MB Market Update for 4/15/10, Hills

By Dave Fratello | April 22nd, 2010
The Hill Section wasn't the busiest part of town in early April, but one of the listings was among the most interesting west of Sepulveda.

Among the 15 active listings at mid-month was 946 10th, a big (5br/5ba, 4850 sq. ft.) mid-90s Spanish.

It was offered as an REO at $1.958m, well below the last transaction price (Oct. 2003 at $2.160m) and also for much less than the old loans on the property. A refi in 2007 pushed the total of loans against the home to $2.625m, and another note for $445k was slapped against the property in 2008. If none of that paid down the $2.625m, total debt may have exceeded $3m.

Potential buyers had to beware an unusual warning:

Property Sold as is. Owner will not deliver the property vacant. Currently Tenant Occupied lease till 9/1/2010.
That wasn't much of a deterrent. A sale posted within 4 days. At $405/PSF, that home will probably still look like a deal in September when the buyers can move in.

The home has a more interesting backstory. Almost like a basketball, it bounced between 2 L.A. Clippers. One bought it new in 1995, held it till 1999 when he left town for a new team, and sold it then to a longtime Clippers teammate.

Come 2003, the most recent owner was leaving the Clips for Texas, and sold it back to the original owner, who was also working out of town. It's the original owner, second time around, who took out loans in 2005, 2007 and 2008 that eventually went bad and led to the REO sale this month.

The other new listing in the Hills this period was 605 8th (5br/7ba, 6625 sq. ft.), a marvelous, newer Cape Cod.

The extra-large lot offers a big home plus pool. The location is steps from downtown, but raised just enough above Ardmore to offer real views from the home's ample decks.

The owners paid $5.495m in June 2006, and now ask the same: $5.495m.

Based on price alone, an interesting east-west point of comparison is 1501 9th, a substantially larger (6br/8ba, 8550 sq. ft.) new Tuscan on a double lot at Peck. For your $5.5m, which do you take?

The one other sale (new escrow) besides 946 10th in this period was at 805 Duncan Place (5br/3ba, 4100 sq. ft.), a late-80s build that has been freshened up inside with a modern kitchen and some inspired Craftsman style.

You might have worried that the home's location issue (corner of an alley and a busy street) might have caused the listing to drag out.

But Duncan had a deal within about 6 weeks, after starting at $1.995m.

The most noteworthy price cut of this period was at 910 2nd (5br/4ba, 3400 sq. ft.), now down to $2.399m, about $500k below its overly ambitious first time on the market in Fall 2008.

Just one closed sale this period: 511 Dianthus at $1.030m – as we actually already noted earlier this month.

More soon on the other areas west of Hwy. 1.

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