Raze the Monster

By Dave Fratello | August 13th, 2012
Confused monster house at 650 18th
In May we toured 650 18th and reported back here on MBC that it was "hard to overstate" what a "difficult" house it was, albeit in a "terrific location."

A neighbor who had just toured agreed readily: the monster house (4br/4ba, 4350 sq. ft.) with its very difficult layout might be best off euthanized, razed and begun again.

In a situation like that, who knew it would go quickly (5 DOM) at the asking price of $2.6m, with – we hear – more than one suitor? (The sale closed a few weeks ago.)

So, what might you figure the lot value as here at 650 18th, with a 6240 sq. ft. plot and maybe some ocean peek/view potential, but just generally a great Martyrs hill location?

Well, you could look to the also-very-recent sale at 635 18th, a smaller home (4br/4ba, 2900 sq. ft.) with layout challenges that could use some work. That one closed for $2.4m and has confirmed ocean peeks. Does that help?

No, no, put away the slide rule – the market tells us that the land value, to this buyer, was $2.6m for 650 18th.

Because we're hearing they don't want the house at all – the neighbor directly behind 650 18th, over on 17th St., purchased it with an eye toward making it a nice yard for the 17th St. house.

A yard.

That's the kind of multi-parcel acquisition you hear about more in the Hill Section, where mini-estates get cobbled together step by step over the years. If it's going to happen in the Trees, though, Martyrs is where you'd expect it.

If there's a top-flight block in all of the Martyrs area, it's 17th, the cul-de-sac, semi-private street that ends above the American Martyrs school playing fields. So to own on 17th and blast through the back wall to absorb a huge yard space on 18th – that's living.

Curiously, the 17th St. house in question remains more or less a modest early-1950s cottage, as it was when purchased for pretty much the same $2.6m in the heyday year of 2006.

So that's 2 adjoining homes with the same owners at $2.6m each, and nothing big or fancy – yet. 

But once they are in for almost $5.5m before any grand plans come together, don't you want to see what they can do?


635 18th – across the street
UPDATE: We've kind of backed into this in our post – it turns out that both of these 18th St. houses, 650 18th and 635 18th, seem to be opportunistic purchases by neighbors.

We got a tip that 635 18th was purchased by a trust that also owns the next-door neighbor to the west. And it checks out.

Their plans for the challenged neighbor? TBD. 

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