Come for the Views, Stay for the Braii

By Dave Fratello | May 13th, 2013

They've just closed an above-asking deal at 2417 Crest (3br/4ba, 2300 sq. ft.), a rear-unit TH with great ocean views.

This is a bigger-than-standard TH at 2300 sq. ft., and they sought a bigger-than-standard $1,090/PSF when they first put a sticker on the home.

But those views, and the distinctive stlying, brought many suitors. And when that happens, prices jump.

In this case, from $2.499M to $2.575M, with an enhanced PPSF of $1,123/PSF.

This home, a 2002 build, got a thorough re-do with panache in 2009, and it's got several signature elements that stick with you.

Two unique features jump out: The long (14' long) built-in, modern dining table stretching from the kitchen – a bold statement that defines the home as an entertaining space.

Plus, a little back patio off the kitchen, which, as we said in our review back in March, "has been given marvelous purpose with disappearing doors and an indoor/outdoor countertop that merges the spaces when windows are folded away. Wide open, the little patio becomes a defining element of the home – fully a part of the living spaces, not some little deck you never use."

And our favorite, unique part of the patio – the "South African Braii-style fireplace." Don't call it a barbeque, please. This has just a little extra style.

When 2417 Crest first listed, it immediately brought to mind 2305 Bayview (4br/4ba, 2600 sq. ft.), a really, really smashing and complex modern remodel of a slightly bigger TH that sold for $2.3M in April 2012. That one hit $884/PSF.

Now trolling for buyers are a couple of other larger townhomes, each with ocean views and their own claims to distinction:

2905 Crest (4br/3ba, 3000 sq. ft.), a newer build that has substantial and unblockable views over the front unit in the same building. If you view the listing, you see about 2/3rds of the photos are attempts to capture the ocean views at different times of day. So, yes, they are really trying to make a point.

It's also notably bigger than any typical "larger" townhome. Here we'd define 1600-1800 sq. ft. as typical when a TH shares a standard lot with another unit. Other times you get 2200-2500 sq. ft. with a different size lot or orientation. Well, this one's up to 3000 sq. ft., newer (2007 build) and well built in a serious Mediterranean style.

The listing started at $2.700M and has cut a whole $11K since then while running 6 weeks. So it's now at $2.689M, and $896/PSF.

The same TH sold new in 2007 for $2.625M, so they're looking for a little markup.... and looking... because it's at 44 DOM now.

We're also watching 2904 Highland (3br/4ba, 2300 sq. ft.), a newer ocean-view TH with lots of bells and whistles, including a great room with big, big, big ocean views. (The listing boldly declares them to be "[a]bsolutely insane ocean views.")

The townhome itself has familiar qualities for newer construction and is not entirely unlike 2905 Crest in that way: dark hardwood floors, high-quality kitchen, very nice baths, etc.

2904 Highland was purchased new in June 2007 for $2.0M, but they've marked it up to $2.399M here in 2013, a figure which translates to $1,043/PSF, reaching for the heights just hit by 2417 Crest.

But 2904 Highland is 47 DOM into its run on the market, whereas 2417 Crest made a nearly immediate deal with multiple offers after it hit.

Maybe we should look at the factor staring us in the face here. It's not about PPSF or 2007 prices versus 2013. It's all about the Braii. Got it? Sold. Don't got it? Gotta wait.

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