[schema type="organization" orgtype="LocalBusiness" url="http://4salebydonna.com" name="Real Estate Agent Donna Baker" description="Real Estate Agent showing homes for sale and available real estate in Monrovia, Pasadena, Arcadia the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California." city="Monrovia" state="Ca" postalcode="91016" email="donna@4salebydonna.com " phone="(626) 408-7766 "]

2007 Heritage Homes Sales for Monrovia

We all heard reports on a regular basis that the real estate market put the brakes on nationwide in 2007. The California Association of Realtors tells us that statewide home sales declined again last year by a whopping 26% compared with 2006. This is the second year of declines. Interestingly, though, the median price for existing homes in California increased by 0.3% from the previous year. So while the number of homes sold went down significantly, prices still hold steady, especially here in Monrovia.

This overall decline in the number of sales is evident locally, as well. In 2007, only 38 vintage and historic properties sold in Monrovia compared to 54 in 2006 – a 30% decrease. However, the average sales price of vintage homes in Monrovia actually increased, but only by a mere 4%.

When I do the Annual research on this information, I find it very enlightening to see the differences year over year. Since I began sending out this yearly update in 2004, old homes in Monrovia have continued to increase in price. It’s hard to even remember that back in 2003 the average price for one of these old gems was $418,580.

As the Director of Heritage Homes for Dickson Podley and a long-time preservationist, I have a true appreciation for character homes, be they Craftsman landmarks, Victorian mansions, or one of the other vintage styles that abound in Monrovia. This niche has served me well since I got into real estate in 2001, and I truly enjoy sharing this valuable information with the people in the community who have an appreciation for heritage architecture.

In 2007, the oldest home that sold in Monrovia was “The Monroe Cottage,” one of the homes that was originally built for William Monroe in 1884 and served as his temporary residence until his more palatial home, “The Oaks,” was completed. This City landmark measures 2,599 square feet and is situated on a 19,500 square foot lot. This was also the most expensive home sold in 2007 at $1,420,000. This is the first year since I started researching old home values that the highest price paid has gone down. Last year’s top selling vintage home closed escrow at $1,499,000, which is $79,000 more than our top seller this year.
Consistently, homes from the early 20’s continue to be the most popular era for those sold over the last few years, with 2007 showing the most popular years as 1922 and 1924.

Square footage of these old homes varies from tiny little bungalows to much larger houses. The size of homes sold in 2007 range from a 672 square foot bungalow on Norumbega; which was also the least expensive house sold at $385,000, to a 3,052 square foot remodeled two-story Craftsman on Ivy that sold for $1,337.500

Lot sizes vary from year to year. In 2006, the smallest lot sold measured 4,996 square feet, while this year we see a decrease in the smallest lot size to 3,280 square feet. Unlike last year, however, the smallest house sold was also situated on the smallest lot. In contrast, in 2007, the largest lot size was 72,306 square feet, which is almost two acres of land. However the house situated on that lot is a 1,238 square foot house built in 1922 that sold for $775,000. That proves that land sometimes has more value than the house itself. The average lot size of all 38 vintage properties equals 12,616 square feet, which is actually much larger than most lots in Monrovia.

Pricing continues to be difficult for all real estate due to the current market conditions. Only 16% of historic homes sold at list price and 18% went for over asking, but a huge 66% sold below their original price. These percentages are very different from what happened in 2006, where we saw 41% of old homes selling at or above asking. Average list price for 2007 was $684,967, which is actually about $20,000 or 3% higher than last year’s average. Year over year, these numbers continue to rise, which is interesting to note when we hear all the doom and gloom of the media saying prices are falling. Not so with our historic home inventory in Monrovia.

In summary, a total of 38 homes built between 1884 and 1930 were sold in 2007, totaling over $25 million in real estate. The old houses in Monrovia continue to be a valuable asset to their owners. If selling a vintage property is in your future, you should still feel confident that there is a demand for these wonderful homes.

If you’d like more information on the value of your character property or know someone interested in buying an old house, I hope you’ll consider giving me a call. I have a long-standing connection to the local preservation community and these architecturally significant properties and have several years of experience in representing both the sellers and buyers of these homes. In fact, I was the very first agent in Monrovia to make character homes my specialty. Remember, significant homes deserve significant representation!

Common Architectural Home Styles

Victorian Styles

There are many different styles of Victorian homes in the area. As a note, the term “Victorian” is correctly used only in terms of Queen Victoria’s reign. These houses vary from smaller, single-story cottages to fantastic Queen Anne mansions. Most of these houses have exteriors that were uniformly finished in old grove redwood siding and have survived well due to the long-lasting quality of the wood.
This style was most popular at the turn of the century. It is closely associated with the Victoria era. The design focuses on decorative excess. Generally “anything goes.” People who built these houses used freedom of expression to intermingle many different styles, creating an air of “busyness.” These homes intermix porches with turrets and gable roofs, and fishscale shingles with brick chimneys.

Queen Anne Victorian

  • Most popular at the turn of the century
  • During the reign of Queen Victoria
  • Focused on decorative excess
  • Intermingles many styles & materials
  • Intermixed porches with turrets and roof gables
  • Irregular in shape
  • Variety of color
  • Victorian Cottage

    • smaller one-story house
    • Usually feature wrap-around porches with spindle galleries
    • Projecting or cutaway bay windows and is some cases windows with geometric stained glass
    • Gables with decorative barge boards are common, and there is typically an array of “gingerbread” outside

    Victorian Residence: While it’s difficult to find the right descriptive word for these wonderful houses, they are easily identified.  These homes are usually two stories, however many examples in the area are only 1-1/2 or 1-3/4 stories in height.  They sometimes have corner towers, cast iron roof cresting, and decorative wood skirting, and typically feature massive chimneys and elaborate staircases.

    • Two-stories
    • Typically have corner towers
    • Cast iron roof cresting
    • Decorative wood skirting
    • Massive chimneys, someties more than one

    Victorian Farmhouse

    • Usually two stories
    • very litte ornamentation
    • Fishscale shingles on gable ends
    • Porches have simple square columns
    • Very simple homes

    Crartsman Styles


    Craftsman Bungallow:  We have a large number of bungalows in our general area, ranging from Craftsman style homes to small houses built in the bungalow style.  The term “bungalow” has become a generic name to describe many kinds of houses and cottages, but generally refer to homes built between 1910 and 1930.  These homes are usually rectangular in shape and typically have broad overhangs and open porches, which are very desirable in warm climates.

    • Generally built between 1910 & 1930
    • Large rooms with generous windows
    • Extensive wood detailing & built-ins
    • Earth tone colors
    • Some could be ordered from mail order catalogs

    California Bungallow

    • Generally wood siding
    • Smaller one-story house
    • Open front porch
    • Gently pitched, broad gables
    • Major use of windows throughout


    Airplane Craftsman

    Colonial Craftsamn

    Revival Styles

    Spanish Colonial Revival

    • Generally built between 1915 & 1940
    • Red tile roofs
    • Ornamental ironworks
    • Reminiscent of Missions of the Southwest
    • Plain Stucco surfaces
    • Terra cotta tiles
    • Exuberant detailing


    Classic Revival Cottage

    • Period revival of the 1920’s
    • Sumetrical Design
    • Central or offset front porch with columns
    • Ship-lapped siding
    • Steep pitched roof
    • Victorian-like embellishments

    Colonial Revival

    • Reminiscent of Colonial America
    • Very basic in plan
    • Primarily two stories
    • Wide, ship-lapped siding
    • Large round columns
    • Side lights around front door
    • Straight window heads
    • Dormers

    Pueblo Revival

    • Based on the Governor’s Palace in Santa Fe, NM
    • Flat roofs
    • Projecting Vigas (roof beams) are prominent features
    • Smooth stucco surface
    • Square openings at doors & windows

    American Foursquare

    • Box-shaped
    • Hip roof & tripped dormers
    • Very little ornamentation
    • Plain porch columns
    • Usually holds four rooms per floor
    • Front veranda


    • Inspired by the architecture of Italy and Spain
    • Rectangular in shape
    • Arched windows on the ground floors & rectangular windows on the second story
    • Built of stucco
    • Tile roofs


    Tudor Styles

  • English styles
  • Half timbers
  • One or two front gables
  • Paned windows
  • Brick is used on the exterior




    • Steep gable roofs
    • Dormer windows smaller than others
    • Popular in the 1920’s and 1930’s


    “Just what makes that little ole ant, think he’ll move that rubber tree plant?

    In 1959 Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen wrote one of my favorite motivational songs of all time. The opening goes like this, “Just what makes that little ole ant, think he’ll move that rubber tree plant? Anyone knows an ant, can’t, move a rubber tree plant, but he’s got Hi-i-igh hopes…” (I can hear Sinatra singing it right now).

    If you recall, not only were we introduced to that persistent ant, but also additional inspiration was provided by a “silly old ram” who “thought he’d punch a hole in a dam”. In the end, both succeeded at their task, despite others telling them that it was hopeless and no success would be found.

    Today’s financial environment places many obstacles in front of even the most qualified consumer and so I just encourage you to think like that ant and with a little help, you can move that rubber tree plant.

    With moving metaphorical rubber tree plants in mind, let me share with you a few facts from this week’s activities.

    Fact #1:  With Congress passing the $700 billion dollar financial services bail out package this week, the lending markets will return their focus to more market fundamentals. The Fed’s, for example, meet again at the end of this month and with the poor employment report that was out today you may see a softening in rates. But, there are lots of unknowns so we will keep you posted.

    Fact #2:  Residential Mortgage Lenders, for the most part, continue to lend with the same standards that they have been using for the past several months. We did not see any real impact from the past two weeks upheaval. That being said, if Congress had not acted I am not sure how things would have played out.

    That’s it for this week. Keep doing what you do best and in the end, all things work themselves out!

    All the best,

    (818) 952-2726

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