LA Doesn't Know MB

By Dave Fratello | November 19th, 2007
If you browse real estate blogs – well, of course you do – then you're probably familiar with Curbed LA. One of the blog's regular features is a "PriceSpotter" game, in which a property is described and commenters are asked to guess the price.

At the end of last week, Curbed featured a certain Tree Section property in the game. OK, now it can be told, it was 3305 Laurel, new and very elaborate construction listed currently for $3.65m. (This one has been on the market 5 months with no bogus re-lists.)

Many of the Curbed readers' guesses revealed that a lot of LA folks don't know MB.

See the comments in the original story (click above) or today's "Big Reveal" graphic. The first guesses were near $1.5m – about what the developer paid for the lot 23 months ago – but, over time, the consensus grew nearer to $2.5m. (Curbed now complains that someone posted the actual list price, and that this skewed later guesses, even after the offending comment was removed.)

Curbed's conclusion:
This week, the lot of you guessed an average of $1.046 million under the actual asking price. Clearly we need to work on our South Bay real estate lessons.
A point with which we concur.

And yet, we wonder if there's not some kind of inherent intelligence among the uneducated masses commenting on Curbed.

Maybe we locals are blind to things like the location for 3305 Laurel – four blocks from the Chevron refinery, a lot on a narrow street (33rd) with no curbs and erratic, jumbled, quasi-private parking.

We're all accustomed to giant price tags. And this stately home oozes timeless quality – it's seductive. So who's seeing values clearly, after all?

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