The 'Bitcoin House' Will Try to Sell in the Year of the 'Emoji House'

By Dave Fratello | October 30th, 2020

There are all kinds of homes around Manhattan Beach.

Cottages, Mediterraneans, Cape Cods, moderns, and so on.

There are prestige locations and iconic homes. Yikes, remember the 3-lot Hill Section Cape Cod at 814 Pacific, selling for $20M in 2017? (See "Just a Couple $20M Sales.")

This year saw the sale of last year's notorious "Hot Pink Emoji House," 216 39th (2br/2ba, 1525 sqft.), which closed for $1.550M in April. (See "Pink Emoji House Sells, Below Comps.")

Now there's another kind of house with a "wow" backstory that's come to market.

The Bitcoin House.

1400 21st Street Manhattan Beach CAIt's 1400 21st (5br/5ba, 4550 sqft.), new in 2016 and built in a "Farmhouse" style on a great corner lot.

The current owners paid $3.225M back in June 2017, and are now asking $3.885M, as the market has clearly risen for new and newer homes in the area.

But this isn't a story about the construction, style, details or spaces.

It's just a callback to the unusual circumstances of the purchase... with Bitcoin, obviously. (Enjoy our long-form story about the purchase here: "East MB Home Bought with Bitcoin.") 

At the time, the purchase of 1400 21st was reputed to be the largest Bitcoin-related purchase of a home in California, twice the price of a $1.6M Lake Tahoe property.

But the home also kinda wasn't bought with Bitcoin.

The builders, a consortium of investors, weren't comfortable when the buyer presented an offer proposing to pay for their product in Bitcoin.

A specific number of Bitcoin were going to be pledged, with a value at the time of $3.225M, and the sellers could take those on and ride the market.

For early adopters and gamblers and soothsayers, taking the Bitcoin would have been the easy choice.

But these were normal people who preferred actual U.S. Dollars, so they demurred. The purchase agreement was drafted to require the buyer to convert the Bitcoin to regular currency at the time of closing. It would be just a regular cash purchase at a stated price in U.S. dollars.

Remember 2017 at all?

In the 30-odd days from offer acceptance to closing, the value of $3M in Bitcoin rose a full million dollars.

So, while the buyer had pledged 4,300 Bitcoin to buy the house, in the end, he needed only 3,300. One report said he went off and bought a Lamborghini to celebrate the windfall. (Which is exactly what you'd expect an early adopter, gambler and maybe a soothsayer to go do.)

Now, the gamble is just about East Manhattan Beach home appreciation.

A meager $660K?

Bitcoin is up over 500% since then.

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