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Old 08-01-2009, 01:05 PM
7 posts, read 28,559 times
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My husband has accepted a job in Pasadena. I am not familiar at all with the area and am hoping you can tell me where would be some good choices. We have 2 young kids. Also, what are some of the cites near Pasadena that would be an option -- Would living near the water mean that my husband would spend hours in traffic? Thanks again for your suggestions.

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Old 08-01-2009, 01:17 PM
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
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Forget the beach areas, yes traffic is prohibitive. However, since he is working in Pasadena you have loads of great options for family housing: South Pasadena, San Marino, La Crescenta, Arcadia.

Redfin is (one of) the best househunting tools. Zillow (for now) is better at finding resale data for estimate comparables in some communities. (I corresponded with redfin recently and they are changing their data provider so they will have better resale data soon).

School Performance Maps is a good start

Buying or renting? Budget?

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Old 08-01-2009, 01:34 PM
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I agree with Charles; forget about the beach. Traffic will be unbearable, and you'd be far better off living in or near Pasadena and driving to the beach when you feel like a beach trip. Pasadena (and nearby cities) are great and have their own significant charms, so you won't be missing out.

We lived in South Pasadena with a young kid and absolutely loved it.

What kind of place would you like? South Pasadena has an old-school small town vibe (complete with its own Route 66 soda fountain shop), San Marino is more suburban in feel (as in upscale ritzy older suburb, not modern cul-de-sacs), Sierra Madre is in the foothills and has a nice village center, Pasadena itself has a wide range of neighborhoods (although the public schools don't have as good of a reputation, but some are fine), Arcadia is a bit more suburban but also nice with good schools, Eagle Rock is officially part of LA but has some great restaurants and some interesting things going on, etc. La Canada Flintridge is another popular option. It all depends on what kind of place you're looking for, as well, of course, as budget.
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Old 08-01-2009, 03:30 PM
Location: Vancouver, WA
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Yep, I third the beach as a No Go for Pasadena commuting. Its just too far for an everyday commute in LA traffic. One of the keys to maintaining a higher quality of life in LA is to stay off the FWYs during rush hour when at all possible. If working in Pasadena live near Pasadena. If working near the coast then live near the coast. That may sound a bit boring for you in this case. But as uptown_urbanist said you can always drive to the beach on the weekends. And your husband's blood pressure will be much lower also as a result.

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Old 08-01-2009, 07:39 PM
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In a perfect world I would love to live in a an area that is low crime being that my husband works a lot and it's mainly me and the kids. Would love to be near an area that we can walk to for coffee, restaurants and shops. On the other hand I understand that smog is horrible the more inland and Pasadena area is pretty inland so then my question would be if living in the foothills or near mountain would be a better choice.

Thanks again for all the advice.
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Old 08-01-2009, 08:46 PM
Location: Vancouver, WA
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You are right about smog being an issue, especially anywhere from LA and east all the way out to the Inland Empire. For LA air quality check out the rating from the American Lung Association here: Air Qulity

The onshore flow normally pushes all the LA smog inland and then it gets trapped at the base of the mtns. I'm not sure if there will be much of a difference anywhere from Pasadena within an hour commute.

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Old 08-01-2009, 09:05 PM
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I didn't find it to be particularly smoggy in South Pasadena, although admittedly I might not have been paying much attention. My husband has asthma, though, and while not as good as what you'd find outside of the LA basin (or right by the water) it wasn't as bad as we'd anticipated before we moved to the area. I doubt you'll be able to move anywhere better and still be within reasonable commute from Pasadena.

If you want low crime, walkable, and lots of other kids (and parents) I'd take a close look at South Pasadena, or, while I don't know it as well, Sierra Madre. Both are Pasadena adjacent. Check out other threads for more details on South Pasadena. It's kid-central, but with enough nicer restaurants for parents, too, when you want to go out for a night without the kids. There's a great farmers market, a really nice library, lots of coffee shops, a nice sandwich deli, little stores, a toy store, ice cream places, and a bunch of other restaurants, shops, and businesses. It feels like a small town, but one that is extremely well connected (it's on the gold line light rail line, which is an easy way to get downtown or to central Pasadena if you don't feel like driving, although Old Pasadena is really, really close to South Pas). Most of the kids in our neighborhood attended the local public schools (there are three elementary schools, one junior high, and one high school), which was nice. In Pasadena so many kids go to private schools that one block could have the kids going to five different schools. South Pasadena is small enough and has good enough schools that they have a neighborhood feel to them. There are some great preschools in town, too, if your kids are younger. (and a fabulous park and playground, Garfield Park.)
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Old 08-01-2009, 10:42 PM
Location: Seattle
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I think the air quality in Pasadena is not as good as the beach, but certainly not really that bad compared to areas more inland. It's not that far inland - it starts to get a lot worse when you get east of Arcadia and then progressively worse when you get closer to Riverside. It's generally not bad around Pasadena IMO. The closest beach community to Pasadena commuting wise is probably Long Beach, and I don't think the air quality there will be as good as the west side beach areas like Santa Monica.
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Old 08-01-2009, 10:47 PM
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Many prefer PacificPalisades/Brentwood for markedly better air quality (and more temperate weather) than inland LA

Common sense suggests air pollution like that of inland LA can't be very healthy

Drive from Palisades to Downtown LA is perhaps 35mins if arrive at office before 7AM; would guess DLA to Pas is perhaps an additional 20mins drive...a far easier drive than most 1hr drives from upscale NYC suburbs to MidtownManhattan (and LA lacks NYC's winter weather slowdowns)

Many in LA who face the hassle of working in DLA opt to live nr coast on Westside; most are workaholics who arrive at office very early and leave late...and are on Bluetooth during entire drive anyway, so a fairly productive commute
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Old 08-15-2009, 06:12 PM
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Parttime Retire couple are planning to move to or around Pasadena. Looking for a family rental (Grandparent Cottage), also a high profile Motorhome year-round park, and working in a private school. Work presently with the CPS in Chicago.

Any info is appreicated. Cheers!
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