More Tree Closings

By Dave Fratello | July 7th, 2009
It seems that most of the closings these days are in the Trees, and, as the sales wrap, they're closing the arcs of a few different stories.

First, we can truly close the books on 2509 Palm (5br/5ba, 3150 sq. ft.), the failed auction house, and one of the last of the bubble years' cookie-cutter speckies. It has now closed for a respectable $1.675m, which may surprise many readers.

Sure, that's down quite a ways from the $2.449m start price 2 years ago (-$774k/-32%). But it's also UP from the auction start price ($1.449m plus a 7.5% "buyer's premium," an effective start price of $1.558m) (see "Name Your Price?" from last October).

An investor grabbed this property from the bank in January for $1.535m. If a full 5% was due for sales commissions, take $84k out of the $140k markup. That would mean a fairly quick, albeit razor-thin, profit of about $56k. Better than zero – and yes, there was plenty of sentiment that this one would work out negative, after all, for the investor. Beating expectations!

The Fisher Queen, 1208 Fisher (click for developer's website with pics), has closed for $3.650m. Impressive, but down disappointingly from its start at $4.995m (see "The Fisher King (& Queen)" from last September).

That's a total reduction of $1.345m (-27%), and a PPSF of $768/PSF for this bold, completely cool new ocean-view contemporary with 4br/4ba and 4750 sq. ft.

Its larger and superior twin, the Fisher King at 1212 Fisher, is now down a mil, too, offered at $4.995m (start price $5.950m last year).

That home once got star treatment as an LA Times "Home of the Week." Now, a display ad in a local free weekly calls the new price an "Opportunity to Steal the Crown Jewel of Architecture" and adds: "BELOW Market," "BELOW Cost" and "BELOW Appraised Value." No, things are not working out quite as expected.

Nearby, 512 12th (3br/3ba, 2300 sq. ft.) has closed for $1.605m.

It's another cautionary tale.

The home was purchased in 2006 as 1148 Ardmore for $1.360m. The current owners gutted the home, reconfigured it and remodeled completely.

Looking for a nice profit, they offered the redone home for $2.149m in late September. They were up too high by more than $500k.

The closed price, after 5% costs of sale, would net $165k. Does that pay for the remodel?

864 14th (3br/2ba, 1325 sq. ft.; larger 5000 sq. ft. lot) was a quick sale after being offered in mid-May at $1.125m. MBC called it:
one of the snazziest little cottages in the Trees, with recent remodels that leave a nice kitchen, baths and a walk-in closet for the master (in a cottage!).
The sale closed for a token $10k more: $1.135m.

It was a breezy, quick sale, but there is this complication: The home was priced well below its July 2006 acquisition price of $1.417m.

Adding further evidence of how our market has adjusted since then, this one wound up down $282k/-20% after less than 3 years.

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