Cities I Serve
Carrie LOVES everything about the Greater Pasadena area (except maybe the traffic on the 210!), and so enjoys connecting people to the many wonderful communities. Even within Pasadena, there are a number of different neighborhoods which differ in architecture, ammenities and general vibe. What is important is finding which city/neighborhood fits your price range, interests and needs.
Carrie has lived in a number of different communities in the Greater Pasadena area and is particularly skilled in helping others connect with a community that is best fitted to them. Carrie is a wife and mother of three, two of whom are still at San Marino High School. She has been through the whole private school/public school decision and has sent her kids to both types of schools (she even home schooled for a year!) She understands that finding the right community for your family is of the utmost of importance, and she understands that these decisions are very personal and individual. The good news is that our area is full of fabulous communities and each of them offers individuals and families different benefits. Community is very important to Carrie, so she takes the process of finding a good fit very seriously. She can easily sing the praises of all the cities that she serves. Her goal is to connect each of her clients with their happily ever after.
Clearly, Carrie's passion and expertise is the city of San Marino, the city in which she lives and has raised her family. She loves San Marino, its architecture and the wonderful benefits that it provides. Her kids are still at San Marino High School and she has dedicated a huge amount of time and energy to the San Marino PTA. Her kids played San Marino Little League, she had an executive position on the first San Marino Community Athletic Association board and is the current San Marino High School Boy's Basketball Booster Chairman. She loves to cheer at her kid's sporting events and is an avid San Marino Titans fan!
Altadena Real Estate
Altadena is a city close to my heart. My second house was on the popular Mendocino Street, and it was in this home that two of my three babies were born. Altadena, nestled up against the foothills, is a charming and friendly community, abounding with wonderful architectural homes and a wide variety of interesting residents. Altadena, meaning upper Dena or above Pasadena, has really become a popular location to live, with property values to prove it! There are portions of this small community which directly abut the mountains, which does account for a certain fire danger. This locale also creates a unique, woodsy environment, helping you feel like you are away from the big city.
A highlight of the Altadena lifestyle is the fantastic Altadena Town and Country Club, which is located directly adjacent to the 9-hole Altadena Golf Course (no relationship). Although the Country Club is not exclusive to Altadena residents, it is a popular hang out spot for members of the community and features a wonderful summer children's program and swim team, beautiful tennis courts and a lovely dining room for events or a casual Friday night out. The homes surrounding the Country Club are particularly desireable.
I love the beautiful Midlothian Drive, an impressive street with huge properties and even some horse properties. My early morning walking group frequented this street and we all ooh'd and aah'd over the fantastic houses and vast lots. A crowd favorite is the short but adorable Boulder Road. This street is flanked by river rock walls and is filled with story book homes with fantastic gardens. My husband and I are particularly fond of the homes on Pinecrest Drive, which sit right at the edge of the Canyon and boast terrific views. We are always curious when homes on this street come up for sale.
When I was living in Altadena, my staple for shopping was the famous Webster's on Lake Avenue. During the 90's, this store took up almost a full city block and basically carried whatever you needed. It was a pleasure to use the independent pharmacy, where my family's medical needs were personally cared for by a kind staff of pharmacists, who bent over backward for me and always knew my name. The highlight for me was the Post Office, with the children's book section right in front of it. Going to the Post Office was made much easier as my kids could browse the pages of a great book while I took care of my mailing needs. Since that time, the owner has retired and the individual sections have been taken over by individual family members.
With it's close proximity to Eaton Canyon, Altadena is an outdoor lover's dream. There are abundant hiking trails, a beautiful stream and a renovated nature center for a wide variety of outdoor activities. As my kids were growing up, many a weekend were spent hiking around Eaton Canyon, either treking to the famed water fall or searching for polywogs in the stream bed. My husband loved getting up in the morning, jumping on his mountain bike and climbing the trail to Henninger Flats. It was a great workout and a perfect way to start his day. A highlight of my time in Altadena was a horseback ride taken through Eaton Canyon, starting at the Eaton Canyon Stables, located just outside of Altadena. It was pure delight!
La Canada Real Estate
La Canada Flintridge is also located in the foothills north of Pasadena. The city is known for its excellent schools and strong sense of community. The main drag through town is Foothill Boulevard, which features many great stores, restaurants and businesses. The popularity of La Canada Flintridge focuses around their outstanding schools, rated the number two school district in all of California (behind San Marino Unified). Strong community support for the school system through an educational foundation helps to keep the schools operating at a high level, thus keeping property values high. Residents also run a very successful youth community athletic association. These youth programs have been very successful in training young athletes to be successful at the high school level. La Canada attracts committed, successful people who have pride and respect for their community.
La Canada is a very high-end city, with real estate values that stay strong through good times and bad. There are fantastic, huge estates on enormous properties, primarily in the Flintridge area, but also smaller, simpler homes on smaller lots. You cannot expect a deal in La Canada, and you do have a few obstacles to work around, like proximity to the freeway and a large string of Edison power lines. One of the most beautiful and well-kept estates I have ever seen was on Flintridge Avenue, but I also really like the streets above Foothill Boulevard like Indianola Way, Gould Avenue and Vineta Avenue. These streets provide a very family-oriented, safe and friendly environment where kids ride their bikes to school and people walk their dogs after work. Fabulous!
La Canada Flintridge spans the 210 freeway. The original Flintridge portion is on the west side of the freeway and has many woodsy, hillside properties. A central fixture of this side of the freeway is the beautiful, Descanso Gardens, a fantastic public garden. One of my kid's favorite childhood experiences was riding the kid-sized train that travels through the lush grounds of the garden. The Enchanted Railroad runs Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Tickets, $3, can be purchased at the train station near the Center Circle. La Canada Flintridge also boasts their own Country Club, with 18-hole golf course and the Flintridge Riding Club, a fantastic horse stable and riding facility. In fact, some of the homes in this community have riding trails behind the property, to account for the population of horseback riders.
Established by Caltech and funded by NASA, La Canada is well-known for the space research facility known as, Jet Propulsion Laboratory. JPL employs many area residents and works on cutting edge space exploration projects. Once a year they sponsor a very interesting open house, which provides kids and adults alike the opportunity to view what these "rocket scientists" are up to. This is a great family outing!
Pasadena Real Estate
City of Pasadena
After growing up in the Bay Area, Carrie found it easy to transition to life in Pasadena. Pasadena is classy, interesting, convenient and filled with wonderful homes. Carrie's first home was in East Pasadena , and even though she now lives in San Marino, Pasadena is her extended neighborhood and the city in which she works. Pasadena Real Estate is exciting, because there are so many great neighborhoods filled with fantastic architectural homes. There is history in Pasadena, but the city has adapted with the times, and there are wonderful restaurants, great shopping and important businesses.
San Gabriel Real Estate
City of San Gabriel
Because I am a San Marino resident, it is almost impossible not to fall in love with North San Gabriel. This section of the city, resting right below the San Marino city limits and above Las Tunas Drive, is where I specialize. North San Gabriel is ideal for people wanting a quaint neighborhood feel, great architecture and a safe community with good schools. The pricetags on North San Gabriel homes are the highest in the city, but a bit gentler than its pricey neighbor, San Marino.
The homes in North San Gabriel are architectually unique, with an abundance of well-cared for Traditional and Spanish homes. There are lots of trees and quiet streets, ideal for bike riding or walking the dog. North San Gabriel is extremely convenient either to the 10 freeway or Huntington Drive as a means of getting all over the Los Angeles area.
Central to North San Gabriel and a favorite of many San Marino residents, is the San Gabriel Country Club. This gorgeous Country Club with challenging 18-hole golf course is a beautiful addition to the neighborhood and a social center. All of the homes surrounding this scenic club are beautiful as well, especially those on the fantastic, Country Club Drive.
San Marino Real Estate
Carrie has been a San Marino resident for the past 12 years and still has kids who attend San Marino High School. Carrie is your San Marino real estate expert, keeping abreast of all aspects of the San Marino real estate market. She loves the fabulous houses, the sense of community pride and the excellent San Marino schools. Carrie writes a blog about San Marino real estate, called the San Marino Real Estate Report, in which she talks about the city, the outstanding homes that she sees, and the state of the market. Recently, the San Marino Tribune decided to publish Carrie's thoughts in a weekly column of the same name.
Carrie was drawn to the community, because her husband, Kal, grew up in the community and attended the fantastic San Marino Schools. Carrie, an over-achiever at heart, wanted her kids to attend the very best schools, and was so impressed by all that the San Marino Schools had to offer her kids. Consistently the #1 school district in all of California, the San Marino Schools do education right!
Carrie is all about community and San Marino is a fantastic community! Some of her favorite memories are times spent at San Marino National Little League games, Friday nights at San Marino Titans Football games, 4th of July at Lacy Park and Homecoming Parades. She loves to watch kids riding their bikes to school and people walking through the beautiful Lacy Park. San Marino evokes feelings of a day gone by - a safe and family-friendly community.
Driving through the streets of San Marino can take your breath away! There are a plethora of fabulous architectural homes on large lots, and throughout the community are a huge number of trees of all kinds. San Marino residents pride themselves on keeping their homes and gardens in good shape, so the streets have a very uniform and well-kept feeling. I took the time to divide San Marino into component neighborhoods, because there are definitely differences across the city (see map below). It would be hard for me to choose favorite streets, because I love so many of them. The stretch of Sherwood Road to the West of St. Albans Road is one of my favorite family-friendly areas. I have many friends who live on this street and it is a true neighborhood! I also love Windsor Road and Warwick Road for their impressive homes and close proximity to Valentine and Carver School. Of course, my very own Ridgeway Road is fantastic, close to the local Starbucks and very convenient to Huntington Drive and San Marino High School. Finally, I have to mention the amazing Oak Grove Avenue, the true gem of San Marino. The location of one of the Pasadena Showcase Houses and filled with oppulent gated homes, Oak Grove Avenue is prime San Marino real estate.
San Marino Map
Places not to miss:
The Huntington Library and Gardens - A private, nonprofit institution, The Huntington was founded in 1919 by Henry E. Huntington, an exceptional businessman who built a financial empire that included railroad companies, utilities, and real estate holdings in Southern California. Sites include the library, an extensive art collection and beautiful botanical gardens. Set right in the middle of a San Marino residential neighborhood, people from all over the world come to our city to view all that the Huntington has to offer.
Julienne Restaurant - Located on the divine Mission Street, a fabulous place for strolling, shopping or dining, Julienne is a perfect breakfast or lunch location, especially on a warm day. Sitting on the patio, sipping a glass of their fabulous Passion Fruit Iced Tea, is a San Marino tradition. The gourmet food is to die for, and they even have a "take out" section for those of us who sometimes have trouble getting dinner on the table.
South Pasadena Real Estate
City of South Pasadena
It is rare to hear a person who resides in South Pasadena who is not completely smitten with their community! People who live in South Pas are very dedicated to the town and all that it represents. As with other areas that I service, South Pasadena has an exceptional school district, which is supported through the South Pasadena Educational Foundation (SPEF). South Pasadena has the ideal location, right at the top of the Pasadena Freeway and just minutes from downtown Los Angeles. For your commute convenience the Los Angeles Gold Line also runs right through South Pasadena and has a stop on Mission Street.
South Pasadena is an old community with very historic architecture. The city is especially known for the vast amount of Craftsman homes, made famous by the architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. People flock to South Pas to own a piece of architectural history, while also enjoying the benefits of a low-key and friendly community. Many of these older homes have been renovated and brought up to 21st Century standards, but most still retain the original architectural flare. The city center revolves around a wonderful street for shopping and dining called Mission Street. The South Pasadena Farmer's Market, which is held every Thursday from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., runs along Mission Street and is a highlight for area residents.
Like many of the neighborhoods that I love, South Pasadena is very family friendly and provides a safe enviornment for kids and adults alike. Kids can be seen riding their bikes and walking to school, as well as hanging out at some of the popular coffee and dining establishments such as The Fair Oaks Pharmacy, Buster's Ice Cream and Coffee Shop and Kaldi Coffee and Tea.
Without question, my favorite street is the famed Milan Avenue, especially the section above Huntington Drive. Huge, gorgeous homes on gigantic lots mixed with cute, small cottages take up residence on this stretch of South Pas. You should know that true South Pasadena residents pronounce the street with a hard 'i' rather than like the city in Italy.
Recent Blog Entry
Friday, May 24, 2013 at 7:14pm
Sound Familiar? by Carrie Benuska, San Marino Real Estate The San Marino Real Estate Report, as seen weekly in the San Marino Tribune Just a few weeks ago, I presented sales data for the City of San Marino that showed a sharp spike in average … Continue reading