What's Moving These Days

By Dave Fratello | October 12th, 2010
Everyone says there's a slowdown in sales, to be expected once the weather cools off calendar switches to October, but some nicer homes under $2m have found buyers recently. Here's a quick review of some of the more interesting recent deals.

568 35th (3br/2ba, 1600 sq. ft.) was going to go quickly, that much was clear from the start. (In mid-September; see our "Weekend Opens" review.) The "beach chic" home was featured in this spread in the June 2010 edition of Better Homes & Gardens.

A snazzy remodel plus good outdoor space seemed to trump the armory- and refinery-adjacent location, just as we saw at neighboring 562 35th (3br/3ba, 2000 sq. ft.), which sold for $1.575m back in April.

568 35th began a bit lower than that at $1.499m and had a deal within 10 days.

532 24th (3br/3ba, 2200 sq. ft.) is a bright Sand Section cottage with fully updated interior, including a newly added upstairs master.

The home's delightful, though we held back a bit in discussing it when it was on the market because the seller was also an advertiser. (Which we did disclose.)

One hesitation from potential buyers appears to have been the master up/kids down layout, but plenty of families work with that just fine. 24th hit the market at $1.379m and was down only to $1.349m when a deal was struck.

121 42nd made a brief appearance on MBC (and the MLS) in June 2009 when first offered as a short sale. It's a small (2br/2ba, 1075 sq. ft.), mid-70s bungalow in El Porto that will require some vision to be retooled, but we hear the buyers have that vision. (They're MBC readers, of course.)

In March 2005, this property sold in a week, above asking, at $1.345m. The short-sale offering price in 2009 was $859k. It went back to the bank instead, and was offered around Labor Day this year for $829k, a whopping chop of -$515k/-38% from that plainly silly overbid price from 2005.

3005 Oak (3br/2ba, 1175 sq. ft.) is a little, older cottage that burned and got completely rebuilt inside by insurance money. It's a rare case of a redone house that's not flip of some kind.

After our first tour, MBC called it "very clean and crisp" and "a surprisingly fresh new house," despite the "largely unimproved exterior." If you're going to take a little starter on Oak, this is a good part of Oak and the "right" side as well.

After a start at $950k, the listing came down to $925k and had run about 5 weeks total when a buyer knocked.

2523 N. Valley (4br/5ba, 2800 sq. ft.) is a unique, darling Spanish ("Monterey Colonial" per the listing) with lots of unique details. Though it's truly charming, it's on the smaller side for new construction and gets punished for the Valley location.

Buying the home new and near the local market peak in Feb. 2006, the sellers paid $2.050m.

When they launched this May asking $1.789m, a neighbor asked MBC if they could get that. Your blog author's reply: $1.650m max. Last list price, after 150+ DOM: $1.639m (-$411k/-20% from early '06). That guesstimate marked one of the occasional times this year MBC was insufficiently bearish.

Looking for other recent deals, we also checked in on 421 26th (3br/3ba, 2900 sq. ft.), a late-70s visionary contemporary up on the plateau. It's a short sale posted at $1.449m, an "auction price" (listing) meant to draw multiple bids.

Sometimes short sales don't post as pending/in escrow even when they have offers sent in to the bank, so we wondered if this listing, 5 weeks on market, was a case like that. 

Alas, no. There's serious interest so far, but not yet at asking price – a figure that's probably the minimum needed to make the shortie work.

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