Re-Poll: 1413 Pine

By Dave Fratello | January 13th, 2010
Fully 2 years ago, the attractive remodel at 1413 Pine (4br/3ba, 2275 sq. ft.) was offered for the ceiling-pushing price of $1.759m.

The property was the subject of MBC's second-ever pricing poll, way back when. (See the poll setup story.) Because it never sold and has now returned, we'll re-poll it, since it launches with a very different price.

Though MBC wrote 2 years ago that the property was "attractive and nicely located, and might be well-priced," we had a sneaking suspicion that the listing erred too far on the high side.

Readers divided on that question. There were 40% who felt the home would sell for $1.5m or more. Another 39% back then thought it would be in the range of $1.3m-$1.5m. (See the poll results story.)

It turned out that the tiny 6% minority who said Pine would not sell were right.

Now 1413 Pine is priced nearly $400k lower, out of the blocks, than when it began in Jan. 2008. New price: $1.389m.

From 1.7 to 1.3-ish – that's a $400k adjustment that reflects what's happened in the market since early 2008. Prices are down, funny money is hard to find and, increasingly, sellers know it's a waste of time to shoot the moon with an overly optimistic start price.

This year we'll say, once again, that 1413 Pine "might be well-priced."

Now let's hear what you have to say. Please read the balance of the story below and vote in our new poll. The home will also be open to the public this Saturday and Sunday, so we'll be sure to give you time to stop by yourself. Voting will close Sunday, Jan. 17, at 8pm.

First, a little more on the home itself. We'll quote directly from the 2008 story; with [changes or additions in brackets]:

Living spaces: The living room, dining room and kitchen flow together nicely with a very spacious feel. [An office/bedroom is off the kitchen.] The master upstairs is a good size with high ceilings and a spacious bath. The other two bedrooms – also upstairs – are comfortable and bright, although they share a hallway bath.

Location: There are many "hearts" of the Tree Section, to judge by the ads you see, but 14th and Pine definitely qualifies as one of those hearts.

Curb appeal: Terrific. You may know already that MBC swoons a bit for the Craftsman look; this execution is tight and attractive.

Mitigating factors: The biggest downside for any buyer is the vintage of the remodel. Ten years is not so long ago, but the flooring, kitchen and master bath just feel outmoded, even if they're solid. [Note: The remodel was in 1998; we're sure from the pics now that the flooring has been upgraded.]
Overall the home has a plain-vanilla feel. It goes down easy, and its adequate size will have some appeal at the right price. So what is that price?

Before we discuss comps, it may be significant to note that the property had a notice of default (NOD) filed in November 2009. Similarly, there was an NOD against the property in Jan. 2008, right as the previous listing began, but that one appears to have been cured. Serious buyers will want to know what importance, if any, the NODs have for seller motivation.

There's really no active listing to compete with 1413 Pine in the Trees right now. That makes the January launch good timing.

You may note the roughly comparable size at 2405 Elm (3br/3ba, 2175 sq. ft., $999k), but the upside-down layout there and more dated look put it a tier below Pine. Meanwhile, 2606 Pacific offers pluses and minuses at about the same price ($1.399m) – same number of bedrooms, 1200 more square feet, but a contemporary styling that isn't popular and a Pacific location that is a further drag.

Looking for an opinion on pricing, MBC asked for and got a helpful analysis from Ideal Home Brokers, a new brokerage affiliated with the Irvine Housing Blog. (Click here to download the brief analysis [PDF].)

In coming up with a value estimate (see page 1), IHB cited a few current rental offerings, and used these sold properties as comps (click any highlighted address for more pics & details on the solds):
  • 1600 Elm (3br/3ba, 1980 sq. ft.), a cute, slightly smaller home fairly near 1413 Pine that seems to have benefited from a remodel/rebuild in a similar style to Pine, though with more recent updates. Sold for $1.245m last July; 
  • 1813 Pacific (4br/3ba, 2150 sq. ft.), a fully remodeled and updated home with a stylish, sunny yard and an extra studio/office/playroom out back. Sold in July for $1.380m;
  • 500 14th (3br/3ba, 2250 sq. ft.), a mid-century home near downtown (and on Ardmore) that had been completely updated to modern standards, which sold for $1.290m in December (see "More Evidence for '04 Prices Today"); and
  • 649 29th (4br/3ba, 2665 sq. ft.), a cute home with some square footage in an outbuilding and some need for updates, boasting the best location of the properties mentioned in this story. It sold short in November for $1.375m.
So what will 1413 Pine sell for, if it sells on this try?

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