'Pink Emoji House' Sells, Below Comps

By Dave Fratello | April 3rd, 2020

Back in late Summer last year, while the world was bored and feeling extra frivolous, there was an international sensation born in El Porto.

The "Hot Pink Emoji House" appeared to be one owner's "screw you" message to neighbors on the block.

When the house hit the news, everyone from El Porto to Pago Pago to London and Rio, and most points in between, heard about the Emoji House. Many took the chance to laugh, while others held contempt for the owner's actions and words.

The owner soon sought to capitalize on the international renown of her property, putting it up on the market for $1.749M in late August. (MB Confidential was first with that news.)

That could have been hefty profit, considering that the owner paid $1.350M in March 2018, before a quick remodel.

Alas, the magic wore off quickly, and the Emoji House got stuck on the market. It took several price cuts over 3+ months before making a deal.

Now, a very long 5 months after going into escrow, 216 39th (2br/2ba, 1525 sqft.) has closed for $1.550M.

It's quite a chunk of change for a home that we described as having been "a dilapidated, cobbled-together duplex sporting a 1931 original build date" before it first sold in Dec. 2017, to a builder, for $1.250M.

The emoji-painting owner took it off the developer's hands for a $100K markup, and appeared to have "saved" the house by making it habitable, before turning it briefly into a hotel. A series of short-term rentals at the house generated neighbor complaints, a reported $4,000 fine, and eventually that hot pink paint job with the murals. Controversy ensued.

There was some thought when the Emoji House hit the market that it might sell for more than expected because it was such a landmark. (Google still calls it a "tourist attraction.")

But the sale is below recent comps.

In the 100-block, the newest little duplex sale is more than $500K higher: 116 Seaview (3br/2ba, 1320 sqft.), much closer to the water, just sold in late March this year for $2.075M.

On the 200-block of the same street as the Emoji House, a typical El Porto duplex at 200 39th (3br/3ba, 1415 sqft.) sold for $1,715,000 in Aug. 2018.

Also on 39th, a remodeled single-family home with a direct view of the Emoji House, 225 39th (3br/3ba, 1600 sqft.), sold for $1.900M in November last year. (It's not really a comp, being an SFR, but it's notable.)

212 Seaview Street Manhattan Beach CAAnd one more duplex, much smaller than the Emoji House, did better 18 months ago. 212 Seaview (2br/2ba, 1045 sqft.) sold for $1,610,000 in Sept. 2018.

So it's possible to say that the Hot Pink Emoji House underperformed as a duplex, even if we note that it originally sold for land value, and $1.550M would be pretty solid for land today.

Everyone wants to know (or do they?): Is the new owner keeping the murals?

Let's come back to that when it feels like time to be frivolous again.

Please see our blog disclaimer.

Latest Listings Among
Manhattan Beach Homes For Sale