$1m to Cross the Street?

By Dave Fratello | February 7th, 2008
Face it: Highland Ave. sometimes seems like the Sepulveda of the Sand Section.

To be anywhere west of Highland is to be quite nearly on the beach. From 2nd St. to the 30s (i.e., not El Porto), west of Highland also means walkstreets. Ocean views. Heaven.

To be east of Highland means you have to cross a dreaded, busy street just to shuffle down to the sand. (And good luck to you or your kids crossing Highland safely, by the way.) Depending on where you are east of Highland, you might not even have an ocean view, even in the low-numbered addresses.

There's no question there's a disparity here, but it's hard to quantify. What's the premium to be west of Highland? The start prices on two comparable new homes suggest that premium could be $1 million.

The new home west of Highland is 200 19th (click for pics and details via Redfin). It's a cape style home (pictured above), very well done, offering 5br/4ba and 4200 sq. ft. on a full lot (2700 sq. ft.). You also get a 3-stop elevator (increasingly standard, isn't it?). From the patio and balconies, you get nice ocean views. It's a lot of house, high-quality – and it had better be, since they're asking $5.849m.

The new home east of Highland is 332 20th (pictured here). As MBC just wrote in the newest Market Update, it's a "spectacular and special new Spanish home near the top of the hill, offering big ocean views and a warm, custom feel." Size and features are similar: 5br/5ba (including partials), 4200 sq. ft. and a full-size lot, plus elevator. It's a top-tier achievement, yet they're asking $4.795m, fully $1.055m less than 200 19th.

So, if all aspects of these new homes were essentially equal, you could say it will cost a new-home buyer $1m to cross the street and buy west of Highland.

What do you think the premium ought to be? We've crafted a poll based on these two new listings to help get at that question.

We're asking what the spread ought to be between these two homes based on location, relative to Highland. No doubt there are other factors affecting the price spread, which you may, of course, consider in your response.

You may want to visit the homes we'll discuss. We'll hold this vote open till Sunday night to allow time for readers to drop in and comment. When you're ready, vote in the upper-left column of the front page, and support your rationale in the comments here.

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