Elm is Back, Too

By Dave Fratello | July 23rd, 2009
Today there's another comebacker listing that might have made it into our story the other day (see "Welcome Back"), but for popping up a bit late.

2812 Elm (4br/4ba, 2500 sq. ft.) probably deserves separate treatment anyway. (Click for pics & details via Redfin.)

Not so long ago, a long-running listing of this property set the high-water mark for DOM at 773 DOM (yes, seven hundred and seventy-three), by our count, having been continuously on the market from Sept. 2006-Oct. 2008. (Nearly 350 DOM ticked off without a bogus re-list, but one was filed in Sept. 2007, to our chagrin – see "Couldn't Hold Out Forever.")

A listing will only hang around that long if the home is dreary and/or priced wrong. For 2812 Elm, it was mainly a pricing problem for this attractive remodel.

The current owners paid $1.584m in June 2005. In trying to move on less than 2 years later, they priced it at $1.769m (+$185k/+12%), and kept the price at that stratospheric level for much too long.

By January 2008, it was offered at $1.599m, nearly flat to the 2005 acquisition price, but the world was different then, and this was no longer a $1.6m house. (See "Really, Don't Hurry," our story about a sales pitch on this home – "HURRY... this home will not last!")

Now 2812 Elm is back at $1.299m, offered as a short sale and with a note that buyers must take it in "as-is condition." (The listing also says it "looks as good as new.")

When this listing quit last October, MBC opined: "Marked to market, this one might have been at $1.3m-$1.4m these days." Here we are now at the low end of that guess.

The new list price is also the same amount someone paid for the same house in early 2004. They got out 16 months later for a tidy profit of $285k. (The go-go years.)

So we're looking here at a value for Elm that dates further back into the mid-bubble years than we often see around town. We often say MB is living in 2005 prices, but more and more we see a push back further in reverse.

We should say on the plus side for this home that the location is nice, the curb appeal is great, the kitchen and living spaces are appealing, and the shady back yard is sweet as well. It's a very decent home that tends to crash for buyers due to its slightly odd layout. One bedroom (more a natural office) is off the kitchen, and the second story is sort of a split level. It can be made to work, but people do hesitate.

Price can overcome obstacles and issues. If the lender is going accept the hit – virtually every dollar below the acquisition price appears to be the lender's loss – then someone is going to wind up with a decent Tree Section home at a non-stratospheric price. It's almost time.

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