A Real Turkey

By Dave Fratello | November 21st, 2007
As you prepare to give thanks for your blessings this week, here's one to add to the list:

You do not now, and probably never will, live at 462 36th Place.

This dreadful SFR is currently the cheapest home west of Sepulveda – for the second time this year. (Click address above for details via Redfin.) For $929k, the listing says you will get 3br/2ba and 1150 sq. ft. on a 1260 sq. ft. lot. The writeup concludes: "Must see!"

But if you see it, you may be traumatized – so be warned.

After this home was purchased in August of this year for $760k (second pic is the "before"), it was rapidly remodeled – just 8 weeks between closing and return to market on Sept. 27. The remodel did update the exterior, and surely improved the interior, but it had to be pretty bad previously for this Home-Depot-clearance-table job to qualify as an improvement:
  • Pergo-type faux-wood flooring that has soft, bubbly, bouncy spots;
  • Low-end appliances and presswood countertops in the kitchen;
  • $70 "fancy" mirrors screwed to the bathroom walls as accents; and
  • Raw wood stairs from the 2nd to the 3rd floor bedroom.
The flipper may or may not have gotten permits for this work, but what he or she really needed was quality control, and the city doesn't provide that.

The remodel is subpar, but that's not the biggest issue in this horror show. From small to big:

Le Garage. There is a garage (apparently legal), but good luck fitting any modern car into it. Good for a pinball machine, bad for opening your doors.

Location, location... The location is on one of MB's most-shameful streets. 36th Place is just not discussed in polite company. It's an alley, and a ghastly one at that. We're not sure any other house has an entry on this street – mostly it's garages for homes on Rosecrans or 36th St. (a street that's no beaut up here, either). (Third pic shows the street; fourth pic, the view of the refinery from the top of the block.)

The Tower of Horrors. Alas, there's something worse than the location – a late-1980s addition that produced a strange, 3-story tower at the back of the main house. Start up the steps, and you're awed by the height of the ceiling above, which we might call cathedral-like, if not for the risk of offending various religions. The 150-sq.-ft. 2nd-floor landing is, apparently, a "bedroom." (No door.) If you dare, you may hike up the ultra-steep, extremely perilous, raw-wood staircase (just get me a ladder!!) to the loft above, which, given the closet, is evidently the third "bedroom." Oh, the horror.

MBC cannot tell you:
  • Why this lot was split in the first place (forcing 462 36th Pl to front the alley);
  • Why this home was built;
  • Why the late-80s remodel (adding the second & third floors) was so awful;
  • Why the Sept. 2007 remodel was so uninspired and cheap;
  • What the flippers were thinking; or
  • Why anyone would spend $900k+ to live here, given the many, many... ok, many better options all over the world for $900k.
Thanks be to 462 36th Pl for helping us to ask: Is a ZIP code alone really worth a million dollars, regardless of the house or location?

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