Sunday Opens (3/27)

Posted by Dave Fratello on Sunday, March 27th, 2011 at 2:40pm.

It's Sunday, Sunday – before that came Saturday and Friday, Friday – and it's time to decide on a seat as you make your way out to some opens.

So many of last week's open houses were washed out by last week's hurricane high-intensity rains, it's as if people were spooked from debuting new offerings this week.

Well, the forecast is somewhat better, and this week may be the first chance, practically, to see some homes that were first on the board a week ago. We'll reprise our writeups on a few listings from last week for that very reason.

To plan out your weekend tours, try this Redfin map list of open houses – you can sort by price or sub-region of MB by clicking the title on a column. Or click here for the more traditional Beach Reporter list of opens.

As always, click on any highlighted address for more pics & details via Redfin. If you tour, tell us what you see, what you like and what you don't like in the comments here.


Hill Section

913 8th (4br/3ba, 2850 sq. ft.) is unusual – should be a capital "u" – but mostly in a good way.

Behind that flat, sort of Cape Cod-ish exterior is a sharp, surprising, contemporary home with lots of stylish wood – especially the dramatic ceiling in the main upstairs living space.

The home has an unusual Unusual triangular trapezoidal footprint, with one side of the home tracing a 45-degree angle outward into the (ample) back yard.

The master and one other bedroom are downstairs, with their own entertainment space opening onto the big lower deck, which then connects to the yard. Upstairs is the signature great room with big city views, a modern kitchen, and 2 more bedrooms.

913 8th last traded for $2.040m in Nov. 2008, seems much the same now, and is offered at $2.099m to start. (Can you get a late-'08 price today?) 

913 8th is open Sun. 2-4pm.


Sand Section

Once again, the top 3 opens (by price) are Strand listings that seem to headline the printed list of opens, check out our "Weekend Opens" post from 3 weeks ago that gave details on those.

200 Shell (3br/3ba, 1700 sq. ft.) may well be the fanciest custom build in El Porto Norte, and that's part of why they're starting at $1.799m. The current owners completed this build in 2007.

Now, reasonable people may ask: More than $1,000/PSF on a half-lot, on an alley street, so very, very far north?

On the positive side of that calculation, the home drips with higher-end detail at every turn. The entry steps are quality stone, all the doors are tall and thick, quality wood, and everything from windows to fixtures to exterior railings to – of course – the kitchen, exhibits quality and attention to detail.

A custom bonus in a thoughtfully produced home: The dumbwaiter – a nice touch in a tall home with a smallish footprint – releases its cargo in a logical, useful spot in the heart of the kitchen.

The assets on these steep El Porto Norte alleys streets are, of course, ocean views and Strand/beach proximity.

The top-floor views at 200 Shell are significant, though your first question may be something like: "When are they going to get those power lines down?" And on that (important) point, the answer is: "It depends." The local undergrounding status is basically midstream. Locals will have to vote to approve the actual costs of the undergrounding process at some future moment before it can proceed, and who knows whether that will garner approval from the voting homeowners.

200 Shell starts at $1.799m, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.


As we said last week, someone is going to have to get to work on 905 N. Valley (2br/2ba, 1300 sq. ft.), a smallish early-60s box in original condition that needs everything.

It's being sold as-is – a trust sale without court approval needed. Think of it as a blank canvas for an somewhat ambitious small family or, perhaps, a careful flipper. 

The lot here – quite near downtown – is bigger than expected (2270 sq. ft.) and affords a decent back yard/patio. Lots of potential here at $849k to start.

905 N. Valley is open Sun. 2-4pm.


Tree Section

937 27th (5br/4ba, 3150 sq. ft.) is a late-90s build remodeled recently (2008) to bring it closer to 21st-century standards, with quality hardwood floors and a high-end kitchen. Currently a rental, the home's a bit blank now and doesn't show superbly, but you'll get a good flavor from a tour. 

About those 5br – just 3 are upstairs, while one is on the main (center) level and outfitted currently as an office with built-ins. That means the lower-level room, really best as a playroom or media room, counts as the fifth.

As to location, we've heard people gripe about 27th as a cut-through street, but traffic seems minimal and the treetop views from the front living room seem like a plus.

937 27th last traded in Feb. 2007, immediately before the bubble popped, for $1.900m, but that was before the remodeling work. Regular readers will recognize the listing as one that's been around for swaths of 2009 and 2010, hitting a low offering price of $1.799m last June.

937 27th starts anew at $1.899m and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

616 17th (5br/4ba, 3650 sq. ft.) is on one of the great, private blocks of the Martyrs area. That location, plus the larger lot (6125 sq. ft.), are privileges that figure prominently in the bottom line: the home starts at $2.775m, nearly a half million more than each of the other new Tree Section offerings discussed above – even though the home itself is somewhat smaller.

They call the style of the home "French Country," the result of a recent (2004) remodel that shows a lot of dedication to style, detail and a love of woods.

There are lots of charming living spaces downstairs; the main living room has soaring ceilings that seem possible only because the remodel pushed the upstairs bedrooms toward the front. Connections to the sunny back patio and yard off the living areas are an extra draw.

616 17th starts at $2.775m, and is open Sun. 2-5pm.

1801 Palm (4br/4ba, 3900 sq. ft.) is a 10-year-old corner-lot Spanish in a quiet part of the Trees.

The living room off the entry is dramatic, with a 2-story ceiling and formal decor; we found the adjoining dining space a bit tight. The kitchen/great room opens to a nice vine-covered patio with built-in fireplace.

The upstairs bedrooms are mostly spacious, though the thick shag rugs were a bit of a surprise – this works as a style if it's your thing, but isn't for everyone.


1801 Palm starts at $2.299m and is open Sun. 1-4pm.
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