Tree Section Overbids

By Dave Fratello | June 28th, 2011
If you're going to pay more than asking, make sure it's something special.

With 2 recent deals in the Tree Section, that seemed to be the case.

Interestingly, both overbid sales featured nearly double-sized lots.

3008 Ardmore (3br/2ba, 1900 sq. ft.) has a couple of nice assets. First, it's basically a 7500 sq. ft. lot, quite large for the Trees. You get an ample (and nicely landscaped) front yard and a more than spacious back yard off the family room – also nicely landscaped.

After our first tour – as the offers were already pouring in – we called the home itself "a wonderful blend of old and new, a nicely maintained 1950s rancher with a fully modern kitchen" among other features.

It was clear that first day that the home wouldn't last. Particularly with a sub-$1.2m start price.

It was lovable, reasonably spacious, and had just the one big liability, besides busy Ardmore out front: no real master, with a single bathroom shared among 3 bedrooms.

We said of the start price: "You wouldn't be surprised to see a home like this start somewhat higher than $1.189m."

After the bidding began, 3008 Ardmore finished at $1.295m (+$106/+9%), making it one of those rare examples of how under-pricing a home can draw multiple bids and sell it for market rate quickly. Kudos.

3403 Laurel (6br/4ba, 3600 sq. ft.) is on land that is so close in size to being a double lot, you can almost taste it: 8640 sq. ft. But we were told early on that it's not splittable.

The point at this particular home is to keep improving on a 1939 original that has seen several renovations over the years. It's not the Winchester Mystery House, but you can feel the differences in vintage as you march from point to point in the home and see where the original got an addition, some other space was added later, a modern room was added or upgraded... and so on. There was clearly no overarching plan to the way the space flows now.

Bottom line: The home's unusual, but very lovable, made more so by the big, ample and utterly modern kitchen, plus the bonus-size, family-fun-oriented back yard. Often a pool is a liability, but when it's just a part of a spacious outdoor area, and it fits, it's an asset – as it is here.

3403 Laurel launched at $1.749m. We sensed that maybe the sellers weren't quite sure how great an asset they had, given the home's overall need for work. (How often do you see a broken window at an open house, as we did at Laurel?)

The market figured this one out, though, and Laurel got bid up over $2m.

Final sale price: $2.111m (+$362k/+21%).

When was the last time a Manhattan Beach home was underpriced, or at least drawn into a bidding war, that resulted in a 20% markup? Such an event must be as rare as the offering at Laurel.

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