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Quiet, Private and Affordable on Mesa Road

A newly listed house is attracting interest as the home market warms up.

I was first drawn to 1245 Mesa Road by its good looks. Understated yet sophisticated, this is essentially a ranch of a superior order. The porch along the front of the house keeps the direct sun out of the living room. Supporting the porch are square columns both elegant and masculine--unlike those skinny poles that hold up the porches in ordinary ranch houses.

Quietude is another attraction to this five-bedroom, six-bath home, which has an asking price of $1.33 million, according to listing agent Mary Leonard of Dickson Podley Realtors.

“There are only six houses on [this part of] Mesa Road, so the block feels private and quiet,” said Leonard. (As the father of a nine-year-old who is constantly drumming along with Beatles Rock Band, I can’t think of any thing more delectable than quiet.)

Scarcity is yet another positive factor of this house, according to the Dickson Podley broker. “There’s a lack of inventory in this part of San Marino,” she reported.

At $1.33 million, affordability (I guess I should say relative affordability) may be the biggest point of sale; however, comparable homes--meaning those in San Marino with at least four bedrooms--quickly jump to the $3 million-plus range outside of Mesa Road.

The house has been upgraded by the current owners, including a refurbished kitchen, a media room and an office “with lots of nice built-ins,” according to the listing agent. Other amenities of the house include both a master bedroom and a separate “mother-in-law suite” on the opposite side of the house with its own bath. The three remaining bedrooms share a “Jack and Jill” bathroom, while the maid’s quarters--a good place to sequester a moody teenager--has a full bath of its own.

The backyard is notable for terraces cut out of the foothills that are fine spaces for entertaining.

If the initial response to 1245 Mesa Road is any indication of the real estate market, which never slid that far in San Marino, is showing signs of health, according to Leonard. “This is the first San Marino listing of the new year, and we’ve already gotten an enormous amount of interest and discussion, although no offers as of yet.”

The message is clear: Pick up that iPhone (actually, you never put it down, so skip that step) close the Angry Birds game and make an appointment to see the house before someone else snatches it up. As for Leonard, she said she is looking forward to a “robust and active market in 2011.”

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