In and Out (of Escrow)

By Dave Fratello | August 14th, 2007
We all know escrows can fail for any number of reasons. But MBC is watching this sub-segment of activity more closely in the wake of last week's hullabaloo over mortgage credit, terms & rates.

So far, in just a few days, we have seen no new escrows begin, and two fail.

Quite possibly these are unrelated to the mortgage mess, but we'll discuss them anyway.

1409 Oak is the slickest 1,000-sq.-ft. home west of Sepulveda. The fact that it is barely west of Sepulveda calls for a discount, and it's at $1.225m, a lot-sale price. Word is they accepted an offer at $1.250m. But that fell apart. If you're up for Oak living and $1,200/sq. ft., this is your place.

217 9th is new construction on a corner-lot/half-lot between Manhattan Ave. and Highland (at Bayview) right near downtown. The house is modernist and has some appealing features. It has also been on the market for 418 days (including pre-construction phase). A correspondent reports:
It borders parking lots, a teardown rental and the alley behind Sidedoor bar/900 Club.
What? A location downtown with issues?

The sellers are quite firm, however. They began at $3.250m and increased to $3.350m on July 16, 2007. We're told they dropped in this language (which we don't see now):
Seller will not take less than asking price. Right now is a great time to write an offer!
Instead, we read this:
This is a very unique and special property with state-of-the-art green construction is over loaded with fabulous amenities. Buyer has to understand the extra value of construction cost and less deferred maintenance in the future and the longevity of this Eco-Conscious home.
Hey, we're all for eco-conscious, but aren't you dis-inviting offers with this sort of lecturing?

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