You Don't Need to Be Prime

By Dave Fratello | February 19th, 2013

Is it a coincidence, or a trend?

Among the most recent deals (new escrows) in MB are several properties with issues of some sort – and an appeal that you can identify, somewhere in the rough.

It goes to show you don't need to have a pristine property, ideally located, and normal circumstances just to make a sale.

416 21st Place (3br/4ba, 1950 sq. ft.) is a rear-unit TH built in the early 90s with some real views.

You wouldn't expect a rush to the door for a rear unit, nor for one with the unusual style and materials here – black marble, anyone? Glossy black kitchen?

But views and price seem to have helped a lot.

Up on the top level, there's a substantial patio/balcony with real views to the north and west, and there are more to the south and west from the kitchen/dining area. 416 21st Place launched at $1.349Mand now has a deal within 2 weeks.

315 Gull (3br/4ba, 2400 sq. ft.) is a northern El Porto TH that has been some kind of a ghost of a listing. As with many short sales, it simply has had a weird run on the MLS.

It's been listed by an out-of-area agent (Hollywood Hills), popping up on the market in September already in escrow, then forced on "hold" for months with occasional 1-10 day runs in "active" status, back on "hold" again – you could be excused if you simply never noticed it before.

It's in "backup offer" status now, if you feel lucky and want to enter a weird sweepstakes. There are no photos except this exterior shot and not much to the description. List price: $1.375M.

Worth noting: 315 Gull is the companion TH to 316 45th, which also sold as a short sale late last year at $1.537M. Interesting that both of these bubble-era THs (2006 build) hit the rocks and have had to look for new owners.

4421 Crest (3br/4ba, 2000 sq. ft.) is another El Porto TH without all of the weirdness factors at Gull. It's a nearby neighbor, though, just 2 doors up.

Like the Gull listing, they promise big ocean views from a TH situated at one of the highest spots in the area, and a newer TH (2001 in this case, so 5 years older).

Unlike the Gull listing, this one was not a short sale.

Something like the Gull listing (again), this one has been on and off the market in stretches – dating back to Sept. 2011, with one version of the listing quitting in Aug. 2012 with 364 DOM.

4421 Crest came back at Thanksgiving last year with a new MLS# and made its deal this week. It has always been listed for $1.299M, dating back to 2011.

3521 Laurel (3br/2ba, 1100 sq. ft.) is a crusty late-1940s cottage with an addition over the garage, and let's not beat around the bush: That's one unattractive current house.

You think we're being harsh?

The listing description's very first words are actually the lot dimensions. So they're expecting this to appeal to buyers with bulldozers.

They do add: "could be (with some work) short term rental until plans are draw." (Would that be "drawn?")

This location is on a minor artery street heading out to Rosecrans, and is already pretty darn far north, hardly an ideal site for spec construction, but you never know. They asked $1.019M and had inked a deal within 4 days. This would seem to be a story about the demand for lots – any lots – and scarcity thereof.

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