A Tale of Two Townhomes

Posted by Dave Fratello on Friday, May 11th, 2007 at 5:24am.

Neighbors can go to war over lots of things. Real estate pricing is increasingly the proximate cause of harsh words, and worse.

Curses are now being tossed around inside the townhome at 714 Manhattan Beach Blvd. (MBB). It's for sale, asking $1.349m, but today the neighboring townhome at 710 MBB dropped its list price to $1.249m – undercutting 714 MBB pretty badly.

The two townhomes are practically identical – same building, same beds/baths (3/3) and square footage (1675).

Actually, 710 MBB is the superior unit in the better location (714 is on busy MBB, 710 is interior). For two months, 710 MBB held its price a notch above 714 MBB at $1.379m, reflecting the location and the added value of its remodeled interior. (These pics show how an upgraded kitchen at 710 compares to the 1991 original you'll find at 714.)

But 710 MBB has gotta sell. The new listing language explains that this is a relocation sale. A third party with some smarts is now driving the pricing. Hence the aggressive, 10% move that also, not incidentally, destroys the price of the neighboring listing.

Here's where it gets worse for the sellers at 714 MBB...

They bought their TH in April 2006 for $1.355m. They put it up for sale 7 months later. Now, the neighbor has guaranteed them they will lose at least $100k if they sell.

If you're Mr. or Mrs. 710 MBB, you're glad to be somewhere else right about now.
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