Average Family Home in Trees: $2.1-$2.3M

By Dave Fratello | May 7th, 2014

It was only a year ago (well, 49 weeks) that we recorded the going rate for "average" Tree Section homes as $1.9M. (See this post.)

We're going to need to update that.

The new closed sale at 1144 Walnut (5br/4ba, 3280 sq. ft.) helps illustrate the uptick in prices.

This home just sold for $2.015M. Yes, that's less than the $2.149M asking price, but there's a location issue here to account for.

Last purchased in 2011, this home had been completely redone head to toe. (If a house can be said to have toes.) As we noted in our February review, this 2000 build now has a new kitchen, baths, roof, HVAC, paint, and so on.

Move it away from the dry cleaner next door, and further off of (nearby) MB Blvd., and you're deep into the $2.1s for sure, possibly hitting $2.2M.

In a different market (yikes, just 3 years ago), this one traded at $1.580M.

Move to interior locations, and prices are notably up. Two on Elm will show you that.

1400 Elm (5br/4ba, 3200 sq. ft.) came in at $2.300M in November last year.

It's a late-90s Mediterranean that had been refreshed and redone very nicely inside. The backyard also had been very stylishly converted to entertaining space, with hardscape, built-in bar and fire pit.

You could compare it in some ways to the work done at 1144 Walnut. The price... much higher.

Or look at 2200 Elm (4br/3ba, 3180 sq. ft.), a late-80s Mediterranean that had been remodeled prior to a 2012 listing. A super sharp, contemporary kitchen and master bath headlined the re-imagining of the home.

That also sold for $2.300M, just a month ago.

The major difference from the 2012 listing: Dark hardwood flooring added to the upstairs bedrooms and the big open living room up there.

And what a heck of a markup, FWIW. The sellers paid "only" $1.790M in July 2012. The resale was 28% higher, less than 2 years later.

In the same general neighborhood, locationwise and pricewise, is 2301 Walnut (4br/3ba, 3585 sq. ft.), which has just gone into escrow.

That's a 1990 build with a wide-open floorplan that had just gotten "the treatment" – new paint, carpet, some new wood flooring and a great staging job. The kitchen and master bath were both recognizably original, so you could not view this as a massive remodel in the vein of the first 3 properties mentioned above. 

They listed for $2.295M (there's that $2.3-type number again) and made an immediate deal.

Just a bit lower was 2912 Pine (5br/4ba, 3800 sq. ft.) at $2.200M.

That house is not "average" because the corner lot and home layout are atypical, but it certainly fit the profile of what your average family home is supposed to have: 4-5br, 3000+ sq. ft., newer, and pretty likely Mediterranean, given how long of a run that style had in past development cycles.

3604 Palm (5br/4ba, 3260 sq. ft.) is a more modern Craftsman style home pretty close to Rosecrans.

The 2008 build was intended for the spec market back way-back-when, but the timing wasn't right. The home rented out instead of selling for the $2+ numbers they were asking.

This one launched in November last year at $2.205M, and in January this year, it settled at $2.135M.

When we look at the sale last November at 3113 Maple (4br/4ba, 3000 sq. ft.) at $2.151M, it starts to look like a deal.

Granted, it's north of Valley and east of Pacific, where values would typically be a tad lower.

The home was a mid-90s build with more of a Cape Cod flavor, the kitchen and master clean but original. It drew immediate, multiple offers in September and went $76K over asking.

And maybe one of the true deals of the past several months was at 3304 Poinsettia (5br/4ba, 3300 sq. ft.), which sold in November for $2.049M.

Like several of these homes we're looking at today, this one is a mid-90s build. More French Normandy than Mediterranean, it's bright with an interesting floorplan that does tie together an open kitchen/great room combo in back, opening to a sunny yard. There are great treetop and PV views from the second floor, given the favorable position near the peak of the hill.

Sure, it could use updates in all the major areas (kitchen, master, flooring), but it's nice to start with one of the lowest acquisition prices of recent months if you're going to get into that series of projects. (And it's fine if they don't.)

We also like Dave's clients' deal at 3615 Laurel, a spacious (4br/4ba, 3250 sq. ft.) late-90s Cape Cod with an open floorplan.

It's got the obvious location issue of being one door off of Rosecrans, but that enabled the buyers to get a lot for the money: $1.717M in this case. That left a remodeling budget, and the place will look smashing before you know it.

Still, the average price you're going to pay in the Trees for 4+br, 3000+ sq. ft. seems to be settling solidly over $2M, a notable uptick since only last year – at least a 10% rise year-over-year at least.

At this time, there are 4 options in the Trees with at least 4br and 2700 sq. ft. priced between $1.8M-$2.2M, and more options if you'll take a bit less square footage or pay more.

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