Pricing Poll: 2300 Poinsettia

Posted by Dave Fratello on Friday, November 7th, 2008 at 7:53pm.

Pricing a home is both art and science. It's always inexact. The market will ultimately tell you what's right.

And yet, sometimes, if a listing is terribly overpriced, it's obvious.

The sellers of 2300 Poinsettia are going to need some advice, and soon. (Click any highlighted address in this story for more pics & details via Redfin.)

They have listed this modest 4br/3ba, 2050 sq. ft. home at $1.749m, which seems wrong for all kinds of reasons.

MBC readers can try to help steer them right, so they might avoid the scenario we've seen play out time and again recently – start too high, and you could hang around for a year or more and chase the market down.

Case in point: 1829 Poinsettia, a tricked-out cottage that began more than 500 days ago in May 2007 at $1.785m, and restarted again this week (4th agent) at $1.199m (-$586k/-33% from last year's beginning price).

It doesn't have to be that way at 2300 Poinsettia. Can you help?

Please read the story below and vote in our new pricing poll. Explain your vote in the comments. The home is open this Sunday, 1-4pm, so we'll hold the vote open till 8 p.m. Tuesday night to give time for people to see it and review it.


Let's start with the last sale at 2300 Poinsettia. The home was listed for several months in 2006, beginning at $1.399m. Over time it settled down, and was acquired for $1.269m in Jan. 2007. The price per square foot: $619/PSF.

The markup today, less than 2 years later, is +$480k (+38%), and the new PPSF is $852.

The listing calls this is a remodel with great attention to detail. No question, the home needed some help – in its 2006 version, it was sweet in parts, but frumpy in others. In theory, you get a little bump for the updating, but probably not $480k.

The home itself has a couple of liabilities that no update can cure. The location is more or less at the end of intersecting, downsloping 23rd St., which someone once told us was bad feng shui.

Meanwhile, the home is built on a downslope lot, with some of the bedrooms and living spaces below grade – a bit dark for our tastes.

By way of comparison, let's first look at a few comparably sized homes in the area:

  • 2907 Pacific offers 1br, 1ba and 150 sq. feet less than our subject property here, but it's sweet, nicely updated, and all on one level, which can be a real plus for some families. Pacific recently trimmed down to $1.099m ($578/PSF).
  • Nearby, 2622 Pacific offers 1br less and 250 sq. ft. more in living space. Location is an issue but the home stacks up decently against 2300 Poinsettia. Listed at $1.299m ($568/PSF). (Two failed escrows on this one were both buyer-side problems, we are assured.)
  • 539 23rd is on a quiet street in the gaslight section, straddling the Tree Section and Sand. It offers 4br/2ba and 1900 sq. ft. on a smaller lot (3650 sq. ft.) and is dated in parts. If you're willing to work a bit, this one has a leg up on 2300 Poinsettia, but is priced at $1.475m ($776/PSF).
So there are some decent options priced $274k-$650k lower.

Now, let's look at what else you can get for about $1.749m in the Tree Section:
  • In this price ballpark, our hands-down favorite is 3314 Laurel (pictured), currently at $1.825m with 4 months of service time. This home is far larger than 2300 Poinsettia, offering 4br/3ba and 3450 sq. ft., and the recent remodel is incredibly crisp and professional. Note: The PPSF here is $529/PSF.
  • Just a few blocks down the road from our subject property is 2600 Poinsettia, also considerably larger at 4br/4ba and 3200 sq. ft. Great atmosphere, landscaping and custom touches, now at $1.799m.
  • If you don't mind busier streets, you can get new or newer homes at 646 Rosecrans (new) for $1.750m, 3011 Valley (newer) for $1.799m, 3212 Blanche (newer) for $1.849m or 2829 Valley (new) for $1.899m. All are larger by 500-1200 sq. ft.
Amid this selection, 2300 Poinsettia appears to be out of its league.

The home is slated to be open to the public this Sunday, 1-4pm. We'll reference it again in the "Weekend Opens" feature.

If 2300 Poinsettia sells, how much should it sell for?
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