Get Your Cape Cods

By Dave Fratello May 18th, 2012.

For a time there, no one could find a decent Cape Cod in the Trees.

For a time last Fall, there was 1417 Elm (5br/5ba, 3000 sq. ft.) on the market, a truly gorgeous bit of craftsmanship but a home with no real yard. The sellers held out for $2m+, didn't get it and rented the property out instead.

Recently we saw 1700 Elm (5br/4ba, 3200 sq. ft.) give it a go near $2.2m for a month, but that listing quit suddenly. 

2808 Elm
But seeing the market warming up, 2808 Elm (5br/4ba, 3225 sq. ft.) tried again, after unsuccessful runs in 2010 and 2011. This time, the sellers scored. (See "What a Difference a Year Makes.")

The sale at 2808 Elm has just closed, and it points to an upward market, doesn't it?

Last year, they couldn't get a nibble with the price as low as $1.979m. This year, they came out $220k higher and closed at $2.150m.

Worth noting: 2808 Elm was purchased new at the local market's peak for $2.415m in Nov. 2006. So the post-bubble, kinda-recovery-era price was -$265k/-11% from the peak. We've seen several resales of bubble-era properties come back at 15-20% off, so that's a notable improvement, despite the losses for these sellers.

Then there's an off-market sale of a very similar house.

2101 Walnut
2101 Walnut (5br/4ba, 3500 sq. ft.) has much the same unique layout as 2808 Elm and was built at the same time by the same builder. It's got a bonus, small basement room that adds to the square footage. It was customized and expanded a bit after being prepurchased during construction.

Walnut's in a markedly better location than 2808 Elm and boasts a sunny, west-facing yard that is practically parklike when compared to anything else on a 4480 sq. ft. lot in the Trees. The sunken garage enables a large main living level and prevented the home from pushing back too far on the lot, preserving a truly great yard.

A location plus is the home's position at the crest of a little hill, with the street dropping down to the north. Rooms on the home's north side get sweeping treetop and sky views. Sweet.

2101 Walnut sold off-market for $2.225m earlier this month after a few months of being marketed quietly, but generating strong interest from those who knew about it.

Like 2808 Elm, this one was purchased in a peak year and suffered some loss in value. The 2006 acquisition was for $2.460m, putting this resale at -$235k/-10%. Like at 2808 Elm, the magnitude of that loss in value is notably less than we've seen on plenty of other resales from the 2006-2007 era in recent years.

On the market today, you'll find just one Cape Cod style home in the Trees, though it's not of the newer era like the 2 properties mentioned above. 2409 Elm (4br/3ba, 3150 sq. ft.) is a late-90s build that has been refashioned some with a beachy, Cape Cod-type of style. It's at $1.799m.

Clearly there's an appetite out there for more of these beachy Cape Cods, and the market has notably improved for them.

So where's the supply?

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