I'm an agent and I live and work in South Pasadena. I agree with both answers below. Both places have many things to offer. However, I would like to add that South Pasadena has a fantastic public school system which is why most families chose to live here. This helps keep the property values high. This is an enormous plus when thinking for future re-sale value. There are not many towns in the metro LA area that can boast about their school system. It is something we are very proud of here in South Pasadena.
I am an agent in the Sherman Oaks area, I am very familiar with many of the current listings and I know you would find a large selection of single family homes to choose from in Sherman Oaks within your price range. I would be happy to email you a customized search. Please visit my website to learn more about my buyer's rebate program. Let me know if I can answer any questions you have. Good luck!
I am an agent in the Pasadena area and am very familiar with South Pasadena. South Pas is a fantastic community with great schools and a great neighborhood vibe. It is close to freeways and also has beautiful architecture. I did a search in South Pasadena of all properties (including condos) available under $600,000. There are 15 properties in that category with an average square footage of 1,165 and an average $/sq ft of $416. South Pas is an expensive community, and I wonder if there is another community in the Pasadena area that could meet your needs and better fit into your price range. There are wonderful areas of Pasadena or Altadena, which could rival South Pas from a neighborhood perspective and would still be an excellent financial decision. I would encourage you to do a thorough search of all of the surrounding neighborhoods and see if you can find something that fits in your budget and provides an excellent living environment. Living in and around Pasadena is a fantastic decision!