First Newbie Under $2m

By Dave Fratello | November 16th, 2007
We know the situation is tough for new construction in the Tree Section.

Until recently, however, new stuff in the Trees always started over $2m. Certainly, since Spring this year, that's been the case. No new home has been priced at, or sold for, less than $2m.

Breaking the pricing mold: 1144 Elm, a 2-week-old listing that otherwise fits the basic profile – 5br/5ba, 3300 sq. ft., and a standard 4480 sq. ft. lot. It started $5k below $2m, at $1.995m.

The home has character inside, with good living spaces downstairs, nice detail work in the kitchen and baths, even kids' bedrooms that don't seem too scrunched. It's bright, too, despite a northern orientation – apparently a good use of skylights.

So why is a very decent new build priced, achem, low?

Consult your book on Cardinal Rules of Real Estate: Location, location...

1144 Elm is one door in from MBB, buffered from that busy street by commercial buildings. You really don't want to see your neighbors to the south. And being pinned in by MBB makes you realize you're not really close to anything except the Arco station. Do you really want to drive everywhere?

Demerits, also, for the tiny back yard (par for the course) and for the façade, which is confused and generally a turnoff for this viewer. The stapled-on stone is pretty awful – in fact, MBC has previously called out this dreadful garage arch. We don't think the whole look comes together.

The builders grabbed this lot for $925k in June '06, which suggests both that they got a good deal and that they threw this house up fairly quickly. Though the construction does not suggest a rush job, the pricing is the most aggressive we've seen so far in the Trees. Will that get them to a sale more quickly?

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