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Would You Preserve this Piece of Seal Beach History?

Old Town's beach bungalow's are giving way to larger, more pricey rebuilds. Is that a good thing for the neighborhood?

One by one the older, historic beach homes are being sold and changing hands at prices that seemingly justify a tear down and rebuild. Recently the 753 sq/ft beach bungalow located at 320 8th St. in Seal Beach sold amongst it's towering neighbor properties for $600,000. While that price may seem “spendy,” consider the homes on either side have a market value more then twice that.

So then, does it make sense for the buyer of a property such as 320 8th St. to maintain the current residence as a beach cottage, or tear it down to build a trophy home? Consider the well-maintained condition of this quaint beach residence, one that brings charm to one of the more progressive neighborhoods in town. Should that be taken into consideration for preservation?

Of course, the neighbors surely have an opinion of how an aging and arguably, functionally obsolete bungalow effects the value of their million dollar investments. You've heard people postulate about it over coffee at Main Street cafes, the “old home” in the neighborhood hurting the value of their remodeled masterpiece.

Another example of this was the old home located on the corner of 10th Street & Central Avenue. Said to be the home of Seal Beach's first Mayor, the old white two-story home situated on a double lot (202-204 10th St) was sold July 2011. Not long after the sale closed, the home was demolished and construction began on what appears to be a single custom beach home. More Seal Beach history lost forever or land being put to its “highest and best use?”

It's no secret that the lower prices are attracting buyers that want to scoop up a slice of beach paradise at a bargain. Since June 1st, three other homes similar in size and price have sold bringing with them improvements and change. Dare we guess at what this will mean for the landscape of our seaside community in the next five years?

Preserving our “Mayberry by the Sea” way of life is unquestionably what distinguishes Seal Beach from its northern and southern beach city neighbors. The beach cottage way of life that still persists in Old Town possesses the nostalgia that lures people in who wish for it to remain that way.

I'm interested to know how you feel about preserving these pieces of Seal Beach history? Leave your thoughts to this question here on my blog at www.NatSellsSealBeach.com

Aaron Clifton August 14, 2012 at 12:25 AM
@Emily if done right that house would be worth more than yours....I've done it before
Aaron Clifton August 14, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Today's construction standards don't compare to your mc-mansion crap built today
Emily Knell August 14, 2012 at 03:15 AM
This home would also be fine with an exterior facelift + new green grass + lots of pretty flowers, no it doesn't have to be a "McMansion" per se, but in Seal Beach, it needs to look better than this on the exterior, make the neighbors, street & passerbys happy to see another nice, well kept home. I just wouldn't go for the "historical" designation because it would limit the new owner on what they could do to maximize their property & land value. At one of the recent pier concert events I couldn't find any parking & ended up on 5th or 6th St. nearest to Ocean & walked past a quaint little beach cottage that looked really nice, lots of flowers & plants in front, it was pleasant on the eyes.
brian hickey August 14, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Outside of the preserve or teardown debate - the numbers are correct. If surrounding homes are selling at 2-3x the value an existing structure, then strategically/economically it can make sense to teardown and rebuild something new. Thanks,
Lisa Beckham September 08, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Leave the construction to the "Johnson's" people down South. Look at what happened to Huntington - that mess started with a very similar situation! I'm for the little old historical (or not) lots like these!

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