What to Do with Chabela, Pacific?

By Dave Fratello | April 30th, 2013

We've recently seen 2 homes that are severely dated, nearly un-fixable, with the upside mostly on development, not a remodel.

Not that we dare to rule out remodels every time – smart and creative people do wonders.

But 418 Chabela in East MB (pictured) and 1026 Pacific in the Hill Section share something in common: They're old, cluttered wrecks that invite require buyers to see past everything around them and imagine something different.

Chabela is the most curious case, perhaps. First, we have to say where it is. This is in the "Poets Section" of East MB, just east of Sepulveda and pretty far south for MB. (Hermosa is on the other side of Sepulveda.)

Nearly this whole area was originally developed in the 1950s/60s as flat, one-story ranchers, and surprisingly few of these homes in the Poets Section have been redeveloped.

418 Chabela has fairly compelling PV and ocean-slice views from the first level at the front of the lot – views which could be quite nice if a new home were built up. It's the luck of the street and the slope.

But the current home... we couldn't even think about updating it. It's a mishmash of an original, mostly L-shaped home, with none of the rooms being all that big, the layout and flow not so hot.

What you do see here is a 6900 sq. ft. lot on a very quiet street – and did we mention the ocean and PV views?

For $1.069M (the start price), that's attractive for land value in East MB, and we'd have to bet on Chabela having a date with a 'dozer.

1026 Pacific (4br/3ba, 2170 sq. ft.) is one we've reviewed here previously.

We said, with some disappointment, that it "seems to offer a lot of promise, with a very decent-looking throwback cottage feel and a big 6000 sq. ft. lot, but, man, is it going to be a project for someone." (Here's a link to the whole review.)

We concluded that this one was priced high for a pure land trade ($1.500M) but needed too much work to be worth the effort of a remodel – especially given some real layout problems. For instance, rooms are small, there's no real yard out back and no common space really connects to it.

We've heard tell that there are plenty of people knocking at the door, which is a good sign. But what do they actually plan to do?

(UPDATE: Shortly after this post went up, 1026 Pacific was posted in escrow.)

You've got MBC's bet on each of these getting razed, but of course our preservationist instincts mean we'd be happy to be wrong.

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Bonus question of the day: Where did this name "Chabela" come from in East MB?

We don't immediately see a poet with that name and could not find any info on the connection of Chabela to MB. You know we love to share history nuggets (like some of the story of Col. Blanton Duncan in "A Third Duncan?").

Share what you know, and we'll share with MBC readers. Please email Dave (address: df90266 [ at ] gmail.com), or post in the comments.

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