Relocating to South Pasadena and planning to rent ... should we sign a lease without seeing the property?

Asked by Dawn, Los Angeles, CA Thu May 21, 2009

My family of 4 is relocating to South Pasadena this summer. We live in Florida, and will not be able to come out to look at rental homes before we arrive. I am thinking of signing a lease before arriving, so that we can go there immediately and not have to stay in a hotel, keep furniture in storage, etc while looking for a place. Is that possible or is it crazy to sign a lease without seeing it first? We are seeking a 2-bedroom home or townhome for about $2K/month. Thanks!

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Matthew Bart…, Agent, Glendora, CA
Thu May 21, 2009
Hi Dawn,

You received some good advice from the Realtors below with regards to hiring a Realtor to represent you. La Real Estate Agent also made a good point that for about the same price of a monthly rental you could purchase a home as well. However, even after hiring an agent I personally would not recommend that you sign a lease without seeing the property first. Just like a buyer should never buy a home without looking at the property first hand. Even with a trusted Realtor taking pictures and asking many questions as to what you are looking for. Ultimately it comes down to seeing the property first hand that determines if the home is right for you and your family. And remember pictures can be deceiving. I have seen pictures of many homes where the homes looked very nice. Only to preview the property and be shocked and wonder if I was seeing the same home. Good luck!

0 votes
South Pas Guy, , South Pasadena, CA
Thu May 28, 2009
I'm a South Pas resident. Do you children? There are 3 public elementary schools in the city, 1 middle school and 1 high school. Admissions to the elementary schools is based on the geographic location of your residence. All 3 elementary schools are excellent but I would daresay that most parents would want their kids to attend Marengo, then Monterey Hills, then Arroyo Vista. You need to find a rental in the geographic area served by the school you want your kids to attend. If your kids are in middle or high school it doesn't matter where you live in the city.

The value of the homes, and the cost of renting also varies with the location of the home to the elementary school district. The home prices and rents in the Marengo district are higher than the Arroyo Vista district.

The city is very walkable, but some locations are much more convenient than others so I would suggest you look at the property before signing the lease.

I don't think you'll find too many 2-br townhomes or homes for $2k/mo in South Pas. The rents are high because of the excellent schools.
0 votes
Rowena Emmett, Agent, La Canada, CA
Sat May 23, 2009

We work in the South Pasadena area. It is our opinion that you should see the property before signing a lease. Perhaps the best strategy would be to monitor the properties for lease before you arrive (a real estate agent can email you current listings, and keep you updated), then arriving a few days earlier than your furniture and belongings to allow you time to secure a lease.

Since you are signing a binding contract, our opinion is to spend the $$ necessary to see the property before you lease.

With best regards,
Fran and Rowena
Web Reference:
0 votes
Dawn, Home Buyer, Los Angeles, CA
Fri May 22, 2009
I think you are right. I might get lucky and have a great place, or I might regret it for the next year. In that case, maybe I should consider a place the allows me to rent by the month. Does anyone know of such places in South Pasadena?

Thanks very much!
0 votes
L.A. Real Es…, , Los Angeles, CA
Thu May 21, 2009
Hi Dawn
Like the prior expert mentioned, you should speak to a trustworthy agent...someone who can send you pictures and details that you woudl need to know. Another reason to use an agent is because they often have access to "pocket" leases which are not listed in any particular site. Have you considered buying?? There are many great deals available to qualified buyers who can get a morgage for about that rental price. You can access the MLS throught our website at to find out more.
Hope this helps...Pasadena is beautiful!
Good luck with the move.
Lou Arakelian

LA Real Estate Group
Lou Arakelian
Alex Golshan
0 votes
John Barry, Agent, Eagle Rock, VA
Thu May 21, 2009
Hi Dawn,

If you are planning to sign a lease without looking at the property, it would be good if you had an agent that you trusted who could preview the properties for you and let you know firsthand what they look like so there will be (hopefully!) no surprises. South Pasadena is a beautiful area - I live in Eagle Rock which is right next door.. If you have any questions or if I can help you out in any way, please feel free to contact me via email or phone - my contact info is below..

Thanks, have a good day! Best of luck in your family's move!
John Barry
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
15490 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
Cell: 323-810-7976
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Rental Basics in South Pasadena Zip Codes

Email me when…

Learn more