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West of Sepulveda in Manhattan Beach, within the Tree Section, there are really 4 quadrants.

One of the best of these suburban quadrants is north of Valley and west of Pacific Ave., all the way to the sand dune.

In the 500-700 blocks, you have a close-knit community that's a quick walk to Grand View school, with a nice off-the-beaten-bath feel to it. Legions of kids seem to be out all the time. It's easy for potential buyers to say, "Oh yeah, that's what we're looking for."

One of these streets has seen more than its share of head-spinning sales recently: 26th St.

Start with the newest: 724 26th (5br/3ba, 3400 sq. ft.).

There's no doubting the appeal – big house, bigger-than-normal lot (5125 sq. ft.) with a fairly big, sunny, south-facing yard. A…

There has been an odd rush of landlocked half-lot homes this year, as we noted just a few weeks ago. (See "Year of the Landlocked Half Lot.")

The second of these to come to market recently was 333 8th (1br/1ba, 765 sq. ft.), a quirky little place, fully built of brick, but in a great mid-block location on the treasured flat family walkstreets of the South End.

They listed it for $1.200M because, hey, what's something like this worth? No garage, no street access, tiny place, can't be built up... How do you do the math?

The answer: $1.447M, with the sale closing Friday.

That's within range of a somewhat larger, nicer home with slightly more land that was the first landlocked half-lot home to sell, 124 17th (2br/1ba, 880 sq. ft.).

When that one sold…

A little pocket of the MB Tree Section near downtown does not feel like the suburbs at all – it feels like the beach.

Smaller lots and dense development rules put the homes close together. Some get an ocean view, and downtown is close by for all. This area, basically 12th and 13th Streets from Ardmore east to Laurel, is informally the South Martyrs Hill, given that it's south of the American Martyrs Church.

There have been 4 sales in the area this year already on the public market – each seemingly pricier than the last. (An off-market lot sale is pending.)

Blowing away all records for the area is the most recent sale: 632 12th St. (3br/3ba, 3000 sq. ft.), an 80s build with mostly cosmetic updates, up near the top of the hill with some views.

They came…

Another recent sale shows the value of buying on the dip. When/if that comes again.

512 12th (3br/3ba, 2300 sq. ft.) is a unique remodel right near downtown with the very nice feature of a large back deck for true indoor/outdoor living off the common areas upstairs.

The 1950s original was rebuilt completely in 2007 to add square footage and create that deck.

After all that work, they sold just two years later into the worst market we've seen since Y2K. In 2009, 512 12th sold for $1.605M.

Those 2009 buyers restyled the place but didn't change much – new carpet, custom paint, etc.

They held it 5 years and brought it to market this April seeking a tidy $500K profit. List price: $2.100M.

But that was only the beginning. The rush was on.

Closed sale…