Time Heals, and Boosts Values

By Dave Fratello | March 20th, 2018

One of the well-recognized dangers of the spec building business is not knowing what the environment may be like in 18-24 months when you finish a big project.

And one of sadder illustrations of the danger of "missing the top" came several years ago at a particular Hill Section spec home. Luckily, as they say, time heals all wounds.

218 N Dianthus Street Manhattan Beach CAHere on MBC oh-so-many years ago, we tracked the difficult sale process for 218 N. Dianthus (4br/5ba, 6110 sqft.), which we're reminded of now because the home recently has come on the market for sale again.

The masterful, estate-style home was first completed in early 2008, tried for $6.795M, and then, wham!... the world changed.

Suddenly everyone was depressed, no one had money, certainly no one could get a loan and even luxury real estate got shellacked. 

As things wound up at 218 N. Dianthus, the builders finally had to let the property go for $3.900M in Summer 2009, some 17 months after first listing it for sale. (Price from tax records.)

That time would later prove to be the actual bottom of the market. (See more on the sale in "Deal Down Down Low, High on the Hill.")

It was a time when cash buyers started snapping up deals (like this property) and a recovery began.

Now as you look at the home today, you can see what a deal the then-buyers struck.

Less than $4M for 6000+ sqft. with views and a sizable yard? Is that really an 8200+ sqft. lot?

Today, they're asking $6.395M.

If they got all of that, it'd be a net gain of $2.475M (+63%) over about 9 years.

218 N Dianthus Street Manhattan Beach CAIt's not a huge stretch to think that the sellers could get that number, or close, here in the 2018 market.

Even if prime time for Italianate homes in the Hill Section is in the rear-view mirror, there's always a slot for a solidly built, well-crafted home with ocean views, regardless of which way the wind is blowing for home styles. And that's what makes this one easy to appreciate.

218 N Dianthus Street Manhattan Beach CAThe unusual 60' wide lot at the peak of the hill affords a sprawling layout. Because of its view location, this home sports an upside-down setup, with bedrooms spread around the entry floor. The master is sumptuous and large, and offers a feature that's easy to love: It opens out to a large, in-ground backyard hot tub. So if you want to make it a habit to take a dip just before bed... it's right there. (Also, if you can't sleep... it's right there.)

There's a basement media room, moderately sized but certainly enough for the job.

218 N Dianthus Street Manhattan Beach CAUpstairs, the floorplan flows around a central staircase, with a dining room in back, living areas in front and a huge kitchen. The kitchen also happens to play host to one of the very biggest kitchen islands we've encountered. (Get it, en-"counter"-ed? OK, thanks for playing.) We once likened that vast center island to an aircraft carrier, while a past listing claimed it to be "the size of Capri." Even with allowances for exaggeration, yes, it is big.

If you've ever seen the difference between a 40' wide and 50' wide lot and appreciated what's possible with just 10 extra feet, maybe you can guess what more is possible with a 60' wide lot. The flow is really interesting, and contributes an appealing part of the luxe feel of the home overall.

There's competition in the Hill Section these days, including a couple more Mediterraneans. It's early in the Spring yet (actual, literal Spring starts the day after this post goes up), so there's time for this one to find its buyer.

But if some prospective buyer is now hoping to steal 218 N. Dianthus, too bad. That already happened.

Please see our blog disclaimer.

Latest Listings Among
Manhattan Beach Homes For Sale