Can't Fight the Future No More

Posted by Dave Fratello on Wednesday, March 11th, 2009 at 4:04am.

Almost 4 months ago in "Fighting the Future," MBC took note of the new home at 3413 Pacific (5br/6ba, 3400 sq. ft.).

We wondered aloud why the sellers bothered starting at $2.095m, when standard-issue newbies with location issues just weren't getting $2m anymore.

At that time, we gave 4 examples of recent sub-$2m sales of new homes in the Trees. Also, we pointed to the March 2007 sale of a new home a couple of doors down at 3405 Pacific (4br/4ba, 3200 sq.ft.), which sank to $1.775m to make a deal. (A discount during that year's Spring Rally!)

Since November, there's been 1 more newbie sold below $2m – the rather lovely 2829 Valley (5br/4ba, 3425 sq. ft.) at a new-low price of $1.650m. More pressure on 3413 Pacific.

And 7 other newbies are now priced below $2m, not moving. More pressure.

Oh, and since November, the bank took back 2 Tree Section newbies that couldn't find buyers – 2509 Palm (failed auction house, now back as a flip) and 2504 Poinsettia. Pressure?

Now 3413 Pacific has reacted. The listing has made a couple of moves – the price dropped to $1.799m, and, 4 months and $300k later, it's officially a short sale. What's more, a trustee's sale is currently slated for March 25. (Loans: about $1.65m; start price: $1.75m.) The future could not be held off, after all.

What are 3413 Pacific's issues? Location is a blow – the corner lot oriented to the northeast might have nice views of the Santa Monica Mountains and downtown L.A., if not for the refinery jutting up in the foreground. (To be fair, the refinery views from inside the home are blocked out with smoked glass.)

But the location can't be that bad – the neighbor across the street at 3505 Pacific just sold within about a week at $1.299m.

Then the other strikes must be the simple plainness of 3413 inside and its strange exterior. The mishmash of shingles, stucco and stapled-on stone, whether it was artistically inspired or unplanned, just doesn't work. (Click the pic above to enlarge, you'll get a better idea.)

Before 3413 Pacific hit the market, last Spring or Summer, it was offered for rent for $9,500-$9,800/mo., as noted by commenters and by MBC's story, "Why Sell When You Can Rent?" We speculated then that the property had rented because "the builder knew it would have a very hard time selling."

It seems the options now are: 1) Rent it out again, 2) Sell it short, maybe for another new low in the Trees, or 3) Bank takes a third newbie.

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UPDATE: A reference to an upcoming trustee's sale scheduled for March 25 was added.
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