Tree Dirt Update

By Dave Fratello | September 10th, 2009
If you're wondering what dirt is worth in the Tree Section, there's evidence building in a cluster along 17th St.

Last week, 1708 Pine closed at $850k.

That was down from the $975k asking price in January, but fairly consistent with a couple recent sales.

1708 Pine could be a massive rehab project (it was limply pitched as a fixer) but, more likely, it's got a date with a 'dozer.

Regardless, the value was in the dirt here. (We poked a little fun at the listing, which featured several exterior shots almost as lovely as this one, in "Glam Dirt.")

The Pine sale is the second with an 8 in front in recent months. 1733 Elm closed in late May for $801k as a short sale. (MBC noted that one in "Dirt Cheaper?")

Don't be deceived by that cheery photo. The home was stuck in an awkward limbo between remodel and scraper when it was offered to the public, making it something of a unique case.

The sellers had paid $1.050m in Oct. 2004, eventually beginning a remodel that they couldn't finish. The home was largely gutted when it needed to find a new owner.

Suddenly that $800k value on Elm doesn't look so shocking.

There's another data point up the road (17th) a tad.

At 1708 Oak, a spiffy but small (2br/1ba, 850 sq. ft.) remodel went for $795k in mid-June. That was essentially the asking price (-$4k).

So subtract for Oak (the "wrong" side, no less), but add value for the move-in quality. You're still at $800k. (These little cottages just seem to keep drawing buyers.)

Now, if you're not near 17th, or looking there, you have to extrapolate and adjust further to get a handle on values.

Before all these sales near $800k came in, there was a brighter note at 1828 Walnut. This 4br/2ba, 1400 sq. ft. cottage was described as a "fabulous fixer opportunity." (You can translate that however you please.) It closed for $950k in late May.

Walnut boasts a great block, but the dirt sank just a bit (figuratively!) over the Summer.

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