Unique Ain't Always Great

By Dave Fratello | October 22nd, 2007
Few listings have entered the Tree Section market at the level of $1.9-$2.0m recently. So when a new one, 2404 Palm (click for details), came on this week at $1.895m, it drew some notice. Busy open houses testified to the hunt for value that's still going on beneath the surface of a quiet market.

MBC is guessing that the average visitor walked away shaking his or her head, disappointed and a bit awed by the strangeness of this home.

You'll fall in love again with the standard Tree Section home layouts when you've seen Palm's unexpected and peculiar 3-story design. Enter on the level featuring the kitchen and dining room, and, if you're not to be dining, you'll be going up to the master, or down to the living room and three other bedrooms.

For those of you keeping score at home, the master bedroom is separated from the kids' rooms by two stories. Families with kids of any age are going to find issues with that fact. (And if you don't have kids, why do you need 3 basement bedrooms?)

The basement-level living room is light and airy, thanks to the three stories' worth of space cleared out above – which is nicer than we just made it sound. It's kind of grand, if awkward.

Ughhh, but those bedrooms. Sunken, dark. Two have little windows looking out on the foundations of the neighbors' homes. One, at least, opens to the, achem, back yard. (More on that in a minute.)

As the rather scarce and awful listing photos show, there's an overall 80s/contemporary vibe, but there has been some spot remodeling, thankfully including the kitchen. The master is actually great, bright – has a whole floor to itself, in fact.

Warning: the flyer is a liar when it speaks of a "Beautifully Landscaped Backyard." They mean the few new vines and impatiens bordering the 10-foot-deep concrete patio.

At $1.895m for 4br/3ba and 3100 sq. ft., the price for Palm makes sense only on paper. They're starting with PPSF and the location bonus – a great street – but not adjusting enough for the house itself.

In reality, there's no such thing as a $1.9m buyer; buyers in this range are looking at spending up to $2.25m or so if they can get the right deal. And at $1.99m, they have three bigger, better options:
  • 2509 Poinsettia (5br/4ba, 3300 sq. ft.) – $1.999m (paid $1.98m 2 yrs. ago)
  • 561 35th (6br/5ba, 4350 sq. ft.) – $1.999m (down from $2.299m last year)
The abundant strangeness of 2404 Palm seems likely to mean it'll be with us a while, and/or that we'll see some price chops.

MBC is always aware that, in predicting, we risk being wrong. (Hey, even 844 11th found a buyer!) But, whew, Palm is such a head-scratcher, we can't imagine someone walking in and saying, "I must live here!"

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