As Good As It Gets on Rosecrans

By Dave Fratello | September 19th, 2007
As the builders were putting the finishing touches on 3617 Vista, MBC thought it could be something special. The listing photos (click to view via Redfin) for this new construction were quite pleasant, and it seemed like a winner. So MBC dropped by for a tour.

Overall impression: A very solid, voluptuous-feeling build with lots of nice custom touches. Maybe you've seen the details before, but here they hang together as a package that feels unique. It's urban-feeling beach living with some nice views that not everyone nearby has. It's lovable if you can cope with the location.

BUT: It shouldn't be a surprise – the Rosecrans location is a challenge. Much of the living space is high up off the street, but this is a loud part of Rosecrans. As we stepped inside, a bus began to rev up from its stop 10 yards down the hill. With the home's entry door open, the noise resonated. Throughout our visit, vehicle noise was noticeable – in part because cars are gunning their engines to climb the hill.

Sure, you won't keep your front door open if you live there, but the master bedroom faces Rosecrans, as does the upper-level deck. Any open window invites the noise in.

Location mitigation: The views and sense of openness afforded by the location high up Rosecrans can be taken as an asset, trading off against some of the negatives.

More details: The master suite and one other bedroom with bath are on the middle (entry) level. Two more bedrooms are downstairs – they share a hallway bath. There's also a sand room (mudroom for beach living) at the lower entry, and a large storage room. Upstairs, the kitchen, dining and living areas are combined – no walls or differentiation of space, save for the separate bath. The kitchen has all high-end appliances and custom touches like a backsplash featuring a picture made of small tiles.

More questions: It's hard to figure how this home has the 2750 sq. ft. that are advertised. It seems a lot must be devoted to hallways and stairs. None of the bedrooms is extra large, and the upstairs great room space, while nice, seems likely to get cramped when furnished.

Given the flow and the location of the fireplace, we really don't know where the family TV is supposed to go in the great room; it must be assumed that you'll sacrifice a bedroom as a media room.

MBC says Huh?!?: The master bedroom and the other bedroom on that level feature carpeting that can only be called neo-shag. We'll grant you that we've all seen enough berber for a while, but this long, plush, yarny flooring was an eye-opener.

Pricing: Start price is $2.149m. Assume a 10% location discount was priced in for now, so perhaps comparable listings off Rosecrans would have been at $2.35m.

At the same time as Vista started, 2008 Highland came on at $2.295m. (Click to view listing via Redfin.) Highland is newer, but not new, and has 400 fewer square feet.

A scan for comps finds a range of homes at $2.15-$2.5m, but none with a similar location issue. Of course, if you're ready to spend $2.15m you can have your pick of a dozen homes in the Tree Section with a yard and no Rosecrans factor, but, alas no views.

If Vista doesn't go quickly, we'd guess a sale could come in nearer to $1.9m.

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