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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