Close the Books on 717 Poinsettia

By Dave Fratello | December 1st, 2009
Up in one corner of the Hills, away from the views, things have been active recently.

As noted last week in "New & Gone," new construction on a corner lot at 718 Poinsettia has a new deal, as does 877 8th, just across Poinsettia and in a couple of doors. And nearby 864 8th made a deal off-market recently. (Click any property address for more pics & details via Redfin.)

Move from 864 toward Poinsettia, and you'll find an active construction site at the double-lot at 872 8th, where the dirt sold for $3.550m almost 18 months ago, in July 2008.

Right next door, the missing piece in this area puzzle for some time has been 717 Poinsettia, which first posted a deal in mid-June (see "Let's Hear It for the Hills") but ran into all sorts of issues after that. In the midst of it all, an NOD got filed against the property.

Some of the betting around town was that the issues couldn't be bridged, but they have been. A sale has now closed at $3.110m – nearly 13 months after the listing first began.

So what did the buyers get?

Another double lot, this time on a corner, a gated Spanish with a huge south-facing back yard, an oasis of sorts. The home is easily recognizable for its longtime, lush, mature landscaping, something you don't see enough around town, but which had been done right at 717 Poinsettia.

The home (4br/5ba, 4175 sq. ft.) was built in the mid-1980s and needs some updating, which it'll get. And that landscaping, such a prize for neighbors, for the previous owners and, surely, for the buyers, has taken a beating in recent months – water restrictions, escrow issues, etc. – and will need some work to be returned to its former glory. We'll look forward to that.

On a relative basis, the buyers got an interesting deal.

The start price last November was $4.649m, rooted to the then-recent sale of the next-door double lot at 872 8th for $3.550m, adding in a premium for the corner lot and another bump for a sweet, very livable house. 

At $3.110m, the price cascaded more than $1.5m (-33%) from that start, owing to the rough economy, tough credit, and the attendant slowing of Hill Section sales.

Now someone's gotten a corner-lot home for almost $400k less than the dirt price next door, maybe $600k less than the equivalent lot value for 717 Poinsettia even just last Summer. Not such good news for the construction site, but pretty good for the corner lot.

The sellers had acquired the home in April 2004 for $2.7m, after a long, overpriced listing essentially got overlooked. Yes, they got a deal – of sorts – during the bubble.

Still, that makes today's 15% markup (+$410k) over the 2004 price impressive, since most of MB is living in 2004 prices (see "How Resales of '03-'06 Purchases Are Faring"). Beauty still counts for something.

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