Historic Cypress Court in Pasadena, CA, presents an intriguing option for any would-be landlord.
On the market for $3,495,000, the multiunit property consists of eight historic bungalows built between 1923 and 1928. One of 17 such courts in the city, the miniature complex was added to the National Register of Historic Places in July 1983.
“Pasadena is considered the birthplace of the bungalow court. They’re small-scale individual housing units around a courtyard,” explains the listing agent, Thomas Flanagan with Compass.
The first bungalow court was built in 1909 as a place for wealthy vacationers.
“They’re all throughout Hollywood, and only about 350 of them remain standing,” Flanagan says.
The multiunit concept with a central courtyard faded away as developers sought to squeeze more tenants onto their parcels.
“When they changed zoning in the 1930s, people started building fourplexes, and they started building up, to get more room,” Flanagan says. “They don’t build [these courts] anymore, and I think it’s kind of sad they stopped.”
The eight, small, gabled-roofed homes total 5,584 square feet and sit on a half-acre of land divided into two parcels, each with four units.
Technically, the agent says, they would be classified as late 19th and 20th century Revival or Colonial Revival, “but in Southern California, and especially Pasadena, we would call these Craftsman-style bungalows.”
On the application for the National Register, the homes are referred to as Colonial Revival.
Two of the units have one bedroom and one bathroom and the other six feature two bedrooms and one bathroom. All have hardwood floors, washer/dryer hookups, and are separately metered for gas and electric.
“They’re cozy. It’s really like your own individual house with a little front yard and a little side area too,” the agent says.
All of the homes are in decent shape, but Flanagan says the common areas could use some TLC. He suggests a resurfacing of the driveway and parking areas and adding some barbecues and picnic tables.
“There’s a great little community,” he says. “Most of the tenants have been in there for a long time, which is great, because people really love it.”
Rental rates for the units are currently 35% below market value, so Flanagan says a purchase of Cypress Court presents a good investment opportunity. The investor will need to understand the historic value of such a property. Because of the historic designation, a buyer can’t come in and make drastic changes.
“In Pasadena, and for projects like this,” Flanagan says, “there is almost an artistic buyer who really sees this as a long-term hold—something they really want to keep as kind of a gem in their portfolio.”
The appeal of the property, he says, both to buyers and to renters, is partly the individual houses and partly the cachet of a Craftsman-style bungalow in Pasadena.
“Everybody seems super excited about it,” he says. “We’ve gotten a ton of activity.”
- For more photos and details, check out the full listing.