Is 8th St. Charmed?

By Dave Fratello | February 6th, 2012
Inventory is blooming east of Sepulveda, and sales are happening fast as well. Nowhere faster than 8th Street, which has seen 4 quick deals already in 2012.

1555 8th
1555 8th (5br/4ba, 3600 sq. ft.) was perhaps the least surprising to see go quickly. It is simply one of the better homes to have hit the the market under $2m in months, east or west of the highway.

It's a 1997-built, very much customized and updated Spanish with a lot of grassy yard out back. The kitchen is fully modern, while the attached family room has attractive, high-beamed ceilings and opens out to a sizable patio and that big yard.

The 5br include one downstairs – albeit with a hallway (unattached) bath, not a full suite – while one upstairs kids' bedroom is a suite, and the other two share a jack-and-jill bath. The master is just enough – nothing is overly big – with a nicely updated bath. About the only surprise to the downside is the master's two smallish, separate walk-in (step-in?) closets.

The location is convenient for lots of family purposes. It's about 4-5 short blocks to Pennekamp Elementary, obviously just a couple more to the high school, and to the north, it's 2 blocks to Manhattan Heights park (tot lot, tennis, baseball/soccer, basketball and community center), and you're just across MBB from big Polliwog park and the middle school.

1555 8th began at $1.899m and posted a deal before its first scheduled open house Saturday.

Earlier this year we saw 2 other reasonably quick deals:

1648 8th
1648 8th (5br/4ba, 4950 sq. ft.) is a huge 1990 build that needs a complete re-do inside. The listing description was admirably forthright about this, using gentle phrases like, "The 1990's appointments make it idea[l] for remodeling" and "pricing reflects current condition."

Pricing was $1.425m in late December, and $1.424m in late January when a deal posted, with about 30 DOM. (Huge home, modest price = $288/PSF.) That one's the winner, as it were, of the "Battle of the Giant 90s Homes" we described late in 2011.

1305 8th
1305 8th (6br/4ba, 4100 sq. ft.) is another big – if not giant – home with a good-size, multi-use yard on a 7600 sq. ft. lot. We noted that it "looks and feels much like its late-1980s vintage, but has been remodeled in notable ways since its 2006 acquisition."

Maybe it doesn't need a top-to-bottom remodel like 1648 8th, but we did point to "rough and worn edges here and there, and lots of parts demand[ing] a 21st-century update some day, most notably the master bath."

1305 8th last traded in June 2006 at $1.850m, but had been updated some since then. The listing debuted at $1.725m and lasted 10 days, raising some eyebrows, but perhaps setting the tone for 2012 east of the highway. We'll see.

Returning to the theme of big early-90s homes on 8th St. that need absolutely everything...

1447 8th
The most recent deal is at 1447 8th (5br/4ba, 4225 sq. ft.), a short sale we featured here just last Wednesday in "East MB's Newest Shortie."

It's drearily original in condition (1991 build), but boasts an unusually large lot (8250 sq. ft.) with a huge, blank yard.

So, yes, it needs everything, but at $1.399m we called it "compelling for fixer-oriented East MB buyers," wondering aloud, "how many 'fixer-oriented East MB buyers' are there?"

Turns out you need just one – and they found one quickly. Now we'll see how that short-sale process works out.

So 8th Street is humming, but there's one exception.

1832 8th
That's 1832 8th (5br/5ba, 4300 sq. ft.), just as big as the others, much newer (2004 build) and charming, bright, open and spacious in its own ways. (See our review from October 2011.)

Alas, this one is just 5 doors off of Aviation, on a block without lots of modern homes, and they're still priced high at $1.765m, a 14% markup over the 2004 acquisition at $1.549m. That remains, as we said last year, "fanciful," which even being on a lucky street can't fix.

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