Around 1.3 in the Sand

By Dave Fratello | June 13th, 2013

You liked that post yesterday about 1.3-ish homes in the Trees. We heard that a bunch.

A new closing on Thursday opened the door here for us to look at recent 1.3-ish sales in the Sand Section, too.

That's 132 Marine (3br/2ba, 1400 sq. ft.), an ocean-view TH with the liability of being along 2 busy streets.

You can tell from the outside that it's a bit dated, though the kitchen inside is newer. It's got limited common space and the views aren't extremely well-featured, but they're there, and this home almost couldn't be closer to the water – an uninterrupted short walk down a wide sidewalk to the warm white sand.

Like so many listings we've seen go this year, this one has a troubled history on the market.

It ran virtually all of 2012, it seemed, launching in March at $1.399M and going all the way till November, with a last posted asking price of $1.199M.

We had clients tour it, but they just could not quite make the place work for them, even at $1.2M.

This year, 132 Marine returned in March, higher, at $1.250M.

But here's the surprise: After 10 days, they made a deal over asking – the sale has just posted at $1.300M, or a full $100K more than they did not get last Fall.

That $1.300M is the same number hit by a much larger, much newer TH up the street at 229 Marine (3br/4ba, 1850 sq. ft.) just back in February.

That one's part of a 4-pack of newer THs built in 2006 and listed, like, forever in 2011-12. (The units rented out for quite a while before being listed.)

Unlike 132 Marine, 229 Marine sold at a notable discount. They launched at $1.599M, but that wasn't happening.

Neighboring 225 Marine and 224 Marine Place, in the same complex, sold around the same time as 229, both at $1.420M. They had the better views and were marginally less close to Highland, so 229 had to take a discount from there.

Also west of Highland, but up in North Manhattan Beach El Porto, there was one more sale to hit exactly $1.300M.

That was 228 38th Place (3br/3ba, 1500 sq. ft.), a half-lot SFR just one door in off Highland (and a renowned restaurant), with some nice views and – grandfathered in – a roof deck.

The home was highly stylized, but basically updated and clean. The only big question marks were the one bedroom converted to a media room (darkened and having lost a window) and maybe the risk that the common spaces upstairs would come to feel very cramped over time.

This one launched last November at $1.150M as a short sale and drew lots of interest.

We had clients offer on it. That start price sure looked like a steal, and Dave's initial analysis was that it should sell for about 1.3. On that basis, our clients jumped in at the (low) asking, but ultimately someone else paid that market price to get it.

There are several other sales within $50K-$75K of $1.300M, but we'll focus on just a few more listings here to fill out the diverse picture of what $1.3M gets you in the Sand.

One is a 2br SFR on one of the alley streets up on the plateau area above Sand Dune Park. That's 445 29th Place (2br/3ba, 1775 sq. ft.). 

It's got ocean peeks at most, but mainly it's just a fairly modern, clean home that's walkable to school, town, beach and parks.

This one launched at $1.349M, and that looked pretty good in comparison to another half-lot SFR that had sold recently one block over, 437 28th Place (3br/4ba, 1925 sq. ft.) at $1.535M.

But 29th Place hung around a bit due to the restriction of having just 2br. It's got a deal now, but you might expect a modest discount.

Then there is 518 24th St., a cute little cottage, less than 1000 sq. ft. officially, with 2br and a big patio out back. A person could just about stand up in the attic, giving it some extra potential space that didn't count in the square footage.

That little cottage has a full 2700 sq. ft. lot and was arguably sold near land value at $1.325M. (The start price of $1.399M was presented to us as land value, too, at first, but we didn't quite see it that way.)

There's some support to that $1.3-ish number being near land value coming from the pending deal over at 511 23rd, which came out at $1.650M but drew several offers and will go notably above asking. That's a 2100-ish sq. ft. house, but imperfect, so the closed price will be just the starting point there.

And finally, we have a new entrant to the market, comparable mostly to the 24th and 23rd St. houses, at 506 21st. That's a very original 1100 sq. ft. house on an unusual lot just off Live Oak Park's Dorsey Field.

They've brought that one out at $1.250M, a bit below the sold price on the more livable 518 24th. There would have to be some interest in this one as a building site, but you know we always love it when the little cottages are preserved if they can be saved.

Worth noting: Right across the walking path (city easement) to the east, a newer (2004) home at 510 21st (5br/4ba, 2950 sq. ft.) sold in Dec. 2012 for $2.218M.

This new one raises interesting questions. Does the walking path intrude on privacy, or is it just great to have no neighbor on one side? Is a baseball field a location positive or negative? (Having coached a bunch of practices and games at Dorsey, we'd say positive... but to each his/her own.) And do the building restrictions inherent in the lot topography make it less desirable than a fully flat lot?

The market is going to answer those questions, starting next week, but if this one turns out to be "around 1.3" we won't be schocked.

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