East MB Bucket (5)

Posted by Dave Fratello on Thursday, October 9th, 2008 at 4:16am.

As we kick off a new East MB Bucket, we see that a home in one of our town's very worst locations is back on the market about a year or so after we last saw it up.

The Gateway to MB east of Sepulveda is 1856 Marine (click for pics & details via Redfin), which shares a couple of characteristics with 4419 Highland, the ill-fated new construction at 45th/Highland that said "so long" last week, renting out to a group of kids rather than sell. (See "Goodbye to An Old Friend.")

1856 Marine, like 45th/Highland, is on an incredibly busy corner across from a gas station. In this case, it abuts two busy roads (Aviation and Marine), not just one.

The home itself is on the small side (3br/3ba, 1250 sq. ft.) and crusty, though improved a bit from what we've seen there in recent years. It's dated inside, and the lawns are dead outside. At least the floors are spruced up.

Deservingly, 1856 Marine (pictured) is the lowest-priced SFR in all of MB right now at $679k – which the listing calls "very little $$$."

(A close second is 1163 Meadows (click for details), which actually claims to be the "least expensive house in Manhattan Beach" at $789k. Not quite, but give it time.)

Now here's where it begins to get interesting. 1856 Marine was last sold for $900k, just a bit over a year ago (June 2007). It's in default now, on the road to foreclosure, although it's priced a cool $221k below last Summer's acquisition price, so it may not go to the courthouse steps.

Let's go back one more year before the $900k sale. In May 2006, one person grabbed this property for $745k. Just a few months later, in August, someone else bought it for essentially the same price ($744,545).

That August 2006 owner seemed to roll into some kind of trouble, and from what we can see in the records via PropertyShark.com, was facing foreclosure by Spring 2007. And then along came $900k worth of salvation, which turned out to be a particularly bad investment.

Does this all look completely normal and straightforward? No. The only things that are clear are that this prop is now down from its 2006 price(s) and likely to net the current owner a big loss at the list price.

As awful as 1856 Marine may be, that price could be a real draw. Just a few doors down, 1842 Marine recently went into escrow with a last list price of $788k. That home is only a tad bigger (1425 sq. ft.) and a few more doors off Aviation.

We don't know who wants these homes at $700k and $800k, but investors are funny that way – see a bargain, grab it, think about it later.

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As before, please use this "East MB Bucket" thread to post information about all listings and goings-on east of Sepulveda, data, critiques, news, etc.
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