A Few Late 2010 Closings

Posted by Dave Fratello on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010 at 4:36am.

There always seems to be a minor rush to get sales closed by Dec. 31. Three of the most recent sales are noteworthy – one for the fact that it took so many, many months to happen.

Fairly quick on the scale is 509 N. Dianthus (3br/3ba, 2250 sq. ft.). This one was last purchased in May 2009 for $1.150m. Before then, the home had been upgraded from its 60s vintage, but the newest (short-term) owners gave it a much more contemporary flair, redoing the kitchen, flooring and such.

Before you knew it, they decided to move to a different home in the Hills, and 509 Dianthus was back on market just 16 months later, right after Labor Day this year.

Hoping to recoup the costs of their upgrades, the owners sought $1.349m to start this year, but they took quite a bit less after 2 months on market.

The sale has closed for $1.215m, a jump of nearly 6% – but just $65k – over the pre-remodel value from last year. Subtract sales commissions, and it would appear the sellers walked out getting all their purchase cash back, but the remodel worked out to be a gift to the new owners. ('Tis the season.)

Over in the Trees, 747 26th (4br/4ba, 2825 sq. ft.) is a late-70s build with issues that drew our notice in "How Near, How Far," as one that seemed to be priced "far" from where it ought to be.

As we pointed out then, the listing began at $1.649m and had recently cut to $1.599m after 6 weeks. Of that small move, MBC said, "[t]hat suggests too much confidence in a $1.5m+ price."

The recent closing at $1.490m can be interpreted either way as to MBC's view. It's not above $1.5m – which we thought was too much – but it was barely below that mark, and, frankly, it sold quicker than we might have expected, running just about 2 months on market before a deal was made. (Worth noting: The buyer's agent is from out of the area.)

Location's nice, but we raised these concerns:

The late-70s build feels like a home that's been sporadically remodeled from room to room, but never completely. Some parts are original or barely improved. The layout poses challenges. The back yard has a pool, which some buyers really want, but many find to be a challenge.
The balance seems to have worked in favor of a $1.5m fixer for the new owners.

Also worth noting: A charming, greatly updated home across the street at 746 26th (5br/3ba, 2500 sq. ft.), which has a 5120 sq. ft. lot like 747 does, closed for $1.8m in mid-September.


1765 Voorhees (3br/1ba, 1100 sq. ft., 6000 sq. ft. lot) is a short sale in East Manhattan (practically North Redondo) that makes this list for one main reason: It's been pending forever.

Short sales often have a way of dragging, but this one went on for several months in both 2009 and 2010. It must be some kind of record. If you ever did a search, say, on Redfin, for pending properties, you've seen it clogging up the works over and over again.

A listing that launched in Oct. 2008 first posted a deal 5 months later in March 2009. It hung around in some form of "pending" status for the whole remainder of 2009, only to return in January this year, seeking $700k – or $50k more than the last list price. (We might infer that the lender took a long time to reject a $650k offer.)

The latest deal posted in April and it just hung around – again – for nearly 8 more months.

But now, a few days before Christmas, someone new has taken title, paying $700k for the privilege. That's $120k (-15%) below the July 2004 acquisition price, a rewind into 2002-03 pricing that hasn't exactly been the norm in other parts of town this year.
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