Three to See in the Trees

By Dave Fratello | January 18th, 2009
We shall gradually get back into the swing of things with MBC's "Weekend Opens" feature.

This weekend we feature 3 like listings within a block or so of each other. As the year unfurls, we'll get back to section-by-section highlights.

If you happen to visit one of our recommended listings, be sure to tell the agent there that MBC sent you.

Click here for the complete list of opens published in the Beach Reporter, or at any time use the link in the right-hand column under "Prop. Search Tools."

As always, click any highlighted address below for more pics & details via Redfin.

Three in the Trees

In the neighborhood near Pacific School (loosely the American Martyrs area) there's a busy block – Poinsettia between 17th and 18th boasts 3 active listings, 2 of them open this weekend. Just around the corner, on Pacific, is a third that's open:

1813 Pacific gets first mention as it's the lowest-priced at $1.499m. That money gets you a classily updated, modestly sized home (4br/3ba, 2125 sq. ft.). The curb pic here is actually the last one featured in the listing; almost everything else is much more charming.

We like the flow and the tasteful back deck and yard, oriented west for afternoon/evening sun. The sellers paid $935k exactly 5 years ago (Jan. 2004) and tried last Summer at $1.599m.

The new price is still a healthy markup of $564k (+60%), ahead of the area's pace over that period, but part of that surely comes from the substantial remodel these owners accomplished. Open. Sun. 1-4pm.

1800 Poinsettia is just a bit bigger than 1813 Pacific, with 3br/3ba and 2350 sq. ft., and of course it's on a much quieter street. That's part of why it begins at $1.579m.

The lot is actually smaller than the Pacific house (4440 vs. 4800 at Pacific), but the back yard here is also a darling asset, as is the garage-in-rear setup – no garage face!

1800 Poinsettia is sweetly updated also, with a great family feel. With just 3 bedrooms, one of them downstairs, there will be issues for some buyers.

The current owners picked up this home just a bit later than the Pacific owners did, paying $1.320m in June 2004. The markup they're seeking at this time is far less ambitious, then, at +$259k/+20%. This one is also open Sun. 1-4pm.

Before we move on to the next open, let's make note of something. Both of the listings above have PPSFs near $700 – 1813 Pacific is at $702/PSF, and 1800 Poinsettia is at $675/PSF. Of some side interest is the fact that those prices are near the median for MB as of year-end (see "PPSF Peaked in Nov. '06"). More directly at issue – the competition, which we turn to now.

Third in our series is 1728 Poinsettia, the largest of this group by a lot, and not all that much pricier. After a cut this week, it's at $1.649m.

How much bigger? Try 4br/3ba and almost 3500 sq. ft. That is a big step ahead of the others.

MBC featured this one around Thanksgiving when it first hit the market. Then, we called it "a mid-80s build that's been tastefully updated over the 20 years the owners have had it. On balance, this is pretty much the whole package that many families looking in the Tree Section are seeking."

Much more square footage, not-much-bigger price – hey, how's that PPSF? Turns out it's below $500, at $473/PSF. This can't be good news for the neighbors right now. Open Sun. 2-4pm.

We can't really wrap here without mentioning the fourth listing that belongs in this story – 1608 Poinsettia. It's not open, and if you drop by you won't see a sign out, but it's a factor in this mix.

This one offers 5br/4ba, 3625 sq. ft., and is both the biggest and the newest of the 4 homes mentioned here, with a 1990 build. It's also probably the least updated, as the others have been remodeled more recently. Priced now at $1.599m.

The listing agent calls 1608 Poinsettia "[p]robably the best deal on the market in the trees," and that might be true. But there are issues. The home is a short sale and must be taken as-is. There is apparently a lender approval on a price from a deal that fell apart previously, so it might be quicker than a typical shortie.

This one has the lowest PPSF of the 4 we have discussed, at $441/PSF. Again, not good news, for now, for the neighbors hovering near $700.

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