Recent Closings Roundup

By Dave Fratello | March 3rd, 2010
Though sales were fairly brisk in February, only now are we starting to see a significant number of closed sales.

Each one of the 3 below closes a loop here at MBC, as each property was featured here previously – sometimes more than once.

Double lot for half price: The long saga of 222 N. Poinsettia has finally come to a close, and the sale price is about half of where the listing began: $4.2m, down from a start at $7.9m about 100 years ago; well, July 2008 to be exact. (It was a different world then.)

That's $750k further below the last list price ($4.950m), and a new record in dollar chops from start: $3.7m. (For more on the history on this listing, see "One Less Hill Dirt Option" from January.)

The previous record chop was just short of $3.5m, at the spectacular double-lot home at 218 Anderson last November (see "Ground Down to $6.5m"). (For an extensive look at other big chops from start prices, see "Some of the Biggest We've Seen" from last July.)

At 222 N. Poinsettia, the listing for the double lot boasted of 106 feet of "ocean view frontage." But let's be honest, it's a busy street frontage first. And it was obviously never an $8m property, even as 2 split lots. (We speculated a bit in "Just Split 'Em" in July 2008.)

Anyone can overprice a property, though this was an extreme case. The big question is whether vastly overestimating the market wound up costing the sellers. What if the property had been offered for $5.5m or so back in Summer 2008, before the big financial market meltdown?

Monticello has a new owner: 2100 Pine (5br/5ba, 3100 sq. ft.) sold for $2.1m, after 7 months on market, 2 agents, and $325k in price cuts.

Recall that this one was a unique, custom home with some inspired Nantucket Roman neoclassical er, colonial style. Whatever the style, truly a beaut. (See "Monticello?")

Seller/builders paid $1.4m for the lot in Aug. 2006 which, when you think about it, was a mint for dirt at the utter peak of the local market. It's doubtful that the build, carrying costs and costs of sale were covered by the sale price this year.

Shortie duplex on Marine: MBC doesn't usually cover multi-family homes, but we were intrigued by the listing for 421 Marine when it posted in October (see "Whose Gain?"). The home was pitched as a nice option for an "owner-user" and, at $1.35m, seemed to be priced at the low end of its market value.

Marine was offered as a short sale, on account of a wildly higher acquisition price at $1.850m in Summer 2006. This investment hadn't, apparently, panned out.

Was it below market? MBC was encouraged to run a pricing poll, and we did.

The results story showed that plenty of readers who voted thought the property was, in fact, underpriced. (See "Poll Results: 421 Marine.")

The final closed price we see today, $1.4m, was chosen by 27% of readers who voted, while another 16% thought the property could have gone up to $1.6m.

Though the final price was a slight overbid, this one didn't catch fire like it might have (figuratively speaking). One question we don't yet know the answer to: Owner-user?

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