Wrapping Up 3 East MB 1990s Homes

By Dave Fratello | August 5th, 2021

Several weeks ago, we took note of 3 recently listed East MB homes, all near one another and all of similar vintage.

In "Tracking 1990s East MB Homes," we focused on how the homes were presented for market, in light of their overall similarities. We wondered how the ultimate prices might vary as a result.

As to location, a drone flying 40' above any one of the homes would catch all 3 in frame. That means location was extremely similar for all.

And they were built at similar times: 1991, 1992 and 1998.

1613 5th Street Manhattan Beach CAUltimately, the largest and most remodeled of the bunch, 1613 5th (5br/5ba, 4400 sqft.) (pictured), got the most money, but not by a lot.

The final tally:

1613 5th (5br/5ba, 4400 sqft.): $3.550M

1622 5th (4br/4ba, 4200 sqft.): $3.525M

1618 6th (5br/5ba, 4050 sqft.): $3.279M

Ask/Close Spreads

Now, let's briefly revisit the ask/close spreads, which are impressive. All went higher.

1618 6th

Listed: $2.899M

Sold: $3.279M

Spread: +$380K / +13%

1622 5th Street Manhattan Beach CA1622 5th (pictured)

Listed: $3.189M

Sold: $3.525M

Spread: +$336K / +10%

1613 5th

Listed: $3.389M

Sold: $3.550M

Spread: +$161K / +5%

Obviously, all went up, impressively.

The fact that fully remodeled 1613 5th listed highest and sold for the least above asking could be a bit misleading, in that its market price was set after the first two had gone into escrow.

In other words, whatever the sellers at 1613 5th had thought that the market might bear changed radically between their decision to sell and the date that they launched, thanks to the neighboring properties both drawing multiple offers and getting bid up.

We always counsel sellers to make a final decision about market price after sticking a proverbial "finger in the wind" just before going live. In this case, 1613 5th benefited from a rapidly inflating market for homes very similar to it.

How Did Prep & Staging Matter?

1618 6th Street Manhattan Beach CAThe biggest winner here, by one measure (for highest $ and % over asking), was the largely unimproved and minimally market-prepped listing at 1618 6th (pictured).

In our previous post (worth a re-read), we called it, frankly, the "most dated" of the bunch, noting that its presentation was further challenged by mixed flooring, custom paint colors and the display of the owners' longtime furniture, among other factors.

The weight of the home's dated-ness meant, we said, that "as a buyer, you're constantly adding to your mental calculations of 'how much is this going to cost?'"

1622 5th Street Manhattan Beach CABy contrast, at 1622 5th, "the dedicated market preparations were apparent. The home was super clean, almost everything was painted neutrally white, and beachy staging predominated." (Here's the living room of 1622, opening to the pool.)

That meant "an airy, easy feeling when touring through the house."

Let's be real here.

Both un-remodeled homes were very similar in overall condition. Both were priced somewhat with their condition and presentation in mind.

1622 5th got $3.525M.

1618 6th got $3.279M.

If you could have prepped the 6th St. house for a lot less than the $246K gap between these sales, it would have been worthwhile.

The extra effort at 1622 5th was clearly rewarded.

Winner May Not Have Been Highest Price

And you can argue that 1622 did better than its across-the-street neighbor at 1613 5th, and therefore performed best of these three.

1615 5th had some downsides, to be sure, one being literally that it is on a downslope, so that the floorplan steps down somewhat from front to back, again even as one enters the backyard. It might feel darker, less open and more dated than a home with a largely flat lot like 1622.

But there's no disputing the fact that 1615 was far and away the most remodeled, with taste and precision to it. (Click to see all the photos via our MLS link.)

So there was more money invested in 1615, but the sale netted only $25K more than the largely unimproved, but well-prepped, listing across the street.

One could easily spend $300-$500K to bring 1622 5th up to the standard of 1615. Then it would be manifestly the superior property, but also, far and away the most expensive of this bunch.

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