Monticello Returns

Posted by Dave Fratello on Friday, November 19th, 2010 at 5:08am.

It was just 50 weeks ago that we poked a little fun at 2100 Pine, a terrific custom build that was being marketed as a landmark home.

A specific landmark home, that is: Pine was compared to Monticello in the first line of the listing description. (See our post, "Monticello?" from back then, complete with a photo of the real thing in Charlottesville.)

The comparison was dubious at best, but we did say, "give them points for novelty."

A month after that post, 2100 Pine (5br/5ba, 3100 sq. ft.) had a deal, and it closed for $2.1m this March. (The folks who custom-built it for themselves had tried to sell it for as much as $2.425m for several months before the "Monticello" moniker got stuck onto the property.)

Now, things have changed for the new owners, and they've put Monticello 2100 Pine back on the market just 8 months later. (We're told it's a new job within SoCal, too far to commute.)

Recognizing that the week before Thanksgiving is a suboptimal time to start your listing, they're launching at $1.995m, a smidge (5%) below this year's acquisition price.

And this time the marketing makes no reference to Monticello. No direct reference, anyway.

There is this curious symmetry between the last (successful) listing's writeup and the new one:

LAST: "Picture Jefferson's Monticello home. Now enter this custom built home & you can't help but recall that stately historical landmark..." (boldface added)

CURRENT: "This beautiful custom home feels like you are in a stately historical landmark..." (boldface added again)
OK, so we're going with "stately historical landmark" again.

The previous agent may have a plagiarism case, if that were the sort of battle that real estate agents engaged in.

We'll give you a fuller writeup on the home itself in tomorrow's "Weekend Opens" post. It's truly great and deserves a fair description in its own right.

Meantime, can't we try a different, more radical marketing angle?

What about those rumors of buried treasure? Something about a local oil magnate's daughter hiding all her most exquisite jewels in a nondescript metal box to keep them away from her philandering husband. This was back in the 30s. You know the story. And you probably heard about what the construction crews found a few years ago at 2100 Pine, before they were ordered to hurriedly pour concrete to keep on schedule.

Also, what about the poltergeist reports? Isn't it true that several homes in the area have been visited by "paranormal detectives" following an extraordinary trail of evidence, much of it pointing to 2100 Pine? Could the ghost be the daughter? And what does she want now?

All we're sure of is that the sellers want $1.995m. More tomorrow.
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