic ratings) and the Gold Line light rail station. The city has a master bicycling plan that ambitiously strives to get residents out of cars and onto bikes. The Rialto Theater in downtown South Pasadena is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a retail district anchor that features many independent (i.e., non-chain) shopping and dining establishments.

The Arroyo Seco passes through South Pasadena, where an intentional restoration of the riverbed and natural fauna – unlike the concrete sections seen more commonly throughout Los Angeles – is the focal point of the Woodland and Wildlife Park, which educates visitors on native ecosystems.

South Pasadena is no stepchild to Pasadena – it's a stellar place to live, work and go to school. If you are interested in looking at homes in South Pasadena, contact Steve Aranda at 360 Real Estate Group. He has represented buyers and sellers in the area for the past 13 years.

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