$1 Mill on the Hill

By Dave Fratello | January 10th, 2012
It's not often that you'll find a cheap home in the Hill Section. The words don't fit together well.

But this week brings a rare $1m listing of a livable – actually remodeled – SFR.

The new listing is 303 Larsson (3br/2ba, 1800 sq. ft.), popping up Sunday at $1.0m.

What you expect is the 1950s vintage of the original home and the skinny, small lot (3430 sq. ft.) in a row of several smaller lots. And you know the location is on Larsson, last street before Sepulveda – although this one's on the "right" side of Larsson (west).

What you don't expect – and which will create a little buzz around 303 Larsson – is a recently remodeled home with hardwood floors, a nice and modern kitchen, redone baths and plenty of square footage. All that plus a little yard that might even be larger than some Tree Section grass patches.

We'll get you more on this one after a tour, but for now let's look at the listing in context.

Most recent sale of a comparable nature: 511 Dianthus (3br/2ba, 1900 sq. ft.), a 60s box that needed refreshing, which sold for $1.030m in April 2010. 

As we noted in "Reboot, Retry, Succeed" (March 2010), that one missed the market horribly, starting out in March 2008 at $1.429m before renting out during the market's dive in April 2009. It was only upon returning in a different environment, and with a much different price, that this one found buyers and clocked in a bit over $1m.

How rare are Hill Section sales under $1m?

The total number of livable SFRs (not land purchases) sold since 2003 for less than $1m: 5.

Just five. They are:
1022 Duncan Place got $850k last year

1022 Duncan Place (3br/2ba, 1700 sq. ft., 4000 sq. ft. lot) is the most recent, a smallish home that needed work and which was first offered in late 2010 at $1.025m.

It sold for a lot less in April 2011: $850k. It's now deep into that much-needed remodel. Not much you can do to improve the location, though – Duncan Place is essentially an alley.

505 Anderson (4br/2ba, 1850 sq. ft.), a 60s fixer on a lot slightly smaller than 303 Larsson's at 3250 sq. ft. – sold for $825k in Feb. 2009.

400 Larsson got $985k in '06.
400 Larsson (3br/2ba, 1550 sq. ft.) (pictured), a 70s house with Tudor-ish flavor and some updates that sold for $985k in Dec. 2006. This is the "oldest" sub-$1m sale by a lot. Note that this one's on the "wrong" side of Larsson.

402 Larsson (there's that street again), a short sale of a home we had called "flawed" and "crusty" here while it tried to find its market from 2007 ($1.1m) down to the closed sale in June 2009.

402 Larsson was the low sale of the year 2009 at $816k.

1100 John
1100 John (3br/2ba, 1550 sq. ft.), an older cottage that backs up onto a new commercial building and is only steps to MBB. This one fetched $975k in August 2008 and was our low sale for that year in the Hills.

Save for these 2006-2011 sub-$1m sales, there's nothing until you go back to November 2003, when 1019 8th (3br/2ba, 1700 sq. ft.) traded for $975k. That, as you may note, was a long time ago.

Unofficial entrant in the SFRs-at-or-under-$1m list: 234 Larsson (3br/3ba, 2300 sq. ft.) sold for $1.0m in Oct. 2010 as a short sale – a failed flip from too late in the last upcycle. This home is actually a TH that was serially listed among the SFRs for whatever reason. (Note: the Redfin link there goes to an erroneous "pending" listing that's stuck in MLS limbo. The home – just a few steps from 303 Larsson – did sell.)


Hat tip to commenter tabithamadison for the inspiration for our headline!

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