Pricing Poll: 742 27th

By Dave Fratello | January 25th, 2008
It's time for another MBC pricing poll. We're aware that this makes 3 out of 3 in the Tree Section, so we'll diversify next time. We think you'll agree this one poses a nice challenge.

Please read through the story and vote, supporting your vote in the comments as you like. The window on this one is 2 days instead of 3 – closing Sat. nite at 9pm.

'Better Than New'

The slick, stylish ads for the large remodeled Tree Section home at 742 27th have always pitched it as "better than new." (Click address for details via Redfin.)

When the home (with 4br/4ba and 3550 sq. ft.) came on the market in early October, at $2.4m, it was priced higher than 6 brand-new homes, and $1k above 3 more new homes. So they had to say it was "better than new."

As of this week, 742 27th is at $2.1m (-$300k/-12%) after 3 1/2 months. Now there are 4 new homes priced lower.

This one will sell. The owners have purchased a new home in MB – so this one goes when the price is right.

OK, so, is it "better than new?"

Yes, the home is more appealing than the standard-issue new construction in the Trees. It's got very up-to-date features and details from a recent, complete remodel that put the home on a par with any modern home. That's an achievement because the house was a speckie built in 1991, a blank slate for the remodel. The owners showed a lot of taste and attention to detail.

Thankfully, the floorplan is terrific. You might miss the otherwise now-standard 1st floor guest room you would find in new homes, but, without it, the living spaces are bigger and hang together nicely.

The main beneficiary, spacewise, is probably the family room off the kitchen, which feels larger than some new-home executions of this "great room" concept. Those living spaces open onto a tidy, tastefully landscaped yard that steps up a bit from the house, adding privacy and a feeling of quiet isolation.

The 4 bedrooms upstairs are all spacious – none of those kid-closets you'll see in the newbies as builders try to squeeze too much into too little space. As it stands now, one b/r is outfitted with a built-in desk as well as a bed (sort of an office/bedroom) while the master also offers a separate office with built-ins, in addition to a walk-in-closet. The master bath easily holds its own against the offerings in the finer new homes.

The main negatives besides the "missing" 5th bedroom are really exterior issues – the curb isn't great, just acceptable, therefore a bit misleading as to what's inside. Similarly, your first impressions could be skewed by the brick entryway, which just feels dated. (In the same way, mind you, that stapled-on stone details are going to feel dated in a few years.)

At $2.1m, 742 27th is now at $592/PSF. We count 4 listings in all of the Trees with a lower PPSF. So the recent cut (-$199k) has made the listing look competitive by this measure. This PPSF is at the low end of all $2m+ sales over the last 6 months.

Intriguingly, the current price and PPSF are identical to a recent sale of new construction (2807 Elm) – same size, bigger lot, lesser location.

The issue continues to be how this home compares to new stuff. If you're going to spend $2m, you've probably got your pick of 7-8 new homes, so why take a remodel?

And yet, someone will fall in love with 742 27th, perhaps soon. The question is what kind of deal they'll strike.

Voting here closes Saturday at 9pm.

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