Battle of the Giant 90s Homes

By Dave Fratello | December 20th, 2011
If you're willing to go east of Sepulveda, you probably know that one thing you'll find is a bigger lot. MB's biggest "standard" size lots – 7500 sq. ft. – are east of the highway.

Here and there, you'll also find gigantic houses using up those lots.

Currently there are 2 huge homes by the same builder, with the same floorplan, built in 1990, up on the market at the same time – at very different prices.

Which one will sell first? Battle's on.

1623 6th (6br/4ba, 4950 sq. ft.) is the first one that hit the radar, coming to market in mid-October.

In our review then, we called it "a never-ending amalgam of spaces that somehow still retains a substantial back yard.... If you need lots of space and grass, this may be your place."

The home has been updated a bit, with cherry wood-type flooring throughout the house, including bedrooms.

How do you use 4950 sq. ft. in a house? For one thing, the first floor features a huge wet bar just off the living area. And the master bedroom is "so huge, several people could live there – or, with the space tweaked a bit, at least 2 could play racquetball," as we noted earlier this year. 

1623 6th started at $1.859m, which we called "ambitious" at the time, and is down some to $1.779m now. It's very unusual to see a PPSF near $350 like this.

Also in the 1600 block, but 2 blocks over, is 1648 8th (5br/4ba, 4950 sq. ft.), with the same exterior design, similar-looking layout (from what we can see by the pics) and a large pool, rather than grass, using up the back yard space.

One way they use the extra interior space: A big piano on the 2nd floor landing – with enough room for seating for a small concert around it.

This home just hit the market this week, right before Christmas – unusual timing, to say the least.

While 6th St. gets a little credit for some updates, this one on 8th pointedly does not. We love the fairly direct expressions in the description:
  • "The 1990's appointments make it idea[l] for remodeling"
  • "The kitchen, with the right upgrades would be a chef's dream"
  • "This home is great for the family that wants to make it theirs "
In other words, get ready to roll up those sleeves and get to work.

To be fair, we did observe previously that at 1623 6th, despite some remodeling, "updates and a general sprucing up are in order." But 1648 8th is qualitatively different, more of a time machine taking you back 20+ years. The listing tells us: "pricing reflects current condition."

Priced at $1.429m, this one opens up a gaping chasm of $350k (20%) between different versions of the same home – one that needs "sprucing up," and one that is "ideal for remodeling."

8th also boasts a PPSF that will have you rubbing your eyes to say, "wait, can that be?" It's at $288/PSF right out of the blocks. What is this, Hemet?

Bubble thinking: In late 2004/early 2005, this home at 8th was offered for 4 months, as high as $2.099m. No takers. Achem.

Meanwhile, we see that 1623 6th was actually acquired in Oct. 2007 for $1.675m, before some of that remodeling work was done. So this year's price is a step up from there partly to reflect the refreshing the owners have done, but not quite accounting for the market's drop since then.

Price can cure deficiencies, and if we were betting between these 2 listings, we'd guess that the newer offering goes first.

For the October-launched 6th St. listing, the price on 8th is a lump of coal in the stocking – a clear drag on the value if they are going to get a deal done there.

While we figure it's 8th that wins this little battle, it's not like we'd make that a $10,000 bet. More like $10 for now.

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