Smart Upon Entry

Posted by Dave Fratello on Tuesday, March 15th, 2011 at 4:36am.

There was something unusual about each of 3 recent listings that sold quickly.

Now that they've closed in a bunch, we also see that they all, also, closed unusually close to their start prices.

Let's start with 700 13th, a relatively rare offering in the Marytrs area. Up at the corner of 13th/Highview, the 7br/5ba, 3125 sq. ft. house was – wait, did that say 7 bedrooms? – whoa, yes, it did have 7.

The home was a quirky remodel of an early-60s original that had a Winchester Mystery House sort of echo – around every corner, there's a staircase and some kind of bedroom. Alas, the home's ocean peeks are very limited, and its features mostly dated. It will be a project house.

Still, someone liked that $1.295m start price enough to jump quickly. It lasted 2 DOM and has closed for $1.3m now.

With newer construction along nearby blocks, it's a good question what the lot value might be here – a 3300 sq. ft. corner lot with a little blue? Look just down the hill a bit to 612 13th – it's a 10-year-old, luxurious home (5br/5ba, 4375 sq. ft.) with huge views that's up now at $3.299m. The lot's just 10% bigger at 3670 sq. ft.

4104 Highland (3br/4ba, 2550 sq. ft.) had a troubled history, as we detailed in "Quick Deals in Early '11."

There was a peak-year overpay (2005 at $1.450m), a long, failed listing, a foreclosure and, finally, a market sale in June 2009 sale for $970k.

The home was tidied up and remodeled a bit thereafter, before this year's attempt to sell for $1.069m. This year, it didn't last.  In fact, it hung around for about 10 days before someone agreed to pay $2k more than list – the sale just closed at $1.071m.

Yes, that's 26% off the peak-year overpay, but we're not sure how much to rely on the price paid by the imprisoned fraudster former owner. Seems he was some kind of self-appointed "expert" in real estate flipping.


1604 Poinsettia (5br/4ba, 3125 sq. ft.) is an REO that just closed for its precise asking price, $1.632m. It had lasted less than a week in late January/early February.

As we noted in "New Tree REO," the home was purchased new in late 2004 by investors, who paid $1.8m and moved in some tenants. By December 2005, they pulled off a resale for $2.2m (+$400k/+22%).

The gravy train crashed, though, and in 2010 the home foreclosed. The new price is a dramatic rewind of $568k (-26%) off the late-2005 acquisition, but actually not a bad deal for 2011.

For all the oddities about each of these listings that make them different, the eyebrow-raising, unifying factor among them is that they all stuck their start prices here early in 2011. Never a bad strategy.
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