We'll Take the Gaslamp

Posted by Dave Fratello on Monday, December 21st, 2009 at 5:26am.


A sharpened-up little postwar cottage in the gaslamp district just went for about a million, over at 528 24th. (Click for more pics & details via Redfin.) 

Here are some things about this taut little remodel that are not for the average family moving into MB:
  • 2 bedrooms. 
  • 1200 sq. ft.  
  • Not much of a yard on a 2700-odd sq. ft. lot, a size common to the area.
But if you can make it work, $1.060m (the closed price) is a decent price of entry. And the high-style home, just about perfect all around, will help make the tight squeezes seem a little less squeezy. (This virtual tour shows the listing pics with a bit more splash, but also some cloying smooth jazz.)

Add to all that the sense of getting a discount of sorts, and it feels right.

The same home was purchased just 3 years ago for more: $1.250m, and that was before the latest remodeling work. So by making their move now, the buyers saved at least 15% off the peak.

Before that 2006 sale, the home nearly doubled in value during the boom.

The first new owners of the 2000s took title in May 2002 for $645k. That was actually a lot of money back then, especially for a fixer, but that's the gaslamp district for you, always in demand for those who will take the tradeoffs – even 24th St., which is the street most affected by Grandview traffic on school days.

Add the post-2002 rehab work and the bubbly atmosphere we all lived in then, and the home rose $605k in value over 4 and a half years (+94%).

Some money went into a restyling of the home to its current, contemporary look after the 2006 purchase, so you could argue that its paper value rose even higher at some point before slipping back near $1m last week.

There really aren't recent comps from the area reflecting homes in similar, sweet condition, but there are few nearby sales, all near $1m-$1.2m (click any address for more pics & details via Redfin):
  • 543 24th, just down the block, was an REO needing work when it closed in June for $1.080m. That price was bid up from the REO's start at $891k (see "Closing an REO Loop" and "Two New REOs.") The home was clean, but dated and dark. Though it was a candidate for scraping, it's been spiffed up and rented out. A significantly larger lot (3640 sq. ft. = 33% more land) plus the poor condition make it just a reference, not a comp.

  • 537 21st (pictured), a couple blocks over near Valley and Live Oak Park, also just closed last week, for $1.010m. It has the same lot size as 528 24th and a third more living space at 1600 sq. ft., plus a third bedroom. But it's dated, and perhaps not livable as-is without serious work. We hear builders were sniffing around, but don't know the intent of the actual buyers.
  • 472 35th (3br/2ba, 1125 sq. ft.) requires a stretch, but is probably the closest comp among recent sales. It's not in the gaslamp at all, but it is in the Sand Section, up on the plateau near the end of a block. The home itself was essentially new, an open-feeling, mid-century-modern home that was fully redone this year. It sold for $1.195m in mid-November, right as 528 24th was getting under way at $1.150m, $90k above its final price.
If forced to choose between similar homes on the plateau near Rosecrans and on 24th St., we'll take the gaslamp, thanks.
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