[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 "]

2008 Heritage Homes Sales for Monrovia (part one)

2008 was certainly an interesting year – in real estate, politics, and the economy. Many of us, myself included, experienced the recent drastic change in real estate for the first time since the market started heating up back in 2001. Ironically, home sales in California for 2008 increased by 12% from the previous year, and the California Association of Realtors projects another increase of 12.5% for 2009. However, the median sales price of existing single family homes for the Los Angeles area decreased to $402,100 in 2008.

This is the fifth year I’ve published statistics on vintage home sales in Monrovia, and I’m always amazed at what I discover. In 2008, sales of heritage homes increased by 32% for a total of 50 sales vs. 38 sales in 2007. Unlike last year, however, older homes sales prices were consistent with the national averages, with prices declining in 2008. This drop in prices was certainly affected by the lender debacle that began in 2007. My statistics show that fourteen vintage properties that were sold in Monrovia last year were either short sales or Real Estate Owned. The average sales price for a heritage home in Monrovia for 2008 was $543,376, down 18% from last year.

Over the years, I have met many people interested in these older homes, both in Monrovia and the surrounding communities. When you couple the craftsmanship of these homes with the aesthetic appeal, along with the potential of significant tax savings through Monrovia’s land-marking program, it’s no wonder why these homes continue to sell.

Last year, the two oldest homes sold were both built in 1890, but the differences between the two are like night and day. The smaller home is a 1,264 square foot bungalow on Walnut Avenue, which sold for $350,000. The other home was a Victorian mansion that ended up breaking records for not only being the oldest house sold in 2008, but was the highest priced and experienced the most days on the market. As you probably guessed, the house known as “Mills View” sold for $1,275,000 after being listed by me for 408 days. I think it will be a long time before that happens again! I should note that another land-marked home on Highland Place also sold for the same price. Once again, the highest price paid went down year over year, this time by an amazing $145,000, or -15% as compared to the most expensive home in 2007.

Overall, the twenties were still the most popular years for older homes that sold in Monrovia, with the most popular year being 1923. The most likely reason for this consistency is due to the fact that the majority of older homes were built in Monrovia during this time period.   CONTINUED….


Monrovia Historic Preservation Group 27th Annual Mother’s Day Tour

When: May 10, 2009

Where: Wildrose Avenue, the city’s first Historic District.


Re-live the intimate lifestyle of a bungalow neighborhood street, walking from house to house in the 300 block of Wildrose Avenue, where front porches and sweeping lawns have been inviting neighborly exchange since the early 1900s.  

  • SEVEN Craftsman Bungalow-style homes in the new “Wild Rose Tract Historic District”
  • Four homes never before open to the public
  • Monrovia Historical Museum, with re-designed exhibits
  • Musical entertainment – docents in period dress – Antique horseless carriages – Alfresco dining
  • Cookies and Lemonade Courtesy of Donna Baker, Director of Heritage Homes, Dickson Podley Realtors

The annual Mother’s Day Tour is the primary fundraiser for MOHPG, allowing the non-profit organization the opportunity to give back to the community and support and encourage restoration of homes in Monrovia. In view of the difficult economic times faced by many households, MOHPG has rolled back its prices for the tour to the year 2000. Pre-sale cost of tickets will be: Adults $15, Seniors (65+) $12, Teens $6, Under 13 Free.



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!

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