The San Marino Real Estate Report, as seen weekly in the San Marino Tribune
The San Marino National Little League season officially kicked off last Saturday with its annual Opening Day ceremony. I have attended many an Opening Day with my three kids, and I clearly remember the excitement and energy that accompanied the kickoff of the season. Crowds of happy baseball and softball players, joined by their moms, dads, siblings, and grandparents, all flock to the lower section of Huntington Middle School. Each team is introduced and runs onto the field, adorned in their new uniforms and cleats. After the first pitch is thrown, the day is filled with the first games of the season. It is a fun-filled event!
After the first day of the season, the little league fields at Huntington and Valentine are in use most every day for games and practices. The area adjacent to these fields see a lot of action during baseball/softball season. On a Saturday, there is a steady flow of parents in cars, kids on bikes, and families on foot who make their way over to the ball fields. It is a perfect place to experience the wonderful sense of community that San Marino has to offer.
There are several short streets that run between Sherwood and Lorain, that are right in the middle of the action. Alhambra Road, Palmas Drive and Twin Palms Drive are directly adjacent to the schools and see the most activity. These streets provide a cozy sense of community and easy access for school-aged children to walk to school and hang out at the little league field. This small section of San Marino is a bustling hub of community activity, perfect for people seeking an interactive and friendly neighborhood.
Andy and Susu Berstein, a wonderful couple with three kids in high school and a pre-school-aged daughter, live on a prominent corner on Palmas Drive. The Bernsteins purchased their beautiful two-story Traditional in 2006 and have loved being in the center of the action. The Bernstein kids were given the freedom to enjoy an extended back yard at the little league fields, making this home a perfect place to raise their family.
Unlike many neighborhoods where residents drive into their garage and spend most of their time in the house and back yard, this section of town draws homeowners to spend time out and about in the neighborhood. During my family’s little league years, I had many opportunities to interact with the Bernsteins. They could often be found in their front yard, enjoying time talking to friends and neighbors. Because of its convenient location, their home was also a regular hang-out spot for their kids and their friends during the elementary and middle school years.
Chuck and Sandy McKnight and their triplets spent many years living on the corner of Twin Palms and Lorain. The McKnights have since relocated to Atlanta and their kids are almost done with college, but they loved their years in a beautiful one-story Spanish in this bustling part of town. Their location is at the far end of this little neighborhood, but the McKnight kids still got to experience the wonderful freedom of playing outdoors in their extended back yard.
The McKnights knew many of their neighbors and valued the tight sense of community that their location provided. They also found it handy to be so close to the little league fields. Chuck served as the coach of his son’s little league team, and the whole family would come out to cheer for the father-son team. Even after his son’s little league years were over, Chuck would still wander over to the fields every once in awhile. Hearing the cheers of the fans would lure him back for a little afternoon entertainment.
There has been little recent activity in this pocket of San Marino. During 2010 and 2011, only three homes have sold on these streets. Last year, a beautiful home at 1854 Twin Palms sold over the asking price. Even though the lot was under 9,000 square feet, the home sold at $618 per square foot, well above the San Marino average. During 2010, a beautiful Monterey Colonial at 1832 Palmas Drive and the McKnight’s home at 1891 Twin Palms sold.