Caveat Emptor, Executives

By Dave Fratello | September 27th, 2011
What's a good beach view in MB?

Here's one. You'd have to be on the second or third floor of your Strand home to have it – or possibly in the pier parking lot.

But that's a nice view.

Or maybe you find The Strand too congested. All that riff-raff, not to mention the ruff-ruffs and their unmentionable droppings.

So you might move up the Hill and capture a panorama like this one. (Click to enlarge; thanks to Meinke Photography for these view photos.)

Ah, yes, the world is a big blue marble, and you can drink it all in from your living room or porch if you set yourself up just right in the Hill Section.

Increasingly, these prestige areas are the province of executives. CEOs, hedge fund guys, corporate turnaround specialists – folks in the stratosphere who aren't hurting like your average American these days. Great for them.

So, there's a new offering that aims to appeal to this class of buyers, 3000 Flournoy. According to the listing, it's a:

Landmark, Executive Beach home with views.
Oh, yes, you can imagine a buyer saying... I want a landmark. 

I'm an executive. 

I want a beach home. 

And I want views. 

But then you take a look at it, and – wait, what?!? What's this you've put in front of me?

3000 Flournoy is actually an older, average sized house (5br/4ba, 2600 sq. ft.) that could use a lot of refreshing.

The listing proudly touts the updates:

Remodeled in 1978 and 1998.
Mmmm hmmm. One of those was 33 years ago, the other 13 years ago. And frankly, the 1978 work seems to dominate today.

This is a very strange way to oversell this Tree Section home.

It's obviously not at the beach. The term "executive home" has a flexible meaning, but usually connotes style and luxury, turnkey condition, something befitting a king of industry.

And views? You may see some treetops from the second floor and/or deck. It could be nice, but still very different from the vision you get from "beach home with views."

The main asset the home has is location on a good-sized corner lot (4800 sq. ft.) on one of the prestige blocks of the Tree Section, canopied 31st St.  (The listing begins with 3 references to location and the designation of this one as "AAA+," which must be the highest rating possible.)

It also has a pool with a bridge across it, nicely modeled by Sparky here.

But beyond those assets, the home doesn't have a lot going for it as is. (Sparky's not even included in the sale.)  

That makes the punchline of the listing the hardest sell: The start price of $1.750m.

We'd fix the lot value here in a broad range between $1.050m and $1.250m, depending. (Directly across Flournoy, the smaller [4200 sq. ft.] lot at 668 31st sold for $1.150m last October.)

So are you going to pay $500k-$700k for a 1978 (or 1998) home with 2600 sq. ft.?

Most "executives" wouldn't.

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