About Nancy Wright

I have been a real estate agent in La Canada and surrounding areas of the Foothills outside of Los Angeles for over twenty years. I also have been a teacher,mother,wife, writer and community volunteer. Some of those things I still am. I like dogs, reading, needlepoint, sports (both to do and to watch on TV) and Justified. I work at Podley Properties and volunteer as a CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocate) for foster children in Los Angeles County.

Summer Doldrums? Not So Much!



Here’s a brief interruption from our regularly scheduled programming to bring you an episode from the real estate Twilight Zone:  consider LA CANADA REAL ESTATE in the last thirty days.


Address                   Bed    Bth    SQFt    LotSz    $/SqFt    DOM    ORIG PR    LIST PR

4642 Rockland Pl*    3          2       2215    8250        293.00    76          649000      649000

1428 Olive Ln            3          2      1956    21600      332.31    135         650000      650000

4207 Lenzgrove        3          2      1350    11470      488.15    106         679000      659000

4935 Revlon              3         2       1276    9020         587.75    35         749970      749970

5223 Crown              3         3        1750  20540        448.57    13          785000     785000

5186 La Canada       3         2        2101 15250         392.67    44          825000     825000

970 Regent Park      4         3        2275 12960          394.73    85          898000    898000

5237 Escalante        2        2         2469 15250          364.12    104        949000    899000

2025 Lombardy        2        3         2717   9920          358.85    24          975000    975000

1344 Verdugo*         3        3          2453  28431         407.26    53          999000    999000

4803 Alminar           3        3          2196  8450           500.46    80         1149000  1099000

5230 Pizzo Ranch  3        4          2784  29500         394.76    133       1199000  1099000

4832 Del Monte      4        3           2430  7800           479.42    89         1177000   1165000

4532 Belita              4        3          2353   9450          530.81    87         1295000   1249000  

1418 El Vago           6       5          4120  15480         337.38     80         1290000   1390000 

1037 Lavender         5      4          4200  18460         330.95    165        1690000   1390000

526 Paulette             5     4           2898   9425          500         223       1449000    1449000

4947 Commonwealth4     4          2810  10800         529.89     46        1489000    1489000

4366 Chevy Chase    4    3           3296    20030       485.44   340        1800000    1600000

5152 Castle*              7    8           8555    39030       466.39    103        4290000    3990000

AVERAGES                                  2930                  431.62     100         1,301,713  1,255,141
*Not in La Canada Schools



4452 La Granada     4    2   1794    8400    350.89    175     629500       629500

727 Craig                 3    2    1256    11645    581.21    49    730000       730000

336 Baptiste             5    3    3029    9285    346.32       7    1049000    1049000

1122 Atlee                4    3    2272    9750    505.72     60    1149000    1149000

AVERAGES                        2088                 446.04     73     889,375      889,375

Wow! Some if these properties which have just entered escrow have been on the market for six months to a year (check out the DOM — or days on market — column).  Why are they selling now? 

There are probably multiple reasons for this inordinate amount of summer activity at a time when traditionally everyone is on vacation in La Canada. For one thing, on October 1 the maximum loan amount for conforming loans is going to drop from $729,750 to $625,500.  So anyone who has been fence sitting should be jumping off.  And for another, interest rates have continued to come down and are at their lowest in some thirty years.  Right now you can get a super jumbo loan up to $2,000,000 at 5.125% fixed for 30 years with 20% down. 

Still, according to today’s LA Times, the median price in Southern California continues to drop, falling 4% from last year.  Sales prices in the more-expensive-homes category fared even worse.  So why the massive movement in La Canada?  Maybe we’re in Rod Serling territory?

Just asking.

 In light of the economy, it is pretty amazing to see the movement of real estate in the past month in La Canada.  And best of all there is not a single foreclosure or short sale in the past 60 days.  Wow indeed.

And now back to our regular scheduled programming.  Stay tuned.



The Median Listing in La Canada, Part 2

Meanwhile, back at the ranch.  You knew I was going to say that.  Sorry, predictable me.  When last we met I had finished extolling the benefits of the exterior, grounds and stables of this median listing, which, I remind you, happens to be my listing even though it does actually pencil out as the median listing in all of La Canada. 

So the heart of this house, in every sense of the word except literally, is the great room.  I am starting here because I love the great room .  Its clean, open lines are the focus of the place.  It is also bright, airy and amazingly remodeled.  Here is a view of the kitchen and breakfast area.

We have white oak cabinets, granite counters, tumbled marble backsplash, storage galore including a pantry with multi-level shelving.  I love the breakfast area which matches the kitchen.  (I know I said love twice, but we can love two places equally.  Mothers have much practice with this concept).  Note the wood floors.  They are easy-care (damp mop only) and give a great unity to the entire house.  There is also recessed lighting, a bake center and easy accessibility to the rest of the great room.  Here’s another view:  that’s a Wolf stove with grill.  Note the center island with prep sink.  I love a prep sink because that implies someone else can prep while you cook.  Or they can prep AND cook while you play in the yard with Luna.   Whatever.  You do remember Luna, right?  Moving on.

This is a reverse angle of the great room showing the cool fireplace and family room seating. 

Just beyond that TV you get a peek into the office cum master suite.  I know that sounds odd.  The family is using this room as an office but I think it would make a great master suite because around the corner is a three-quarter bath. Staying on theme, it could even be a bunkhouse for the littlest cowboys.  You could open up the wall (on the right; you can’t see it) to give access to the living room fireplace.  I see I haven’t talked about the living room but I will in a moment. 

So the moment is up.  I really like this living room.  Besides the knotty pine cathedral ceilings, it looks out on the front so we get flow-thru light all day in this house. 

Just a few more things to say.  This house has five bedrooms and three baths.  I am not showing you the other four bedrooms and the baths because in the first place I couldn’t get decent pix of them, and in the second place, well, bathrooms are private.  But they are there and they have that same wood floors (in the case of the bedrooms) and nice tile in those other places.  We have a few other things that one should always mention, and if I can figure out how to use the bullet-point feature here I will bullet-point them because bullets and ranches go together in my experience (which admittedly is limited to original and reruns of Rawhide, Roy Rogers, and Have Gun, Will Travel).

  • Central air and heat (unlike the programs mentioned above)
  • Updated plumbing and electrical
  • Aluminum-tile 40 year roof (I think that is right)
  • Oversized detached garage cum tack and hay room
  • Large storage room under the house
  • Sewer on bond in the street awaiting to be hooked up to the house
  • Mostly replaced double-paned windows

If you by any chance are interested in knowing more about this listing, please let me know.  After this exhaustive two-parter I can’t imagine you have any questions but attention spans do vary.

Happy Trails.

All property photos except the office courtesy Erik Grammer Photography

copyright Nancy Wright 2011

The Median Listed Property in La Canada, Part 1

 I didn’t start out to write about this amazing coincidence; I swear this is true.  My last blog on the highest listed property in La Canada received pretty good reviews.  So I decided to write a post on the median listing.  That’s interesting, right?  For those of you who might have skipped fifth-grade math (which I didn’t but it was the last math class I really understood), the median is the point at which half of the listings are higher priced and half are lower.  I went to the Multiple Listing Service and plugged in La Canada active listings and then statistics.  The site spat out the average, the median, and so forth.  Not to worry, I am getting to the point.  The median active listing right now in La Canada has the following characteristics:

A list price of $1,392,500, 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 2749 square feet, and a market time (days on the market) of 62 days.

So, ok, like a good little researcher, I now searched for an active property in La Canada which came closest to those statistics.  There were two contenders.  One, located at 1418 El Vago, has a list price of $1,390,000, 6 bedrooms and 5 baths, 4120 square feet and has been on the market 64 days.  The other, located at 5221 Vista Lejana Lane, has a list price of $1,395,000, 5 bedrooms and 3 baths, 2568 square feet and has been on the market for 15 days.

So, which comes closer?  I think the second one.  Am I right or am I wrong?  Now to the swearing/coincidence part.  Finally, I know.

The second one is MY listing!  I promise you I had no idea.  None, zip, zero.  But now that I have embarked upon this enterprise I cannot let you all down.  So I will proceed with showcasing this magnificent, if median, listing which, if at any time you get bored reading about on this blog, can be located at 5221 Vista Lejana.com.

La Canada has a lot of horse trails.  If you look at my website (NancyWrightRealtor.com)you will see the entrance to one pictured  in the slideshow of La Canada.  We still have quite a few horse properties but most of them are in Flintridge, which for those of you who don’t know are in the southern part of the town, below Foothill.  Anyway, back to the ranch.  Literally.  Because 5221 Vista Lejana IS a little ranch.  And not so little in some ways.  For instance it is set on over a half an acre or rolling lawn, orchards and corral plus stalls.   Luna lives here and welcomes visits from people, prospective buyers or otherwise. She is definitely not included with the property.

Luna at home

That is a large lot, especially since all of it is usable.  This is a view from Luna’s perspective, looking longingly at the big house and hoping for a carrot to come walking her way.


And the front is pretty, too.    I have very fond memories of this place as we used to live directly next door.  The owners have done great things with it over the years.  Next time:  the interior.

The Most Expensive Listing in La Canada, Part 2

Did my last post on this beautiful house come across as a bit grasping?  This house is not to be mine.  I am moving on.

When we left off I was finished talking about the exterior.  The interior has all the bells and whistles we expect in a property this expensive.  Three bedroom suites on the second floor.  A master with a grand view of the back grounds.  A room devoted simply to crafts.  A billiard room with heated floors.  Does that affect the trajectory of the balls, I wonder?  A 3000 bottle capacity wine cellar and a tasting room to go with.  Also heated floors.  That can’t be good for the wine.  Right?  Just saying. 

Wine tasting

There’s a library, an office and a mud room.  I am not sure where mud would come into play because mud wouldn’t dare show its face in this place.  I, however, could use a mudroom.  Several, actually. 

Solar power with backup generator.  My husband would kill for that generator.  I am not going to show him this post.

A gym with a full bath.  Not sure you need that after putting on the green and batting in the batting cage.  A fire pole from the second to the first floor just in case the security system from San Marino Security fails.  Or to learn pole dancing if nothing else.

One of my favorite rooms is the music room.  But the great room with its amazing entertainment center is pretty stunning.  Not sure what this room is though I have labelled it the great room I don’t think it is.  Whatever.  Enjoy it.

Great Room

  When we were in there we all commented on the Carlisle Old Growth walnut floors.  Not that we knew they were old growth; not that we know what that means.  But they are luscious.  The kitchen is really and truly the heart of the house.

The flyer says there’s a roof deck but I think I missed that.  I could go on into next week but pretty soon I have to go out and show other property.  Time to get on with Real Life.  I am so over this house.

The Most Expensive Listing in La Canada, Part One

I’ve always wanted to write an offer to purchase with the sales price $12,200,000.  Today that will buy you the most expensive listing in La Canada.  Ever.  So this is our chance.  We don’t even have to mean it.  I will hold your hand and we will write it out today, just to give us the satisfaction.  Disclosure:  this is not my listing, so thanks, Janice, for permission to use these pix.

What does 12 million dollars buy you?  Turns out a whole lot.  We (in my mind I’m almost owning this already) have got over an acre of flat perfectly groomed property in the heart of Flintridge on Commonwealth Avenue, just a  block and a half from the main drag.  The front of the house, though perfectly nice, doesn’t really hint at what’s to come.  There’s a driveway, a garage to the right and perpendicular to the front door. 

It’s the back of the house that grabs you.  This is not a yard.  These are GROUNDS.  For $12 million you get a Ronnie Siegel-designed landscape by Sunset Magazine out of Sports Illustrated.  Outdoor kitchen.  Salt-water pool.  Wood-burning fireplace.

Outdoor fireplace

1500 square feet of rolling putting green (I gave up golf after three months because my tennis elbow didn’t realize it had shifted sports). Sixty-seven vines of cabernet sauvignon and seedless table grapes — which is probably sixty-six more vines than I would ever need but I’m not that sure about you.  Perfectly placed (and weed-free) veggies and flowers.  Trees like you find at Blenheim Palace.  Playhouse.  Lighted basketball/ sport court.  Lighted batting cage.  And that’s not even counting the outbuildings.  The grounds are impeccable.  Hotel-quality impeccable.  All totally private.  Not a neighbor in sight.  You could be in Tuscany.  Well I think they have a few more vineyards there but still.  Here’s a shot of just a little part of the grounds.  I am guessing an airplane was involved.

The Grounds

So now for the outbuildings.  I am reading from the flyer:

Theatre complex:  1800 square feet including a theatre/gameroom with automatic screen.  This theatre is big enough to have a name.   Oh, and a music room, full bath and kitchenette, all fully air conditioned.

Pool House:  full kitchen and bath.  Misting system over patio area.

Office Suite:  Two rooms, half bath, fully air conditioned.  I would probably have to have a few more clients to justify this office. 

Three-car garage with custom epoxy-coated floors and central vac system.  My garage is jealous.  Actually my garage could probably fit in the pool house.  And it could be misted at night, saving on the car wash bills.  I feel almost ready to do this, with or without you.

Next blog:  the interior.

Welcome to all the news in La Canada real estate!


So, ok, just pretend this was my first post because it was supposed to be until I got the brilliant idea to discuss change and how it relates to Nakarat Orange.

That’s why the welcome title.

Did you know the Town Center is in escrow to a new buyer?  Yes!  IDS Real Estate Group has bought the 13-acre shopping center.  So why should we be interested in this?  Because despite years, and I mean like more than ten, of planning, discussing, going back to the drawing board a hundred thousand times, community fights, developer intrigue, architect after architect, the final product, the Town Center, has been a bit of a disappointment. It opened nearly three years ago to great fanfare. The anchor store, Sport Chalet, which used to be a friendly group of store fronts with an old-timey feel, became a mall-like megastore with no soul.  Buildings which sprouted around a series of ugly parking lots promised interest but failed to deliver.  There was a lot of perimeter but no center to the Center.  Today there are still vacancies, probably due to the high per-square foot lease price required even in today’s depressed commercial market.  So it is exciting news indeed that the new owners are committed to making the Town Center a vibrant place to walk and meet and greet.  According to the La Cañada Outlook, Olberz Park will be expanded and used as a place for more community gatherings in the future.  The new owners expect to attract more tenants with its forward-looking, all-inclusive approach to the space.   Before they carry me away on my shield,  I want to look up and see them take that For Lease sign out of the window.  Anytime now, guys. 

Sport Chalet in Town Center

Nakarat Orange

I love the smell of Nakarat Orange in the morning!

I work at Podley Properties which, until Chris Dickson departed for the doubtful benefits of Pittsburgh a year ago, was called Dickson Podley.

In January, Bill Podley, who has a reputation for truth, honesty and being the kindest man in California, decided to rebrand the company. First came the announcement of the new name. We heartily approved. Then came the announcement of the new colors. Enter Nakarat Orange to, yes, a sort of muted applause.  Weren’t we the company of gray and silvery green?  The very professional, slightly conservative company of mostly middle-aged women?  The new signs were smaller than normal, with gray and browns and tiny writing so you’d have to get up really close to read the name of the agent not to mention her phone number.  Yes.  We understand understated.  Nakarat Orange?  OMG, what is happening to us?

You might want to know what color Nakarat Orange is.  Well I think it’s kind of a blood-red deep orange.  But no one can quite get that.  That’s what happens when you make up a color.  The signs are different from the flyers.  The print ads have a pumpkin look. The logo is pure mandarin. Our awnings are bright, bright, flourescent orange.  I chose the least orange of the three business card colors presented to us.  Gotta ease into this.

So fast forward six months.  They’re finally redoing our office in the new Podley colors.  Dark gray on the cubicle walls.  Tan and cream on the walls.  And then that final wall in each of the three sections of the office.  Nakarat Orange.

The whole office reeks of paint and wallpaper glue and is covered in plastic.  You can’t get to your desk.  Agents edge by each other and complain about the smell.  All the office doors are wide open to the street.  I try to work in the conference room because my desk is uninhabitable.  My section is being redone last.  Each day I come in to see what’s new.  It’s kind of exhilarating.  The wallpapered gray cubicle first.  Then the cream.  The tan.  On Friday the first coat of Nakarat Orange.  It vibrated in the back of the room.  It reflected the light off the front windows.  Tomorrow it will all be finished.  I can rehang my bulletin board and replace the computer, the printer, the scanner, the files.  I can start new files.  I can open new escrows.  Nakarat Orange:  bring it on!

Good morning Podley Properties!