Hill Section Filling Out

By Dave Fratello | May 15th, 2013

It was just 2 weeks ago that there were no listings in the Hill Section. Zero.

The Hills always run the lowest inventory in town, but zero – well, you can't get lower.

Now, a mix of new options has brought inventory to a whopping 7. Hey, it's a start.

And some options "look like" the Hill Section, offering the sorts of grand estates you'd expect to see.

The newest and grandest is clearly 620 8th St. (6br/7ba, 7250 sq. ft.), a Hill Section estate if there is one. (They've even named it, "La Belle Vue Estate.")

Built into a gently downsloping hillside, the home looks relatively modest from the front on 8th, but it goes back and back, and down and down, with 3 levels in total. (We almost missed the media room and 6th bedroom on the lowest level.)

There's a hugely spacious yard big enough for pool & spa, large covered outdoor room and a sunny grassy area as well.

The main (entry) floor is chock full of big and ornate entertaining spaces, ending at a bright, south-west facing balony that gets unobstructed PV and ocean views.

Yes, that's what you're supposed to get for $8M in the Hill Section.

The only competition for 620 8th St. is "Summerhill," a much longer-running listing that had negotiated a deal, but recently fell out.

Summerhill is also known as 250 S. Dianthus, spanning a third of an acre (call it nearly 3 lots) – that's a lot of land here by the beach – and built out in a detail-heavy, timeless, worldly fashion that echoes a great old European estate.

It's not exactly what you expect in MB, but its appeal is undeniable.

That's what they thought when listing at nearly $12M one year ago, watching the publicly listed price drop to the current $7.950M before negotiations got serious. They had a deal for 6 weeks but came back to market last week.

This listing hits the one-year mark this Friday. Maybe the timeless estate at this price point has a very narrow market (you think?). And that's too bad in a way, but they'll find the right folks to love and preserve it, we'd bet. In time.

511 Pacific (5br/9ba, 7960 sq. ft.) is playing with these big boys, asking $6.799M.

We gave quite a bit of attention to this home last week in "Between High & Low a 511 Pacific," calling it "a huge, totally unique megahome," and noting that its new offering price is a potentially very nice payday for the seller who bought it for ("just") $5.250M in July 2010.

Note: Tour, and you'll readily see that a single person lives in this 8000 sq. ft. house.

If you are looking to build a destination estate, 724 10th (8br/8ba, 7000 sq. ft.) might be your next move.

Somewhat like 620 8th, this home benefits from a big lot (10,500 sq. ft.) that drops off toward the south and west.

There should be good ocean views from this location, but right now they are available only to people in (one of) the (two) master bath shower(s). There, the views are outstanding. And the views from there pretty much make the argument for a reverse floorplan ("upside-down layout") to be built out on this site. The current house is not.

This home ran quite a while – call in 9 months – from late 2011 till May 2012. In fact, it quit 51 weeks ago, so the comeback in 2013 is nearly on the one-year anniversary of... well, do they celebrate anniversaries for failed listings?

Then and now, the listing language has been frank, touting the "tremendous potential to upgrade" this Southwestern. In 2011, they sought $5.9M, in 2012 it was down to $4.9M, but it's back now at $5.9M.

Also up near the top end you find new construction with ocean views at 1026 1st (4br/5ba, 4000 sq. ft.) at $3.5M (pictured; see our review here) and 200 S. Dianthus (4br/5ba, 3935 sq. ft.) at $3.4M, a decent home with some views that was offered for several months, on and off market, over the past year, at $3.7M with another agent. (We reviewed it in February this year in "Spring Rush Starts Out Pricey.")

The odd man out, as it were, is a new listing at 1023 Dianthus (3br/2ba, 1250 sq. ft.).

This is the only Hill Section listing in a non-view area. Indeed, the location is plainly sub-par, on a fairly busy stretch of Dianthus near MB Blvd. And the 1950s house really needs everything.

It's a probate listing starting (low) at $987K, but there could be a process here, even overbids at the court somewhere down the road. You have to think about 1026 Pacific, another older house several blocks west, with a bigger, view-potential lot – that one drew multiple offers and likely crested well past the $1.500M asking price.

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