Halloween Festivities In The Greater Los Angeles Area – 2015

October 2nd, 2015

PumpkinsToday marks the first day of October, which for many people means one of the most celebrated and cherished American holidays is right around the corner, Halloween. Boasting the largest Halloween street party in the world, the largest theme park event of any theme park, and some of the best night clubs in America, Los Angeles is one of the best places in the world to celebrate this fun, fright and candy filled holiday. Here’s a list of some of the highly anticipated and talked about Halloween activities in the greater Los Angeles area…

Halloween Events for The Whole Family

The West Hollywood Costume Contest Carnival
The largest street party in the world where more than 500-thousand people take the streets of Santa Monica Blvd. to enjoy Halloween. The Carnival features live entertainment on multiple stages, food vendors, and photo stations; and the bars along Santa Monica Blvd take part with drink specials and patio parties. Each year, the West Hollywood Halloween Carnival culminates with the crowning of the Carnival’s Queen! Previous Queens of the Carnaval include Rihanna, Queen Latifah and WeHo businesswoman Lisa Vanderpump.

Kidspace Pumpkin Festival
Join the Kidspace Children’s Museum for their 21st annual Pumpkin Festival October 17th and 18th! Kids will giggle with delight at the petting zoo, pony rides, exciting bouncers, carnival games, and seasonal crafts.

Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns
Do you love pumpkin carving? Come see 5,000 hand-carved jack O’lanterns at the Santa Anita Race Park. Click here to get your promo code for the event!

The Braeburn Haunted House
If you are looking for some community based fun, the Braeburn Haunted House in Altadena is both fun and terrifying for all ages. The Braeburn family takes Halloween seriously, and has scared daring guests for years! If you dare, swing by Halloween night from 4-10PM.

Long Beach Zombie Walk
This 3-day festival is for zombie lovers of all ages! The Zombie walk is an organized gathering of zombies who make their way into the streets of Long Beach around Shoreline Village in an orderly fashion. During the walk, participants are encouraged to remain in character as zombies and to communicate only in a manner consistent with zombie behaviour, which may include grunting, groaning, or slurred, morning calls for BRAINS! You can wear your own costume or let onsite makeup artists paint your face. This event is held from October 23rd to 25th. Click here to get a promo code for your ticket(s).

Day of the Dead Celebration
Dia de Los Muertos Celebration is a 9-day celebration at El Pueblo in downtown Los Angeles, culminating a 2-day festival. The event includes Aztec dancers, street performers, mariachi bands, children’s activities, and more! El Pueblo is adjacent to Olvera Street where there are many great places to shop and eat!

Animal Halloween Events
For you animal lovers out there, there are a number of Halloween events just for your pets. Whether you want to dress your pet up and take pictures, feed your friend free treats, or show him/her off in a parade, there’s so many fun events for you and your pet to explore!Hot Dog

Halloween Haunts and Horror Nights (Ages 13 and Up)

Knott’s Scary Farm
Knott’s Scary Farm is known as the Granddaddy of Halloween Haunts and is the largest event of any theme park. When Knott’s Scary Farm was first invented, it was planned to only be a 3-night long event, however, the high demand for the event pushed the theme park owners to now hold the event every weekend from mid-September through Halloween. This year, the highly anticipated event offers 12 horrifying mazes with themes including Edgar Allen Poe poems, Werewolves, and Fairy Tales gone wrong. For you zombie lovers out there, Knott’s additionally offers Special Opps: Infected, an interactive maze that allows guests to team up and fight zombies with laser guns!

Halloween Horror Nights
The high demand of Knott’s Scary farm also caught the eye of Universal Studios, who created Halloween Horror Nights. The mazes at Universal are themed after some of their most famous horror movie productions. This year, the themes include Halloween, Alien Vs Predator, The Purge, The Walking Dead, Insidious, and more! This year, Halloween Horror Nights is also joined by the dancing sensation who has swept America off its feet, The Jabbawockeez! Like Knott’s, this event is also held every weekend from mid-September through October.

Experience The Los Angeles Area With Your Four Legged Friend

September 26th, 2015

Are you a dog lover? There are few places in the United States with more options for you and your four legged friend than the greater Los Angeles area. This pet haven has some great dog attractions, and is close to some of best dog parks and beaches in all of the United States – there’s truly so much for you and your pup to do!

Dogs on a trail

Truly a happy community for pups.

Dog Friendly Hiking Trails
The San Gabriel Valley (SGV) is a unique location, surrounded by vast mountain ranges which provide a wide array of beautiful dog-friendly hiking trails in Monrovia, Altadena, Pasadena and more. In addition to almost a dozen dog parks, the SGV has an abundance of monthly events, stores, and charities just for dogs! This area is filled with a great community of animal lovers just like you!

If you would like to learn more about the upcoming events in Los Angeles, they are listed at the end of this entry.

Dog Parks in Los Angeles & The Highly Acclaimed Runyan Canyon
If you live in the San Gabriel Valley and would like to spend a day trip or even a half day trip with your dog, there are over 100 dog parks less than an hour drive from the San Gabriel Valley. Less than 10 miles away resides one of the top ranking Dog parks in the United States (according to the Huffington Post), The Runyan Canyon Dog Park in Los Angeles. With over 160 acres of hiking trails and terrain, Runyan Canyon offers a vast escape from the city that will have your dog begging to stay just one more hour!

Huntington Beach

Little Scrappy Do enjoying a day at the Huntington Beach

Dog Friendly Beaches
Do you and your dog want to spend a day at the beach? There are 8 dog beaches within an hour drive of the San Gabriel Valley including two of the top ranked dog beaches in the United States. One of them, in gorgeous Santa Barbara, Ca, provides over 70 acres of hiking and leash-free fun on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The other nationally recognized beach in this area is The Huntington Dog Beach which was one the Travel Channel’s top rated dog beach in the United States.

Whether you want to hike a beautiful trail up to a waterfall, spend a day at the beach, make new animal loving friends at an event, or just take your dog to a leash-free park, there are truly not many places better in the United States than California’s San Gabriel Valley.

Upcoming Events in the Greater LA Area:

The wicked pup from the west!

The wicked pup from the west!

September 27th
Join thousands of animal lovers and their canine companions on Sunday, September 27th from 8AM-1PM for the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA’s 17th annual WIGGLE WAGGLE WALK – A community fundraiser for animals! This walk is the shelter’s biggest annual fundraiser. This year they hope to raise $400,000! Event is on Brookside park off N Arroyo Blvd in Pasadena.

October 10th
Strut Your Mutt 5K/Walk – Best Friends Animal Society. Add some excitement to your usual weekend plans with your dog, and do it for a great cause! Los Angeles, CA

October 24th
What? Races for Rescues.
When 7AM – 12PM
Why: Benefiting The Rescue Train and 38+ animal welfare organizations.
Price: $23.00 – $52.00

October 31st
Santa Monica Pet Expo & Pet adoption is a FREE and exciting day-long festival for the entire family – dogs/cats and their owners, dog lovers, friends and visitors from town and surrounding areas.

Pasadena’s Green Space – Where is It Going?

July 30th, 2015

Ambassador Garden

The Ambassador Garden – Recently Removed

One thing that I cherish most about Pasadena is its green space. Pasadena has long been loved for its tree lined streets, its gardens and its beautiful natural setting. However, I feel, the once green Pasadena has become crowded with luxury condos and new apartment buildings. To the developers gaining profits in this area, I pose this question: Why not add some green space to the new environments you are creating? When is enough, enough?
Tongva Park

Serene Tongva Park in Santa Monica

I recently visited Santa Monica and walked through the serene Tongva Park located across form the Santa Monica Pier on Ocean Blvd. The park is amidst prime real estate and the congestion of the city. As I strolled, I was surrounded with grassy areas, water features, and a water friendly playground which provided me with a state of tranquility within the hustle and bustle of the city.
Pasadena Construction

Pasadena Construction – Picture Taken Yesterda

My thoughts quickly took me back to Pasadena – A city that has become industrialized with more and more new high rises each year. I have Lived, Worked, and Played in Pasadena for 30 years, in that time I have witnessed an evolution in the cities culture and color. I love the purpose of the walk about areas and the live /work lofts that have been constructed throughout Colorado Blvd and in Old Town… But why not add green space to the mix?

Semi-Green Development

Pasadena Development

As a local Realtor, I love Pasadena’s deep rooted culture and vast diversity. Every day it seems there’s a new luxury condo or townhouse that The Compass Real Estate Team is serving to a Baby Boomer or Millennial. As we revitalize our city and adapt to meet our current needs with new building projects, let’s not forget the integrity and the natural green essence deep rooted in Pasadena’s unique culture.

Teri Barton , Realtor with, Keller Williams Realty, CEO of the Compass Real Estate Team.

Contact The Compass Real Estate Team if you’d like to know more about what it’s like to Live, Work, and Play in any city within the San Gabriel Valley maket!

Moving to Pasadena? Don’t miss this gorgeous property for sale

July 30th, 2014

If you’re moving to Pasadena, 286 N. Madison Ave. #313 in the heart of town could be the perfect find …

If you like to be in the center of things, Compass Real Estate Team’s new listing on Madison Avenue in Pasadena is ideal. In the heart of Pasadena, it’s close to shopping, dining and public transport. We asked the home seller, Dali, to talk about what first drew her to the property and neighborhood. Here’s what she had to say.

Moving to Pasadena: Why this property?

“I was drawn to the beautiful exterior of the building and the tree-lined street,” Dali said.” In the unit itself, I fell in love with the entryway and high ceilings. This front-facing unit has an amazing view of the trees, making you feel like you’re living in a luxury tree house!” 286 N. Madison Ave., #313 includes:

  • 1 Bedroom
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Appliances
  • Secure parking and entry

For more on the property, visit www.286madisonunit313.com

Moving to Pasadena: Why this neighborhood?

The property owner, Dali, enjoys the walkability of the area. Plenty of places are within easy strolling distance, and for those that aren’t, the Metro Gold Line is just a few blocks away. That can take the line a few stops south to South Pasadena on Thursdays for the Farmer’s Market, or you can take it to China Town or Union Station and go pretty much anywhere from there, Dali said. “I love that you will see neighbors walking as well, even to the grocery store. I moved here from West Los Angeles, where nobody walked and traffic was horrendous. I love Pasadena, because you get to enjoy all the dining and shopping luxuries of the west side without the congestion.”

Dining/Shopping There are lots of great restaurants to choose from, all within a short walk, Dali said. Vroman’s bookstore is also close by, as well as the Pasadena Playhouse and Laemmle Theater. Old Town is a short walk away, with lots more shops and restaurants. There are summer concerts and movies in the park and Farmer’s Markets within walking distance. “I love walking to Urth Caffe for lattes and amazing desserts, Blaze Pizza for BBQ Chicken Pizza, Tender Greens for Mediterranean Salad, and Roy’s Hawaiian for ribs. When I’m in the mood for steak, I frequent Smitty’s. Lake Avenue, which is just a short drive away, is full of casual dining options as well. We recently discovered Du-par’s, which has great breakfast available 24 hours!” For shopping, Trader Joe’s is nearby, and Ralph’s and Target are a couple of blocks away. Pavilions and Whole Foods are also great options, Dali said.  

Schools/amenities Besides the public school district in Pasadena, you’ll find Polytechnic K-12 and the nationally renowned Caltech within easy reach. Pasadena offers a number of private secondary schools, as well as a community college system. You won’t be hurting for enrichment activities and regional amenities, either. The Rose Bowl is very close. You can bike there or drive, and bike some more or walk/jog the 3 mile loop. There are two very nice 18-hole golf courses there as well as an aquatics center. Kid’s Space Children’s Museum is also next to the Rose Bowl, Dali said.

For more information about moving to Pasadena, or this property on Madison Avenue, contact the Compass Real Estate Team: (626) 765-4140

Moving to Pasadena? There’s plenty to keep you active

July 19th, 2014

If your family’s moving to Pasadena, there’s a lot to discover — from where the best schools are located to what family-geared activities and attractions are within reach. Working with a local real estate agent who’s knowledgeable about neighborhoods and their amenities is a definite advantage. After all, where you decide to live, work and play is essential to your quality life.


If you’re moving to Pasadena, you’ll find more than enough to entertain your family. That’s especially helpful when school is out of session and kids are restless. Here’s an example of a few fun activities you could try after moving to Pasadena.


If you’re moving to Pasadena, try exploring these attractions

Looking for activities that will get your children moving and using up all that excessive energy? Try these spots.


Rose Bowl Aquatic Center – Pack some goggles and a towel and splash into one of  the pools at 360 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena.
Pasadena Ice Skating Center – Cool off with a whirl around the ice. The center is at 300 E. Green St., Pasadena.


Or, for fun for the whole family …


You might try some of the following:

Miniature Golf at Arroyo Seco Golf Course – 1055 Lohman Lane, South Pasadena.

Universal Studios andUniversal City Walk – See a streetscape featuring shops, museums and restaurants and check out cinematic thrill rides.

Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific– Learn more about sea life in the Pacific. An assortment of amusement parks also fit the bill, from Disneyland in Anaheim to Magic Mountain in Valencia.

KidSpace Children’s Museum – 480 N. Arroyo Blvd. The museum next to the Rose Bowl offers interactive programs and indoor and outdoor learning.

The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino  — It includes plenty of educational opportunity, as well as a children’s garden designed for ages 2 to 7 that encourages hands-on exploration.
Moving to Pasadena will offer you plenty of opportunity for enrichment as well as family fun, so you can look forward to a chance to explore our region’s great attractions.

Moving to Pasadena offers attractions such as Eaton Canyon

June 26th, 2014

If you’re moving to Pasadena, you’ll soon be in range of some fantastic attractions. While the city is famous for its Tournament of Roses that draws more than 1 million people, there are plenty of everyday attractions to explore. Eaton Canyon, for example, is a great option for an outdoor adventure.


Moving to Pasadena: Great weather, great fun

Moving to Pasadena — a city with beautiful weather year-round — means your family can explore attractions such as Eaton Canyon any time of year.  An easy 3 ½-mile hike to a gorgeous waterfall offers a fun place for a picnic. The hike up is full of boulder hopping and stream crossings. There are tadpoles to catch in the river, too. The Nature Center is packed with interesting plants, geology, animals and the history of the canyon. Many groups (Audubon Society, Native Plant Society and so forth) have meetings open to everyone.

Moving to Pasadena: Take advantage of outdoor exercise

Eaton Canyon offers approximately eight hiking trails and three nature trails, if you’re looking outdoor exercise. You may also schedule a docent-led tour for yourself or your group. To do that, call the Nature Center at (626) 398-5420 for reservations as early as possible to avoid having your date taken by another group.


A number of free public tours are available, as well, including a Family Nature Walk, a Bird Walk, a Plant Walk and more. Dates and times for the walk tend to vary by season, so call the center more information or visit the Eaton Canyon website.


If you feel like spending more time at Eaton Canyon, check out the volunteer opportunities in the garden, trimming paths and in the Nature Center itself. The center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.


If you’re moving to Pasadena, fill out my relocation form to receive more information about the area.
If you want to fully explore the attractions that come with moving to Pasadena, at least one trip to Eaton Canyon to experience its beautiful views is a must.

Enjoy an afternoon of music with Porchfest

May 30th, 2014

pasadena real estate, porchfestPorchfest 2014, a free gift to the community from the Pasadena-Foothills Association of REALTORS®, offers a fun afternoon of music in five locations this Saturday. I hope you’ll take the opportunity to enjoy our “thank-you” for all your support! Without good words — and referrals — from my clients, I wouldn’t be where I my today. So please accept my appreciation, and enjoy the free music!

Porchfest runs from 2 to 5 p.m. Bring your own blankets or chairs, and have fun!

The lineup of music:

The Bluebird Bandits,
635 S. Hudson – Pasadena

Honey Whiskey Trio, 1714 Homewood – Altadena

Susie Glaze & The Hilonesome Band, 379 Bellefontaine – Pasadena

Wreck N Sow, 2621 Marengo – Altadena

Blue Monday, 1490 Mar Vista Pasadena

San Marino home values depend on market conditions

May 21st, 2014

San marino home valuesIf you’re researching San Marino home values, you’ll find that they fluctuate with real estate market conditions.

San Marino home values are generally among the healthiest in San Gabriel Valley (although it’s occasionally eclipsed by another area, particularly La Canada Flintridge).

As of May 18, the median listing price for single-family homes in San Marino was $2,588,888. Technically, prices have slipped from their high point. But it’s hard to consider San Marino anything but a healthy and robust market with median listing prices above $2 million.

In Pasadena, the median listing price was $799,000. La Canada Flintridge, with higher prices, is still quite a ways behind San Marino home values with a median listing price of $1,649,000.

Even with the pullback in prices, San Marino remains in a strong seller’s market with a Market Action Index score of 59.4.

The Market Action Index answers the question “How’s the Market?” by measuring the current rate of sale versus the amount of the inventory. Index above 30 implies Seller’s Market conditions. Below 30, conditions favor the buyer. If you own a home in the area and want to see San Marino home values for your neighborhood — or even your specific property — visit homevaluesca.com.


San Marino home values: A look at the market by the numbers

This week, the market data for San Marino is showing:

  • Median listing price: $2.89 million
  • Asking price per sq. foot: $915
  • Average days on the market: 91
  • Market Action Index: 59.4 (strong sellers market)

san marino home values reportThese market statistics come from Altos Research, which provides real-time real estate data. The market fluctuates from week to week, so keep watching my blog for updates.


Teri Barton also writes articles of interest to Baby Boomers at blog.boomersnbeyond.com.

When buying a vacation home in California, follow these tips

May 8th, 2014

Vacation HomeWhen buying a vacation home in California, it’s important to understand that there are some key considerations you’ll want to make differently from when you buy a primary residence. Here are questions to consider before you commit to buying a vacation home in California.

What can you afford comfortably?

Be sure to budget for how much income you’ll need to maintain a second home. For example, you’ll have to spend approximately $30,000 or more to afford a $500,000 home. This money goes toward your mortgage, your home taxes, insurance, upkeep, furnishings, a caretaker for the property if you don’t live nearby and  a fund for disasters or major repairs, and travel costs.  Don’t count on recouping that money be renting out the property; that’s never a guarantee.


How often will you use the home?

Consider the amount of time you want to spend at the home. Will you be living in it during the winter only, or will you be visiting the home every weekend? Those factors can play a role in exactly where you want your vacation home to be located. It’s doubtful you want to drive 5 hours every weekend to spend time there, but if your visits are less frequent that could be perfectly fine.

What location is right for you?

The perfect location is going to depend largely on your interests. In California’s wine country, for example, a buyer probably wants to escape urban life and enjoy mountain or vineyard views. Other locations may provide particular attractions, such as beaches, golf courses, or proximity to a larger city for arts and culture.

Have you researched expenses and revenue for buying a vacation home in California?

If you plan to generate income from your vacation home purchase, you should be aware that the demand will fluctuate with the economy, weather, the home’s amenities and other variables.  If making income from your home is a priority, do your best to remove the emotion from your purchase and select based on what appeals to the widest target market rather than what you want for yourself. Do research so you know whether your homeowners association permits you to rend the property, what your policy would be for children and pets, and whether you’ll need to split proceeds with a management company. You’ll also need renter’s insurance.

When buying a vacation home in California, be sure to talk to your real estate agent about market trends, the most attractive locations and stick to your budget so you don’t overextend yourself — and, of course, be sure to enjoy your vacation home! If you’re buying a second home for retirement, check out my blog Boomers&Beyond for relevant articles and tips for retirees.

Pasadena real estate and architecture buffs will love these May tours

April 29th, 2014

Attention, Pasadena real estate and architecture buffs! This May, Pasadena Heritage is inviting you to “Walk, Look and Listen” as we all celebrate National Preservation Month. Each Saturday in May will feature a tour, lecture or seminar to educate, entertain and highlight unique parts of Pasadena’s history and architecture.


Events celebrating Pasadena real estate and architecture


SatuPasadena real estaterday, May 3: Old Pasadena Walking Tour with Illustrated Talk

A walking tour of Pasadena’s original downtown with a presentation, “The Story of Old Pasadena,” which includes historic photos of the National Register Historic District and tells how it was saved from razing. Time: 9 to 11:30 a.m.


Saturday, May 10: Busch Gardens Remembers, Illustrated Lecture

Researcher Michael Logan will present a lecture on the world-famous Busch Gardens. Logan will use match up historic photos to their same locations today, a century later. Time: 10-11:30 a.m.


Saturday, May 17: BUsch Gardens Walking Tour

Docent-led walking tours of a charming Pasadena neighborhood that was once the famous Busch Gardens will give visitors a chance to walk the historic pathways and staircases, a rare opportunity. Key garden sights will be highlighted, including the Old Mill. Tours start every half hour from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


Saturday, May 24:  Ninita Parkway-Rose Villa Walking TourPasadena real estate

Walking tours of the Ninita Parkway/Rose Villa historic neighborhood of beautiful one-and two-story Pasadena real estate east of the California Institute of Technology. The  neighborhood includes examples of Colonial Revival, Italian Renaissance Revival, English Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival.  Two-hour tour; tours start every half half between 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


Saturday, May 31: How to Identify, Research and Document Your Historic Property

Experts will provide an overview of architectural styles and design features, explain the process, resources and other tips for researching historic Pasadena real estate. Seminar is 10 to 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 for non-members, and $20 for members.


Venues and starting times vary. Unless otherwise noted, tickets $15 for non-members and $12 for members. You may buy tickets online.  Space is limited for tours. Visit PasadenaHeritage.org for more information about events highlighting Pasadena real estate and architecutre.