Is 2.1 The New Norm for Tree Section Cottages?

By Dave Fratello | September 16th, 2014

When it happens once, it's an anomaly. Twice, it starts to look like a pattern.

When 563 33rd (4br/2ba, 1650 sq. ft.) sold about 2 weeks ago for $2.150M – fully $300K over asking – it seemed like an anomaly.

The home's smartly remodeled, but flawed – with a floorplan running hither and thither and no true master. It's got a big lot (5400 sq. ft.), but the yard is not really integrated into the home. (They didn't build great rooms in the olden days, when this one was first put up.)

So for 563 33rd to be such a must-have property as to draw multiple offers and go $300K over asking – it was surprising.

Nice location, home that needs no work... sure, we could see the appeal, but wow.

Now they've closed up a sale just up the street at 632 33rd, and it's equally surprising – but maybe we can start to see a pattern.

This home is bigger (true 4br/2ba, 2240 sq. ft.) and, rather than a layout born of add-ons, it's kind of rectangular and boxy – conventional, by comparison.

The home has a distinctly 70s feel to it, although it was very clean and cute when we saw it. The kitchen and baths were not exactly original, not exactly 21st century. We did spy popcorn ceilings.

The lot is showing up as 5025 sq. ft. – not quite as big as 563 33rd – but the way the house sits on the lot, your yard is basically a little pocket patio next to the garage in back.

Did it show well? Is it in a good location? Does it have a true 4th bedroom? Yes to all.

This one launched at $1.799M, drew multiple offers, and sold for $301K more at $2.100M. There's that $300K markup again.

The scenario in each case is a bit like what went down with Dave's recent listing at 2300 Laurel (3br/3ba, 2000 sq. ft.).

There, we launched at $2.100M, knowing the market would support a somewhat higher price, but lacking comps to really show that.

The result: 11 quick offers and a sale price $325K higher at $2.425M.

Now, that home is quite easy to describe as superior to the two 33rd Street houses referenced above. It had been recently renovated down to the studs, features a big wide-open great room plus a family room, and sports a superior location by almost any measure – no matter how nice 33rd Street is. Hence the even higher price. But you can see a baseline around $2.1M magnified by the pluses at this property.

Suddenly the recent sale of a 2br + guest unit at 576 33rd (3br/3ba, 2000 sq. ft.) is starting to look like a deal.

That one traded for $1.900M in July. It was surprising maybe only because the same home had failed to sell back in 2011 asking $1.475M.

By the looks of things now, maybe that was $200K too little.

Breaking from our "cottages for $2.1M theme," one other thread we'll tie back into this post: It was just back in July that we noted a lot of sales activity along 33rd St. (See "33rd Street Is Turning Over.")

632 33rd was the 6th listing on the block this year between Laurel and Bell to find a buyer on the public market. One other, as we reported then, 769 33rd (6br/5ba, 4885 sq. ft.), sold off-market (for $4.100M).

But there was at least one more: the corner home at 33rd/Agnes at 729 33rd (6br/5ba, 4250 sq. ft. on a large 7400 sq. ft. lot) sold off-market for $2.875M way back in April. For whatever reason, Redfin's robots automatically label that one as "not an arm's length transaction," but we can assure, one family bought it fair and square from another. It's a real comp – except that the home's been upgraded since and would be worth more today.

Well, isn't everything worth more today?

So that's 8 sales on a block with perhaps 100 homes. (We're counting on 747 33rd to close.)

That helps 33rd leap past Wendy Way in Liberty Village, which has racked up 6 closed sales so far in 2014. (See "Wendy Keeps Running.") It's official: 33rd is now the busiest block for sales in all of Manhattan Beach.

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