Laurel Deal's Done

Posted by Dave Fratello on Tuesday, April 26th, 2011 at 2:45pm.

A Tree Section house partly covered in ivy, featuring barred windows and gold shag carpeting, has found a new owner. The deal price: $995k.

That's really just the start of the issues we found over at 3100 Laurel (4br/3ba, 2100 sq. ft.). When escrow posted in early March, we said the home "has almost too many flaws to count," with a layout we said was "shockingly awkward," partly due to the mid-level garage. (Bedroom, bedroom, closet, garage. What, garage?)

We had previously called it "a major project that shows every bit of its mid-60s vintage," and said "[i]t'll take a visionary."

But we also viewed the inclined lot as poorly suited to development, imagining that this would be a remodel at some point. We remain eager to see what someone can do with it.

Going back, back, back to September last year, we were also astonished to see 3100 Laurel start at $1.399m. At the time, the (first) listing called the home a "diamond in the rough" and a "tropical paradise," suggesting that it needed only "some TLC."

Sometimes, you really can't believe what you read – and you shouldn't believe that the price tag means anything at all.

On our first tour of the property, the (first) listing agent did not attempt to justify the start price. She intimated that the seller would be considering a reduction if it didn't sell quickly.

Well, yes, that had to happen, but if you aren't frank enough to say "you're asking me to price this property 30% too high," you won't be around when a deal is finally made. And she wasn't around when Laurel sold for 29% less.

It's an odd house with uncertain potential, north of Valley and steps away from Pacific. We keep mentioning the issues with the house for one reason: A sale price just short of $1m is actually a decent sign for the immediate neighborhood, which also includes a recent sale at 2920 Laurel, a sharp remodel of a 2-level, traditional home (3br/2ba, 1875 sq. ft.) that closed for $1.249m.

Also looking at 3100 Laurel as a sign: 3201 Laurel (3br/2ba, 1650 sq. ft.), a 50s cottage that has lingered since November, now asking $1.124m, right in the middle of these 2 neighbors pricewise. When will they get a bite?
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