Same House, Big Price Difference

By Dave Fratello | December 19th, 2012
We have an interesting pair of sales to look at that might cast an interesting light on the dollar divide between East MB and MB west of Sepulveda.

Take the same house, built in the same year, and put it in 2 different subpar locations, east and west.

What's the price difference?

1209 Oak
1209 Oak (5br/5ba, 3125 sq. ft.) sold most recently. It's a 10-year-old Mediterranean, surprisingly warm with nice woods and good touches inside. It's on the "right" side of Oak (not the commercial side), but on a fairly busy stretch near MBB, and with businesses right across the street.

It's got the classic great room layout, with a lot of family space in back, opening to an outdoor room and reasonably sized, hardscaped yard. Lot size: 4480 sq. ft.

They just closed the sale recently here at $1.700m. That's fairly high for recent years on Oak, but hey, this is 2012.

1769 1st
Now, you can find precisely the same house (far) east of the highway at 1769 1st (5br/5ba, 2880 sq. ft.). It's a little smaller inside due to the (unusually) smaller lot: 4140 sq. ft.

But on balance, this is the same house, same builder, same layout, same year, just in a notably worse location, with Aviation looming.

In May 2008: $1.410m.

In Dec. 2012: newly in escrow, last list: $1.399m.

The smaller lot means almost no yard at all. And the location was such a factor that this clean, attractive home ran up 5 months' worth of DOM in a sellers' market. But here, now they have found a buyer.

We observed in an open-house review:

[The] compromises are what brings 1769 1st in range for some buyers who wouldn't otherwise get a 10-year-old Mediterranean with a big island kitchen and lots of bells and whistles.
Of course, we can't close this chapter until they close the sale.

But we see hints here that these 2 very comparable homes are going to close at least 18% apart, maybe more. Same actual house, smaller lot, 18% off. That may or may not be typical of the east/west price gap, but for these 2 identical houses, it's a notable difference nonetheless.

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