Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, March 5, 2011

MVNews this week:  Page 16



 Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 5, 2011 

One Of A Kind: Featuring unique homes and gardens and the people whoe create them Story and Photos By Chris Bertrand 

Looking to Create a Unique Living Space in Sierra Madre?

2 Historic Properties Available at Stonegate Development

Two lots mentioned in last week’s 
feature on Stonegate at Sierra Madre 
development, which can be read 
online at if 
you missed it, have historic structures 
on them. They are now for sale. 
700 Baldwin Court, lot 18, includes 
the vintage barn that was part of the Carter estate, plus 
an adjacent cottage on a 23,029 square foot homesite is 
listed for $525,000. Today, the interior is nearly devoid of 
improvement except for a coat of whitewash inside and two 
chairs cozied up to a freestanding fireplace in one corner.
Let your creative juices flow. There aren’t too many 
barns available for conversion to living space here in 
Los Angeles, but you might search the plethora of barn-
to-home photos and plans on Google for creative ideas. 
I saw a different, non-traditional concept of living, as I 
scrolled through open floorplans with soaring ceilings and 
double or triple stacked windows to soak in the Northern 
views to the San Gabriel Mountains. On the site, Heritage, the statement, “You too will come to love 
and appreciate these historic monuments to fine hand 
craftsmanship and the simpler life they recall” says it all.
Max Alexander from This Old House magazine waxes poetic 
about making a home from a barn. “Converting a barn is 
one way to save a disappearing vernacular form. And by 
turning these ‘agricultural cathedrals,’ as Fossel calls them, 
into houses, Americans are also preserving their cultural 
heritage. They recall a time when small communities gathered 
together for barn raisings and a self-sufficient farmer’s 
world reached no farther than the town border,’ he says.” 
Alexander quotes Ken Epworth, of The Barn People, who is 
“still enthralled each time he throws open the door to one of 
these relics for the first time and gazes up at the void. ‘You’ve 
got to give your eyes a few minutes to adjust,” he says. “But 
then you start seeing things. You see that beautiful honey color 
of the wood. You have a structure with integrity. You’ve got 
history, mystery, and charm. That’s hard to duplicate today.” 
The second set of historic structures is located up a long and 
winding driveway, mostly hidden from view. 650 Baldwin 
Court, on lot 20, is a completely different style and vintage. 
Constructed in 1940, the 3897 square foot Willis home sits atop a 
knoll with panoramic views overlooking the Los Angeles basin. 
Listed at $1,250,000, the five bedroom, five bath home, four car 
garage home offers extraordinary features like retracting glass 
walls that remove the barriers from indoor to outdoor living. 
The expansive grounds offer several outdoor “rooms” 
including a pool area. Lovely vine shaded walkways connect 
the outbuildings to the home. Mountain views are nearly as 
spectacular as the city lights vistas. So few homes can boast both. 
The structures are in a state 
of disrepair, but the right 
creative mind could make 
this the noteworthy home 
once again worthy of its 
architectural amagazine 
feature from five decades ago.

For more information, visit 
the development’s website, 
com or contact the listing 
agents, Mike Lepore and Kris 
Mathison at Century 21 Village, 

FREE BAGQUALITY ORGANICS SINCE 1925Buy 3 Get 1 Free EXPIRES 3/28/10www.KelloggGarden.com626-355-3365297 W. Sierra Madre Blvd.
Sierra Madre, CA 91024626-357-87732137 E. Huntington Dr.
Helps loosen clay and compacted soils.
Mortgage applications are being reviewed far 
more thoroughly now than in the past, and your 
credit score should be 680 or higher to qualify for 
the best interest rates. So how do you determine 
your score, and know you’re getting the credit you 

Everyone is allowed one free credit report per 
year from the three reporting agencies (Experian, 
Equifax and TransUnion). Review the reports for 
accuracy and act quickly to correct any errors or 

Approximately 35% of your credit score is based 
on the timeliness of your payments. Make sure 
that no late payments older than seven years are 
still on your report. 

If you have paid off loans or credit cards, a 
zero balance should appear on those accounts. 
Sometimes, agencies don’t properly update those 
balances after settlement. 

15% of your credit score is based on the length 
of your credit history, so make sure that the 
opening dates of all your accounts are accurate. 
Also make sure that the limits on your credit cards 
are correct, and keep the balances under 50% of 
those limits. Total debt accounts for 30% of your 
credit score. 

 Finally, think twice about closing credit 
card accounts with zero balances, because this 
negatively reduces your ratio of “available credit” 
to your debt. First, get the facts. Then, make 
corrections. Finally, apply for home financing 
with confidence!

Luther Tsinoglou has just been named the top 
producing sales agent in Dickson Podley Realtor’s 
Sierra Madre office for 2009, making the top 10% 
at the company overall. Luther has been licensed 
and practicing real estate since 1992. He specializes 
in residential and income property in Southern 
California. Luther can be reached at his direct line 
(626) 695-8650 or at

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Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: