If you watched “Father of the Bride” with envy—admiring the complex relationship between George and Annie Banks, or wistfully dreaming up your own backyard wedding—the news that the Alhambra, California, home was for sale just a few years ago may have sent you running to mortgage calculators.
What could a home like that—a gorgeous 4,400-square-foot center-hall colonial on a tree-lined street—possibly cost? And what would it take to afford something so grand?
When the home was on the market in June 2016, it was listed for a cool $1.998 million. According to Zillow’s mortgage calculator, a standard 20 percent down payment would cost you $399,600. From then on, you’d be looking at monthly payments of approximately $9,873 per month, or $118,476 per year, including taxes and interest.
In order to afford that and not live beyond your means, you’d want those payments to account for 28 percent or less of your annual income. And that means you’d have to make approximately $423,500 per year to afford the “Father of the Bride” house. That’s a hefty chunk of change!
Since the “Father of the Bride” house is, sadly, not currently for sale, we spoke to Michael Bell, the No. 1 Sotheby’s real estate agent in the area, to check out some comparable homes currently for sale.
Interestingly, there wasn’t much. “There just aren’t that many comparables, and for good reason,” says Bell. “Alhambra doesn’t have many neighborhoods with only single-family properties. About half of the housing stock is multi-family apartments or condos. The single-family neighborhoods are relatively rare.”
There is currently only one single-family home over $1.5 million for sale in Alhambra; so far this year, only two others that fit this criteria have sold.
If Alhambra is where you want to be, and you want to move now, you’ll have to shell out a cool $2.68 million for the only high-end single-family home on the market right now. You do get a lot for your money—the 3,600-square-foot home has four bedrooms and five bathrooms. It sits at the end of long, private cul-de-sac and features a covered patio, a full tennis court, and a black bottom pool.
If your budget doesn’t quite align with that type of property, you might consider one of the condos in the area instead. Approximately $719,000 will get you an updated, but relatively bare-bones, three bedroom, three bathroom condo in Alhambra. (You’ll need to make approximately $195,000 per year to comfortably afford this kind of home.) The perk to condo living? The community features an attractive courtyard with an outdoor fireplace, BBQ area, and fountains, as well as fitness and recreation rooms. The complex is also conveniently located near supermarkets, dozens of restaurants, Costco, shopping, movie theater, and a golf course.
For more single family options, check out nearby San Marino or Pasadena—but be prepared to spend even more than you would for something comparable in Alhambra. “Prices start in San Marino at over $1 million,” says Bell. “Most of the reason for the high desirability is the zoning and the schools—the San Marino School District was ranked No. 1 in the State of California.”
As far as Pasadena goes? “For $700,000 to $800,000 in Pasadena, someone could buy a slight fixer/cosmetic fixer in a more desirable neighborhood that would be about 1,500 square feet and have two to three beds,” says Bell. “Under $700,000, you would be looking at a heavy fixer home.”