Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, August 25, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 12



 Mountain Views News Saturday, August 25, 2012 

One Of A Kind: Featuring unique homes and gardens and the people who create them Story by Chris Bertrand. 


This Sierra Madre home, one of the 
signature Mediterranean-style edifices 
of the community for over two decades, 
has been in one family since its custom 
design and construction in 1988.

Living in this home allows one to enjoy 
the best of all worlds! “You can step into your own private ‘inner 
sanctum’ of deep seclusion and peace within the walls of this 
tranquil, arboretum-like estate… yet you’re only blocks from 
charming downtown Sierra Madre or mountain hiking trails!” 
comments Mary Poehler Bernstein, listing agent.

When it was constructed, this elegant home was carefully 
designed to appreciate and enjoy the incredible gardens from 
almost every vista, infusing the lush green outdoor palette into 
the Zen-like serenity in every room.

The indoor to outdoor lifestyle is truly seamless, as the living areas 
all open to the gardens through French doors. Spacious covered 
patios, accessed from the dining room, kitchen and family rooms, 
provide an exquisite shaded transition from indoors to out, as 
well as a perfect staging area for outdoor entertaining.

Numerous outdoor spaces or “rooms” were designed to allow 
for a myriad of relaxation and entertaining opportunities in this 
fully usable. The .48 acre homesite spans two lots, and offers 
unsurpassed seclusion and privacy. The horizon is framed with 
mature palm, fruit and specimen trees and shrubs, and anchored 
by verdant lawn areas.

Several areas are perfect for reflection or meditation areas to get that “inner peace” back. If potting 
is your path to serenity, there is even an orchid growing area with just the right light and shade for 
successful growing of these beautiful exotics.

Water features were carefully incorporated into several of the outdoor “rooms” including the front 
courtyard fountain, the pond with bridge walkway, a pool and the nearly hidden spa, designed for 
total privacy.

When the time comes for large scale entertaining, a spacious pergola for dining will 
accommodate several dining tables, yet feels intimate for a small gathering, surrounded as 
it is by layered trees and shrubs. 

Because the “vibe” in the home is so inviting, the property has been used occasionally for 
arts and fundraising events.

Inside, the flexible, 3783 square foot floorplan offers three bedrooms, a main floor office or 
fourth bedroom, two and one half baths, plus a three car garage. 

The spacious kitchen includes a cooking and preparation island, extensive counter and 
storage cabinetry, breakfast bar seating, a walk-in pantry and an adjacent, casual dining 
room, all with those signature verdant views of the yard.

The family room, designed in a “club room” style, includes a walk-behind wet bar with 
barstool seating, storage and display, a corner, brick-faced fireplace, a window seat and 
French door to yet another covered patio.

Upstairs, the expansive master suite offers a generous bedroom with two-sided fireplace, 
a spacious sitting, exercise or home office area, a large walk-in closet, plus a grand master 
bathroom with a separate walk-in shower, a raised jetted tub, dual sinks on opposing walls 
and vanity seating.

The myriad of private outdoor spaces also includes a large second balcony overlooking the 
gardens, providing a lush, treetop view of the property. The balcony includes both shaded 
and sunny areas, depending on one’s preferences.

If you’re looking for a quiet retreat, grand entertaining opportunities or both, check out 
this newly listed property. 


Located at 477 N. Baldwin in Sierra Madre, this home is offered at $1,475,000 by Mary 
Poehler Bernstein of Dilbeck Real Living, and is also offered as part of their high end listing 
relationship with Christies. For more information, contact the agent at Mary.Bernstein@ or 626-297-7016. 


 The Arcadia Association of Realtors® (A.A.R.) has long advocated for a streamlined, standardized 
short sale process for homes that are currently worth less than what they were purchased for. 
Positive new changes announced this week by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) call 
for the alignment of guidelines for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac short sales and will allow lenders 
and servicers to quickly and more easily qualify borrowers for a short sale. 

Some specific changes that become effective Nov. 1, 2012 include:

• Eliminates current Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac short sale programs and creates a single 
standard short sale process for both entities (Fannie and Freddie HAFA programs will expire at 
the end of the year).
• Enables servicers to quickly and easily qualify certain borrowers who are current on their 
mortgages for short sales without waiting for an approval from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac
• Offers special treatment for military personnel with Permanent Change of Station (PCS) 
• Standardizes and clarifies foreclosure suspensions on a property with an approved short 
• May pay borrowers up to $3,000 in relocation assistance. 
• Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will offer up to $6,000 to subordinate lien holders to expedite 
a short sale. 

Additionally, FHFA clarified that a borrower experiencing a hardship must wait at least two years 
before becoming eligible for a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan.

These changes follow FHFA’s announcement in June that established strict timelines for servicers 
to respond to short sales within 30 days of receipt of a short sale offer, provide weekly status 
updates to the borrower, and communicate a final decision to the borrower within 60 days of 
receipt of the offer.

The A.A.R. fully expects these positive changes to help the thousands of local homeowners sell 
their short sale homes more quickly and will allow new homebuyers more easily qualify for a 
home purchase.

Representing local Realtors® in the San Gabriel Valley for 88 years, the ARCADIA ASSOCIATION 
OF REALTORS® ( is one of the oldest trade organizations in CA. The AAR 
is dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate and is an advocate for private 
property rights. A.A.R. is headquartered in Arcadia.


Buyer's market or seller's market - the simple fact is that your home is worth only what a 
buyer will pay for it. The simple law of supply and demand usually determines the final sale 
price. If there are fewer homes for sale in your area, then buyers must compete for those listings, 
making it a seller's market.

However, when there is a glut of homes for sale, buyers have more choice and more power 
to dictate price and terms, creating a buyer's market. Many communities are seeing large 
inventories of homes for sale, due to economic conditions and defaults.

So if your home is to get attention in those conditions, you've got to price aggressively against 
your competition. Do not overprice your home, because you may end up making even less 
money than if you had priced properly from the start. Why? Because sellers who overprice 
have to keep chasing the market down by reducing their price.

While setting a price is ultimately your decision and your decision alone, do some research 
and educate yourself first. Order an appraisal and consult with a real estate professional to 
get a realistic figure for your home's value. If you choose not to comply with current market 
value, then you won't be a seller, you'll just be an owner with a For Sale sign in the yard.

We’d like to hear from you! What’s on YOUR Mind?

Contact us at: or

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