'Pink Emoji House' Now for Sale

By Dave Fratello | August 19th, 2019

The "Emoji House" is now for sale.

216 39th Street Manhattan Beach CAYou can see 216 39th up on the market asking $1,749,000. (Click the address. It's listed on the more obscure "residential income" segment of the MLS.)

The notorious, controversial, hot-pink international sensation has been serving as a rental since the current owner bought it in March 2018 for $1,350,000.

216 39th Street Manhattan Beach CAAs it seems that everyone from here to Jakarta knows, some of the duplex's rental service time included illegal short-term rentals. The city of Manhattan Beach imposed a $4,000 fine after learning of the short-term rentals from neighbor reports.

Neighbor reports seem to have led to owner retaliation, taking the form of that hot-pink paint job and the goofy emoji murals. (The property owner implausibly denies such motivations, and denies that the mural singled out one particular neighbor for ridicule.)

The big question, once the Emoji House became a bona fide "tourist attraction" according to Google, was: What next?

Neighbors were complaining, the city was getting involved, cops were called over to move tourists along and the owner seemed to be enjoying her time in the spotlight.

Would a war of lawsuits break out?

Would the city crack down?

Would vandals swoop in late one night and paint the place a boring beige?

No no no.

What you do with a famous property, if your goal all along was profit, is try to sell it at the very moment that everyone is talking about it.

That's one way to escape an extended conflict with the government and nearby homeowners.

Mural-Painting Homeowner Stands to Profit

We predicted the possibility of a sale less than 2 weeks ago in our own post "Thumbs Down to the 'Emoji House.'"

We wondered aloud if neighbors could stand to see the owner go out with a "win" if she could sell for a profit.

Now we've confirmed with the listing agent that a couple of neighbors already have inquired about purchasing the property. You could almost take up a collection on the block at this point.

The plus: You get rid of the nuisance.

The minus: You're paying your tormentor to go away.

Now, we mostly took the side of neighbors previously. We're anti-bully. #BeBest

But we did learn that not all the neighbors find the Emoji House to be such an awful imposition on their lives. One wrote to MB Confidential to say of the Emoji House, "It’s funny to me that it bothers everyone so much... It actually adds character even though it’s a bit ridiculous."

Here's the new risk for neighbors: What if a buyer for the property wants it precisely for the emojis and the notoriety?

It's plausible.

The "Pink Emoji House" has just completed the most successful real estate marketing rollout imaginable, even if it wasn't planned as such. It's been on TV, radio, international print media and all over the place online. People everywhere have opinions about it. (Although opinions are like... )

There is no service or consultant you can pay to get the kind of attention the Emoji House got this month.

How's the Price on the Emoji House?

Does the combination of attention, notoriety, and murals add value?

The asking price of $1,749,000 for 216 39th seems just a tick over some recent sales of older El Porto duplexes:

212 Seaview Street Manhattan Beach CA212 Seaview (2br/2ba, 1045 sqft.) sold for $1,610,000 in Sept. 2018. (Pictured.)

200 39th (3br/3ba, 1415 sqft.) sold for $1,715,000 in Aug. 2018.

Tiny 208 Moonstone (2br/2ba, 950 sqft.) sold for $1,300,000 in July 2018.

4310 Ocean Drive (2br/2ba, 1400 sqft.) sold for $1,550,000 in March 2018.

Who wants it more?

The neighbors, some bland value investor or (gulp!) someone who would want to preserve the murals and keep the property as some kind of jokey landmark?

Remember, the owner paid a pretty measly $1,350,000 before doing some light remodeling to "save" the dilapidated duplex. She stands to profit to the tune of $250K or more if they can find a buyer.

Hold onto your hats, folks. The story isn't nearly over.

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