Close the Books on 3308 Pacific

By Dave Fratello | March 4th, 2013

It's easy to talk about the overheated market conditions around Manhattan Beach these days.

To see only the fast deals and bidding wars, you'd think that buyers are neither choosy nor price-sensitive anymore.

And then you get a case like 3308 Pacific, which provides some kind of reminder that a more sober reality does still intrude – from time to time.

This is a home we have called "a quirky 80s contemporary in a subpar location."

That's 8 words that may tell you all you need to know as to whether the property might have been interesting to you, or not.

Memorably, the listing for this property in 1996 called it "Manhattan's most exciting modern home." The 2012 listing also went for the excitement factor, touting it as an "architectural stunner with clean, contemporary lines."

But here at MBC, we stood by our 8 words.

The listing spanned 7 months from July last year till February this year, a near-total rejection by the market at a time when 4br, 3000 sq. ft. homes in the Tree Section have been in high demand with little supply.

Surely price was a big factor.

This one launched in July 2012 aat $1.699M, and while that was a bit of a reach, there were all kinds of $1.6M-$1.9M sales happening in the Trees, and it did not seem wildly out of line.

It was an excited, rising market at the time. Subsequently, cuts were made to drop it to $1.599M and finally down to $1.549M. The property was also offered for rent for a while.

When a deal posted in "backup offer" status in February, we assumed it was for something in the $1.4M range.

But no. The closed price, official on Friday and posted Monday, was $1.295M.

That's less than last May's sale nearby at notably smaller 3404 Pacific (3br/2ba, 1750 sq. ft.). That move-in-ready, darling little place went quickly for $1.350M.

The $1.295M price on 3308 Pacific is a pretty amazing 16% off the last list price.

And it's much more in line with what we might expect for a property of this nature.

Location matters, and brought a discount.

Build style, layout and condition matter, and those brought a discount.

As a refresher regarding the layout, we had said of this one in a "Weekend Opens" review:

"It's bright and lives big... but the home needs some attention and updates. And there's only so much you can fix. The builders left no real yard, just a little strip in back. The alley kitchen in back is isolated, by design – not a 21st century feature."

"Wood or bamboo flooring would give the first-floor living spaces much more life than the the 80s tile everywhere. (Just look upstairs, where they do have bamboo, to see the difference.) The family room in back could be opened up by removing a wall that now creates a narrow 'office' space in back... The master bath really wants an update... Those are some of the things you'd do if you were determined to modernize this 'contemporary' home, and it could work out."

So now, with the purchase at about $1.3M, buyers have gotten a decent deal on the place as-is, with room to spend a little effort (and money), if they like, making changes.


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