Exactly how hard is it to find a four bedroom single family home with decent living area (at least 2,000 sq ft) west of Sepulveda / Pacific Coast Highway in Manhattan or Hermosa Beach under $2,500,000? Inventory has been tight, and prices have been rising for the last few years. Between Manhattan and Hermosa, only twenty-two homes closed escrow in 2018 in an MLS search that meet this initial criteria (without adding any comparison to property condition or yard space). Judging by my recent sale at 616 24th Place, Hermosa Beach, I observed the strong demand and lack of options.
This home was a trust sale, owned for over forty years by a nature-loving Political Science Professor / extraordinarily generous uncle leaving the entire estate to his nieces and nephews. The Trustee took his role very seriously; to get these kids the best possible return. Wisely, he knew the "before" condition of the home, which had been a rental for over a decade, would not elicit such a response.
The home had phenomenal bones to work with. The second floor addition was designed by acclaimed local architect Rocky Rockefeller, of Rockefeller Kempel Architects, who at the time was put on a tight budget by his client, but cleverly paid homage to the elements of nature from its storied Greenbelt surroundings on interior features such as a two-story light well, tongue-and-groove cedar ceilings, and distinctive placement of windows, decks and window-seats lining the second story, providing the privacy and escapism you can recall from youth, as if you're hanging out in a tree house. Having renovated my own personal residences in the past, as well as grown up with parents that wove gold out of many tired and discarded homes (20+ personal residences), this remodel was right in my wheel house. After reviewing 3 possible options with the owner for capital investment, he chose the maximum budget / maximum return. The remodel took several weeks, and involved many talented contractors.
Bonus Room (Before)
Bonus Room (After)
Backyard and Deck (Before)
Backyard and Deck (After)
Pricing the property was difficult. As locals know, each lot in our Beach Cities has different attributes; size, views, yard, parking, privacy, slope all play a role, just to name a few considerations. Then there is the home itself; floor plan, upgrades, condition, finishes, indoor-outdoor living, light, storage... countless elements that vary in every property in our market.
We priced at what we initially set as our top price, but also believed the final condition had turned out better than expected. The home came to market at the end of September. We had 5 offers after our initial weekend on market, and other threats. The property closed escrow in 21 days for $2,425,000 ($130,000 over asking price). I don't necessarily miss my daily trips to the home over the several months this project lasted, but I do miss my clients who are savvy investors and shared the vision and labor of love. See the complete listing at 616-24thplace.com.