1st Curse Broken

By Dave Fratello | November 4th, 2010
Back in August when a little cottage hit the market on 1st St. in the South End, we asked: Might the listing succeed in "Breaking the Curse on 1st?"

It did.

It was 516 1st, a smallish (3br/2ba, 1175 sq. ft.) cottage that launched at $1.219m and has just closed for $1.140m.

That reference to a "curse" on 1st was simply a fanciful way of noting the fact that 3 homes in a 3-block stretch of 1st, west of Valley and east of Highland, had failed to sell recently.

516 1st broke up that trend. It's not large or fancy, though the 4000 sq. ft. lot is bigger than your standard 2700 for the area. The 1.1-ish sale price partly reflects that greater lot size.

As we said of the home in our review after a tour:

Mainly you have to take the home for what it is: A groovy old beach cottage that's got all the bare essentials for life near the beach and some lovable quirks. Out back is an aging wood deck with space for a dining table (you can see it featured, with family members, in one of the listing pics), a sunken hot tub and a fun/funky old storage shed. (An old board shaper's studio?) A gate opens to the grass fields at Robinson, giving this home just about the biggest back yard in Manhattan Beach.
Also, the kitchen bore signs of an 80s/90s upgrade, nothing too current, and the baths were due for modernization as well. Though the home was livable, many buyers would plan to remodel it.

A stone's throw away, also next to the Robinson fields, a home twice the size with a greater location problem, and more pressing need for remodeling, sold for a little more in May.  215 S. Valley (4br/3ba, 2550 sq. ft.) closed in May for $1.235m.

Off busy 1st, but nearby, 421 2nd (4br/3ba, 1625 sq. ft., on a standard 2700 sq. ft. lot) is in escrow after listing for $1.299m.

Meanwhile, hoping to benefit from the breaking of the "curse" is 420 1st (2br/2ba, 1000 sq. ft.), which has been on and off the market over the past 20 months. That head-scratcher is newly priced -$100k/-9% off its June 2007 acquisition price at $975k today, probably just part way to where it needs to go for a deal to make sense. At least they have something of a real comp for buyers to go by now.

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