It Can't Last

By Dave Fratello | February 11th, 2008
We'll be surprised if the new listing at 2317 Pine lasts a week. (Click address for details via Redfin.)

Value shoppers are going to gravitate toward this just-spacious-enough custom rebuilt/remodeled home. It began at $1.799m last week.

Let's lead with the few negatives, because they're so small:
  • The back yard is for entertaining, not small children;
  • the ceilings might be a bit low; and
  • the two kids' bedrooms upstairs have to share a hallway bath. (Oh, horror!)

What Pine offers is 4br/4ba and almost 2900 sq. ft., with a cute, small basement room and wine cellar off the back patio. The great room space is cozy but not cramped, with nice stone and an arched ceiling (sorry, we can't go with "cathedral" on a 12-footer). The look is kinda ski lodge.

The story is that this was a small 1960s home that was remodeled and added to in 2000 and again in 2005. Though it's custom, it's not too quirky. You can instantly imagine family life there. (Speaking of which, we'll credit Mrs. MBC with spotting this one first and noting that it could be something special.)

Analytically, we have to compare 2317 Pine with an Arbolado Ct. house that came on and sold quickly back in October (see "Aggression Pays"). In that case, 754 14th underpriced the smaller and less-attractive neighbor (758 14th) and sought 9% less by PPSF than another neighboring Arbolado home that had recently sold. No wonder it seemed like a value at the time. In the end, the home sold for $33k less than asking (final price: $1.665m) but never made it to the first open house.

So now, look at 2317 Pine compared with similarly priced homes. (Using a screen grap from MBC's current spreadsheet.)

Most obviously, 2317 Pine threatens 2404 Palm (on price) and 1413 Pine (first, on PPSF).

That's because 2404 Palm is strange (see "Unique Ain't Always Great"), very 80s and features dank downstairs bedrooms and no real outdoor space. Those strikes are worth far more than the $50k difference we see today. (Obligatory note: MBC considers Palm active because there's a sign out front and it came back from hiatus briefly in January, but it's not on the MLS right now.)

Meanwhile, much smaller and blanker 1413 Pine can't justify $150/PSF extra. If this joy at 2413 Pine, just 10 blocks away, is worth $620/PSF, then 1413 Pine, at the same PPSF, is worth $1.36m (-$330k from its current price).

There's some price impact from 2413 Pine on 2507 Valley, too, currently at $1.790m ($634/PSF), but that's an odd house in an off location in a weird situation (now pitching seller financing, and we can guess why), and they don't need MBC piling on at this time.

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