What Can You Get for About $1.2m?

By Dave Fratello | September 30th, 2010
In MB west of Sepulveda, the $1m mark isn't really the entry level, though there are some homes priced around there.

It seems that $1.2m is more of the price at which you'll get some of the right combination of size, location and decent condition to provide value. Here's a look at some recent offerings, including some in escrow:

516 1st (pictured), a smallish (3br/2ba, 1175 sq. ft.) cottage that launched in early August at $1.219m. (See "Breaking the Curse on 1st?") They made a deal within a few weeks and recently changed the "in escrow" sign to "sold," but haven't posted a closed price yet.

922 11th (3br/2ba, 1525 sq. ft.) is technically in the Hill Section, a 1950s cottage that's had some sprucing up here and there but is otherwise pretty plain, and that goes for the huge back yard on this 7500 sq. ft. lot. The location is an issue, across from a big church parking lot. Now at $1.195m after 100+ DOM.

225 39th (3br/3ba, 1600 sq. ft.) (pictured) is a snappy El Porto Norte remodel purchased as a short sale in 2008 at $1.185m, after someone had paid $1.595m in June 2007 and tried to flip it. This year it lasted about a week at $1.179m.

225 41st (2br/2ba, 1300 sq. ft.) is another El Porto Norte listing, a unique remodel backing up to a market, but well-positioned for big ocean views and featuring a top-level indoor/outdoor space that's special. Recently it's been a rental and hasn't held up perfectly well. It began at $1.099m and had a deal within a few weeks.

421 2nd (4br/3ba, 1625 sq. ft.) is brand new to market, but labeled a "mature home" in the listing – which might mean that it's well-behaved, or just old (maybe both!). We kid, but there's some confusion in the listing: it's both "move-in ready" and "an ideal remodel/rebuild candidate." The words seem to cancel each other out. Worth a look, though. It starts at $1.299m.

533 24th (3br/2ba, 1750 sq. ft.) (pictured) has the dowdy look of a 60s box on the outside, though it sports a 50s build date and is said to be "very clean, ready to go." (Listing.) Before you could blink, someone grabbed it, perhaps near the start price of $1.095m. Meanwhile, a sharp remodel across the street at 532 24th (3br/3ba, 1750 sq. ft.) is still looking to rope in a buyer, now at $1.349m. (Disclosure: 532 24th advertised on MBC.)

2908 Laurel (3br/3ba, 1985 sq. ft.) is a funny Tree Section remodel that we said in June "offers one of the more attractive combinations of location, size, condition and price to come along in a while among lower-end Tree Section homes." The listing lingered longer than expected, a couple months plus, but has a deal in place now, last priced at $1.199m.

3603 Flournoy (3br/3ba, 1650 sq. ft.) is a new listing, a 2005 purchase that was remodeled and whose address – recently 668 Rosecrans – is in transition, just as surely as the home's features recently were. Why keep "Rosecrans" if you've put granite and stainless in the kitchen? Now up at $1.149m.

508 Rosecrans (4br/3ba, 3010 sq. ft.) (pictured) isn't trying to hide the location. Well, not exactly. Print ads don't give an address at all. But the listing tells you where it is, and if you know the 500s, you'll know this one looks across busy Rosecrans to the tank farm. So you'll want to consider the ample interior space and yoga burrito sushi beach proximity as assets while overlooking the home's spot in town as best you can. The remodeling inside is quite nice. Now at $1.199m at about 2 weeks on market.

1724 Oak (5br/4ba, 3325 sq. ft.) hit the market in late August, looking like a bargain at $1.2m for a newer (2000) home. Alas, it's on the "wrong" (Sepulveda) side of Oak and the listing evolved to the point that it said openly that the home needs a "MAJOR renovation." Yikes. It's in escrow now, though.

2613 Pine (3br/2ba, 1800 sq. ft.) (pictured) is brand new to the market, a cute (from the outside), remodeled cottage with extra permitted space and a very decent location. It starts at $1.299m and is sure to be ringing some bells in its first week.

3521 Maple (4br/3ba, 2525 sq. ft.) is a fairly big home on a bigger-than-average lot (5800 sq. ft.) with pool that drew a mention just last week here on MBC, when its short-sale price dropped again, this time to $1.099m. (See "Messages Behind the Cuts.") The listing had run about 60 days, with frequent cuts dropping it from $1.519m to the last list, but now it's got a deal, too.

That's a partial list of what buyers have seen over the last few months. Each home has attractions and question marks.

It's pretty clear that we don't do move-in ready plus great location at $1.2m around here, not often, but there's a way into the 90266 at around that point if the tradeoffs work for you.

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