Double Lots: A Mixed Result

By Dave Fratello | April 18th, 2011
Catching up here on a story from late last year, let's see what happened to 2 double lots in the Tree Section.

In "Double the Fun" back in December 2010, we noted how rare it is to see large or double-size lots on offer in the Trees. Usually, you have to take your 4400-4800 sq. ft. lot and be happy. We found just 11 instances from Jan. 2007-Dec. 2010 (basically 4 years) of lots larger than 8000 sq. ft. being offered.

Back Yard at 2912 Pacific
One double lot offered last year was at 2912 Pacific (4br/2ba, 1875 sq. ft.), which began at $1.599m.

Far from a tear-down, the one-story, contemp- orary-styled remodel offered a fun and unique home using just part of the plus-plus-size 9300 sq. ft. lot. (See our open-house review for more.)

New owners took title earlier this year for the fairly attractive price of $1.500m. (Interestingly, that's the exact median price for all of MB for Q1 '11.)

Our preservationist side is happy to report that the buyers plan to keep the home, not split the lot – as it appeared they could have chosen to do.

The prior owners paid $1.340m in March 2004, when the home was in awful condition, needing everything. So the $160k boost in sale price mainly reflects the work that was done, mitigated against by the decline in lot values since that time.

It's a different story over at 2600 Pine. The old early-50s rancher on a double lot seemed to have some potential for a remodel or rebuild, but it always seemed more likely that the property would be split.

After its start at $1.799m, we were skeptical of the remodeling possibilities:

$1.8m for dirt that's far from the beach, close to Marine, and requiring the additional costs of a massive remodel or total rebuild doesn't sound like much of a deal if you're looking to keep the lot for just one home.
It appears that the market agreed. The buyers, who paid $1.600m, intend to split the lot for 2 new spec homes.

That's $800k per plot, and that would appear to be dirt value these days for a decent location in the Trees, as we've speculated here a few times. Adjust up or down for location from that rough starting point.

What's that?!? Did we say "spec homes?" Did MBC just commit the sin of "burying the lede?"

Truth be told, we've been aware for a few weeks of a minor frenzy of 4 Tree Section lot purchases intended for spec development – 2 at 2600 Pine, plus 2610 Maple ($840k) and perhaps 1605 Pine ($800k).

We sat on that story for a few reasons, only to see MBC scooped by this mostly quiet local RE blog. (That blog's post is qualified as "by know means guaranteed," and we currently see only 2600 Pine and 2610 Maple showing the same new owners, so our list of these properties is by no means guaranteed, either.)

But we're going to stick with our instincts here. Better to say less now, rather than more. Yes, the first hints of new spec development are back. Let's see what they do with the dirt next.

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