Santa Gets $2m Less than Hoped

By Dave Fratello | October 8th, 2009
Tree Section neighbors and American Martyrs parishioners know 633 15th as the home of a neon Tommy Bahama Santa festival each year.

Over-the-top decorations, including a 6-foot dancing Santa and a slew of bright displays, overtook the double-lot home near the church each year, inviting many a drive-by peek over the years.

You may note that's now written in the past tense.

We got an extra Christmas out of this Santa, but he's moving on.

Almost 17 months after first seeking $5.495m for the home (in May 2008), the sellers have closed a deal for $3.550m (-$1.945m/-35% from start).

That's a big chop from an overly ambitious beginning, quite nearly $2m. It's also well below the last list price ($4.295m) – the buyers took an extra $745k (-17%) off when getting Santa to say "yes."

Back in February, MBC noted that the home appeared to be approaching lot value as it hit $4.295m. In "Big Lot or Big House?," we said then:
For the money, the build is not impressive. (Don't even get us started on the attached "guest house.") So it has lingered, and if it were to gradually near $4m, that could be lot value.

Nearby, on the ocean-view side of the hill on 15th, regular-size lots were worth almost exactly $2m in Summer 2006, when a few were purchased for spec development. (All successful in 2007-08.)

We'd still bet on 15th finding a buyer for the home as it stands, but, for now, it's the second-biggest lot in town on offer, and some visionary could swoop in with a very different idea of what belongs at this particular address.
A $3.55m sale price is probably still above lot value, but we're watching to see whether the property remains more or less as-is, or if the buyers are some "visionaries" after all.

Meantime, farewell to Santa – enjoy the milk and cookies.

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