Now it can be told



I've been reluctant to write about 33 Meeting House Road $4.995 million, because I thought I had some clients interested in the place, but they turned out to be a set of out-of-town "investors" who think they can grab properties for 1/3 of their actual value, so that was the end of that. I did submit one bid on their behalf on another property, a bid so low I was truly embarrassed to present it, and it takes a lot to embarrass me. I have no problem with submitting low-ball bids — I encourage them, in fact — but silly, stupid bids are just a waste of everyone's time, so I quit as their representative (agents are required to pass along any bid made by their client, and I don't want to be placed in that position by idiots. Again, a bid that's even half-asking price might be appropriate, but when it's a third of asking, and that ask is, after many reductions, pretty close to market value, then I'll punt). 

All of that's an aside. What interests me about 33 Meeting House is that I think it represents a real value at its current price. It started off, long, long ago in 2008 at $8.995 million and, while that was undoubtedly an overly ambitious price, what's really been killing this property has been the two Licata wrecks flanking Meeting House Road. Licata's ex-wife's property, overgrown with vines, roof crumbling, paint peeling, was tied up in litigation since, I think, 2006, while Jimmy's own project across the street, that massive hacienda-type mansion, has sat abandoned and partially finished for at least that long.

Title problems with both properties have now been resolved, and the ex-wife's house has been razed, with a new, $5 million house proposed, and the Hacienda was purchased last November for $2.050; the purchasers intend to sink another $3 million into finishing it.

Which brings us back, again, to No. 33. The is an extraordinary value, in my opinion, because of the quality of its build and the property it sits on. It would rent out, easily, for $30,000 (okay, maybe $28,000), and that would provide an excellent rate of return, with the promise of a nice bit of capital appreciation when the former Licata properties are completed. 

Maybe the listing agent should pitch it to Steve Cohen, who lives behind this house, up the hill. Failing that, I suggest that you couldn't go wrong here at, say, $4.5. It's certainly far more house than many others in that price range, and this one comes with an upside.