Close the Books (Again) on 742 27th

By Dave Fratello | August 26th, 2011
One of the amazing things about writing (or reading!) a real estate blog for 4 1/2 years is the consistency with which you see certain stories, themes and specific properties come back around.

The newest case of a recurring property is 742 27th, a big (4br/4ba, 3550 sq. ft.), nicely located home with a decent yard and some updates.

Using MBC's Wayback Machine, we find that in January 2008, we asked readers to chime in on the eventual sale price of 742 27th, in one of our Pricing Polls. (See "Poll Results re: 742 27th.")

Only a stunningly bearish 17% of those voting thought 27th would sell for less than $1.75m. Everyone else – except the 4% who said "won't sell" – guessed higher.

Now, a full 3 1/2 years later, 742 27th has closed for $1.701m.

So, bears, the MBC readership salutes you. You were right. Though there's quite a story between these bookends.

You see, first, those bearish 17% were humiliated when 27th sold for $2.075m, closing in April 2008. (See "Close the Books on 742 27th.") The listing had begun at $2.4m and had to come down, but, in the end, with the list price at $1.999m, suddenly a little bidding war began, and the house went over asking.

Early 2008 was not really a time when most people knew that the bubble had popped. Overbids! Good times.

Garden in 2008
After moving in, the new owners made a few changes to 742 27th. First, they repainted the trim on the white house from black to baby blue. To each his/her own. Then, they ripped out the designer garden that had been such a pleasure – such an asset – the last time around, leaving a notably spare, grassy back yard, and a bare fence. (Click either garden photo to enlarge.)

It also looks like they replaced some flooring inside, replacing slate tile with wood in the living room (good move).

Garden in 2011
And then, something made them change their minds about staying. We won't pry, we just know that when they decided to sell this year, they were entering a different market than the almost-post-bubble environment of early 2008. And they were doing it with a home that lacked some of the attraction of the previous incarnation of the same home. It just didn't show as well as it had in 2008. This year, it looked like the late-80s house that it is, needing help.

From those circumstances, bargains are made.

That's how 742 27th came to drop 18% in market value in 3+ years, with the sellers seeing a $374k drop in the market value of their home, plus paying perhaps $85k more in commissions to get out. Yikes.

This was not a short sale or an REO, so it's officially a new comp for the neighborhood.

And, some might say, a saner price 3+ years down the road from the last time the same home was offered to the general public.

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