Some Sand Sales

By Dave Fratello | June 17th, 2009
The Sand Section is lagging a bit right now, even as Summer nears. This, as sales in the Hill Section have picked up suddenly and a lot more is going on over in the Trees.

Rather than look at the sales pace in the Sand Section, let's look at closed sales. Six have closed in the past few weeks. In them, we're seeing pretty much what you might expect.

Pretty much getting their asking prices: 3 sales in the teen walkstreets near the beach, plus one delightful home up on the plateau.

Taking hits: 2 homes with challenges.

Here's a look at these closed sales in more detail. First, the more desirable foursome that sold quickly and near asking:
  • 312 17th (4br/4ba, 3525 sq. ft.) (pictured) is a recently remodeled contemporary with a huge roofdeck and – as is common on these walkstreets – a small guest/rental unit (included in square footage).
Lasted only about 2 weeks at $1.949m, closing for the asking price.
  • 316 16th (5br/6ba, 3050 sq. ft.) is a 3-unit building that was listed among SFRs and which boasts a walkstreet location near downtown.
16th started with an attractive price in light of the location: $1.599m. Sold in about a month, closing for $1.540m.
  • 132 19th (3br/3ba, 3300 sq. ft.) (pictured) is the only one of the walkstreet homes mentioned there that is west of Highland – down close to the water, in this case.
A Spanish charmer that, frankly, needs some modernizing but will suit the new family just fine. Oh, and another roofdeck.
This one is about 800-900 sq. ft. smaller than the max you see on new construction. That and the dated elements help account for the comparatively lower sale price, $3.315m ($1,008/PSF), and the 10% drop from its start at $3.695m. Sold in just about 6 weeks.
  • 464 33rd (3br/3ba, 2550 sq. ft.) is a "sweet house" up on the plateau offering "the best combo of price, location and features in a long time" – according to MBC readers who toured the first (and only) open house. This one was featured in "Beauty Calls" shortly before a deal was struck. The sale price, $1.6m, was a thousand dollars over asking.
Now we look at 2 more sales of homes that needed to overcome some obstacles.
  • 333 3rd (4br/3ba, 2750 sq. ft.) is one of the few South End, non-walkstreet sales recently. The home sports a Spanish exterior and plenty of space with a street-to-alley lot on a fairly quiet block near the beach. OK, check. So why wasn't it snapped up last year, when first offered at $1.999m?
The interior had some major issues: foremost among them a bizarre contemporary design with whitewashed floors. That modern look isn't for everyone, and it's really not for people who like Spanish exteriors. The transition was jarring.
The price was down to $1.7m by the time a buyer knocked, and the closing price was down another 10% to $1.531m. We hear contractors are on site now; here's hoping the promise of the exterior can be kept with a properly revised interior.
  • 4104 Highland (3br/3ba, 2550 sq. ft.) is a contemporary with a giant location problem – on the isolated east side of busy Highland in El Porto. Your blog author considered dropping in on an open house a few times over the past couple of years, but just couldn't bear it. We're guessing lots of potential buyers just said "no" in a similar way.
The previous owner paid $1.450m in March 2005 before, shall we say, suffering a reversal of fortune. The home was offered for sale at times in 2007 as high as $1.719m, but drew no interest.
The bank took the property for $1.252m in April 2008 and seems to have held it a while. It hit the market in Feb. 2009 for $1.175m, but some savvy deal-seeker grabbed it for $200k less, at $970k, in a deal that closed early this month.
That's $380/PSF, not bad in the Sand, even if it is in El Norte. The market tells us this home cascaded down in value by $480k (-33%) over 4 years. That shows how poor location can be toxic when mixed with a little REO.

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