Awkwaaard!

Posted by Dave Fratello on Thursday, October 23rd, 2008 at 10:59pm.

We return to the flat South End walkstreets for a tale of two cottages.

New on the market is 429 7th, a 4br/3ba, 2125 sq. ft. remodel. (Pictured; as always, click highlighted address for more pics & details via Redfin.)

It can't help but be compared to 424 5th – 4br/3ba, 1925 sq. ft., also active at this time.

Both are cute little places in one of the quieter parts of town with those family-friendly walkstreets.

Both are around the same vintage – updated, of course.

Both have some great, beachy décor.

Both hit the market at the same start price: $2.399m.

And both have the same agent.

After that, the stories begin to diverge.

424 5th (pictured) has been around since Labor Day, about 6 weeks. In that time, it has already taken a big cut: -$300k/-13%, down to $2.099m.

One reason is probably the layout. After Mrs. MBC picked the home as a weekend must-see, several comments flowed back, including:
  • It has a flip-flop layout with the bedrooms all on the entry level and the common rooms up on top. The master bedroom is the room that juts out onto the front (walk-street facing) patio.
  • It's a cute house but it's LESS than 2000 sq. ft with NO VIEW and in the middle of the block... I think it'll linger for awhile till the price comes down substantially to today's price.
  • They will never get that price [$2.399m].
  • 5th is priced like it deserves several premiums on top of each other. [by your blog author]
We have to agree – if you're on a walkstreet, you probably want a home with living spaces that open onto the walkstreet, to take full advantage of the lifestyle. If your kitchen is upstairs and your master is on the first floor by the walkstreet, you're not living the ideal.

So 424 5th is beginning to adjust to deal with its overly ambitious start price and its liabilities, to say nothing of current market conditions.

Now, say you've got the new listing at 429 7th. Dare you compare it to 5th?

Yes, you do.

Even if you're also repping 5th?

Yes, you do.

The second line of the listing language for 7th sings:
The floor plan is great for family living with 4 bedrooms on the second level including a very spacious master suite with extensive woodwork.
In other words, this is no 424 5th. Awkward!

And there was the matter of pricing. Where to begin? Hey, we just started another remodeled cottage two blocks away at $2.399m. Why not do the same here?

As long as both homes are on the market, they will dance with one another. It's inevitable.

If 7th proves to be overpriced at $2.4m, its downward adjustments could trickle down to 5th, which will likely always be the less desirable of the 2.

How much these 2 listings may interact – putting aside the same-agent factor – depends on how they really stack up head-to-head.

Fortunately, both are open this Sunday. We'll highlight both of them again in MBC's "Weekend Opens" feature this weekend and encourage your feedback.
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