Breaking the Ice?

By Dave Fratello | September 11th, 2009
We know never to celebrate too soon, but there are 2 new deals posted this week that deserve a tentative clap or two nonetheless.

429 7th (4br/3ba, 2125 sq. ft.) is a South End walkstreet remodel that was nearing a full year on market when a new escrow began this week. (Click address for pics & details via Redfin, still showing while in "backup offer" status.)

This block of 7th was designated by MBC as one of our "Great Streets" in May 2008. This listing launched in October.

Over all that time, why was no one leaping at the chance to get a snappy home on one of the premier family-friendly walkstreets?

Inside, the home is cute and sharp, with nary a wasted square inch. Outside, the home's a bit dated and doesn't connect in an idealized fashion with the walkstreet, as some newer homes do. But that's not to call it unattractive, just maybe less than perfect.

Of course, price was a major factor. The listing began last October at $2.399m and moved down, only gradually, to $2.1m. That seemed too rich to most folks. About a week ago, MBC suggested "someone needs to press 'reset' on the price field" on the listing.

Now there's a buyer signed on, and we're eager to see who had this one closer to right.

Worth noting: The current owners paid $1.440m in Aug. 2002.

History & comparison: In a story last October, MBC compared 429 7th with similarly sized 424 5th (4br/3ba, 1925 sq. ft.), and suggested that their pricing fates would ever be intertwined.

As we noted recently (see "A Selection of Sand Closings"), 424 5th recently closed for $1.630m. To our knowledge, that price was not posted on the MLS, and there may be some other wrinkles to that sale on 5th that would affect how we view it is a comp. More on that, perhaps, later.

2812 Elm (4br/4ba, 2500 sq. ft.) has had the greatest market exposure of almost any house in the Tree Section since MBC launched in Spring 2007.

Actually, the first listing on the home began in Sept. 2006, so the time on market dates back even further.

The listing expired from sheer exhaustion in Oct. 2008 at 773 DOM, by our count (looking past the bogus re-lists), and returned in late July this year as a short sale. (See "Elm is Back, Too.")

For this home finally to make a deal would be a good way to settle what felt like some long-unfinished business.

The current owners paid $1.584m in June 2005, tried to sell at a significant markup less than 2 years later and wound up chasing the market down. (More details are in the most recent story, linked above.) The last list price – as a shortie – was $1.299m (-$285k/-18%).

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