Hard Luck House Turns Lucky

By Dave Fratello | May 9th, 2013

To say that 217 9th St. has been offered for sale for a long time might miss the point.

It came to market in February 2012, hoping to strike while last Spring's market was just starting to heat up.

But at $3M, this little 3br/3ba, 1700-odd sq. ft. modern on a half lot did not look like a deal. It began at $1,701/PSF, much higher than you'd find on The Strand.

The listing limped through Summer last year and only made a big, bold cut when a new agent took over in October.

That cut dropped the asking to $2.500M. Still steep.

Another 6 months passed, but now the little modern city house has closed for $2.250M. Officially, 309 DOM tolled for the property from Feb. 2012 through April this year.

Sure, that sale was 24% off the start price, but what does start price mean?

It's 25% off the last sale price. Now that means something.

Yes, as many people have noted with a figurative smack to the forehead, this 1700 sq. ft. house on an alley overlooking a raucous (if fancy) bar sold new for $3.000M way-back-when, in April 2008.

That simply never made sense, and now the market has shown how out of balance the first deal really was.

Lesson: Buy a fabulous new home downtown, and you might lose $750K if you're not careful.

We still find this house puzzling at any price, but to each his/her own.

In a post last year, for instance, we called it "[p]erhaps the most difficult property in the Sand now," calling it "a very sharp, but not very large, bit of modern/green architecture near downtown..."

We also said, "This one has always surprised us – the choice of location, limited bedrooms, tight space and high price. There are bath 'areas' within a couple bedrooms, rather than actual bathrooms." (See "What Lingers, and Doesn't, Near $3M.")

That, plus the layout upstairs being tight and intruded upon by the hanging fireplace.

We'll say this, though: It's distinctive, it's different, it's steps to everything and there are ocean views. It's no boxy 60s shack, maybe it's the wave of the future for downtown. Just not for $3M, this time.

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