In this issue:
- 7 Willow Street – It’s Confirmed, Staging Works
- 45 Province St., unit 1706 – How to Lose 53% of Your Equity in a Hot Real Estate Market – Well Sold
- 51 Beacon St., unit 5 – Great Apartment, But All the Money – Well Sold
What’s Catching Our Eye
7 Willow Street – It’s Confirmed, Staging Works
7 Willow Street, a small three bedroom single family located at the top of Acorn Street on Beacon Hill, has an accepted offer after just 4 days on the market. The house last traded in 2015, when it was bought by an investor for $2.054 million. An interesting tidbit of trivia for car enthusiasts is that the property was previously owned by a member of the Porsche family.
After spending time on the rental market, the house was put up for sale in 2019 for $2.95 million. After 410 days, a few price cuts (ultimately to $2.775 million), and with no buyers in sight, the seller called it quits last fall. Enter a new broker, a slightly lower price ($2.695 million), some fresh neutral paint, and a good staging job, and shazam – accepted offer in 4 days.
We’ll have to wait to see what the final sale price is, but if it’s anything close to the asking price the seller’s making out like a bandit. We’re big fans of smaller single family homes, and we wanted to love this property, but in our opinion there are some meaningful shortcomings.
The basement bedroom has a sump pump in the closet which, to our nose, gives the room a bit of a swampy smell. There are no bathrooms on either of the living floors, limited closet space, and no entryway coat closet (problematic in our book).
The property is being marketed as 2,300 square feet which presumably includes the basement bedroom and bathroom. The City records indicate the living area is 1,768 square feet. Based on the City records, the asking price is $1,524/sf versus the average sale price of Beacon Hill single family of $1,248/sf.
The punch line – staging works.
Well Bought/Well Sold
45 Province unit 1706 – How to Lose 53% of Your Equity in a Hot Real Estate Market – Well Sold
Unit 1706, a nondescript 1,405 square foot two bedroom at 45 Province Street, traded last week for $1.425 million ($1,014/sf). Located between Bromfield and School Streets, 45 Province is a 30 story, 137 unit condominium building built in 2009.
In our view, it’s an oddball location. It’s very convenient to downtown if anyone still cares about that, but not really part of any established neighborhood. We’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that it is just across the street from Sam LaGrassa’s, arguably the best sandwich place in the City – yes, this is a selling point.
The unit last traded in 2016 for $1,610,000, so these sellers took a quarter million dollar loss to get out, but that doesn’t tell the entire story. Public records show that the unit was financed with a $1.127 million mortgage, which means the sellers lost 53% of their equity. As they say in Vegas – thanks for playing.
The buyer here did ok, but between high condominium fees and a less than desirable location, we think that the seller did the right thing by taking the loss. This one was – Well Sold
51 Beacon Street unit 5 – Great Apartment, But All the Money – Well Sold
There’s a lot to like about unit 5 at 51 Beacon Street. Located right on the Boston Common, this 1,388 square foot 2 bedroom penthouse level unit traded this week for $3.1 million ($2,233/sf) after 67 days on the market. The unit has been tastefully renovated with well proportioned rooms, a floor plan that takes full advantage of the views, and two walkout outdoor spaces.
The unit has the blessing and curse of west facing party wall windows. A blessing as they bring in afternoon light, but a curse in that the neighboring building (52 Beacon) just installed a new rooftop deck. We think that it would be pretty annoying to listen to your neighbor’s gatherings (right outside your windows) on warm summer nights.
Pros: Location, nicely renovated, direct elevator access, nice outdoor space, easy access to rental parking.
Cons: Valuation, neighbor’s roof deck.
This is a wonderful move-in ready premium property, but in our view the buyer paid a premium price, maybe even an excessive premium. The seller definitely had the upper hand on this one, we’re calling it – Well Sold.