Low on the Hill

By Dave Fratello | February 19th, 2009
One way the game could change a bit here in 2009 would be if more listings started out aggressively priced.

"Aggressive," in this case, meaning priced fairly low for what they offer, and not the somewhat rarer form you'll hear about, which equates roughly to "overpriced and insistent that buyers recognize what a great opportunity they're getting."

Just last week MBC pointed to one example of an aggressively priced listing that went quickly, 405 21st, which started out with a nice location advantage and was priced near the low end of Sand Section listings at $1.149m.

Now the Hill Section has a new entry that looks like a lot for the money, a very big (4br/4ba, 4500 sq. ft.) ocean-view home quite near downtown that starts at $2.199m. It's 620 9th. (Click for more pics & details via Redfin.)

We haven't seen the home yet, though we note that it's open Sunday 3-5pm.

The pics suggest that you've got an 80s/90s remodel to contend with, or update, but some nice Spanish flourishes here and there.

The more we see, the more we think: Hey, $2m or so for a big ocean-view home in the Hills? Kinda sweet.

Views. Short walk to downtown and the beach. Livable as-is, but customizable. OK, then.

That price works out to $488/PSF to start, and that's officially the lowest in the whole of the Hill Section. A sale at comparably sized 953 9th (5br/4ba, 4100 sq. ft.) in August 2008 came in at $561/PSF.

There are just two roughly comparable listings right now (click addresses for more pics & details via Redfin):
  • 1042 2nd, much newer (2003 build) and about the same size (5br/4ba, 4425 sq. ft.), now at $2.195m (began at $2.395m in July 2008); and
  • 755 11th, "The Georgian," offering a bunch of land, including sports court, and 5br/5ba, 5200 sq. ft., newly reduced this week to $2.799m ($537/PSF).
The nearly identically priced home up on 2nd directly abuts a commercial building on Sepulveda, a significant liability. And there are no views. But it's nice once you're settled inside.

The Georgian keeps drawing interest, but just can't seem to get a deal done. It's got a dated/opportunity-to-update issue, like the 9th St. house, but it will find the right balance soon.

In any market conditions, homes will sell. The ones that discard all pretense and put themselves out as relative bargains are going to have the best chance, you'd imagine. Is 620 9th aggressive enough?

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