Weekend Opens (10/6-10/7)

Posted by Dave Fratello on Saturday, October 6th, 2012 at 4:08am.

It's Hometown Fair again this weekend, a nice place to celebrate MB's 100 years, and to try not to come home with a 100th goldfish. (We're saying this while 4 long-living goldfish gaze on, wondering when it's feeding time again.)

Well, that's carnivals for you, and the small-town ambience of MB.

It's the 40th fair, and the 35th running of the MB 10k Saturday morning. If you're running, how many will this 10k make for you? (For Dave, it's 6 or 7; feels like more.)

Also helping us celebrate this weekend... a little new crop of homes for sale.

Ocean views, darling remodels, and... something else.

To plan your weekend open-house tours, try this Redfin map list of open houses – sort by price or sub-region of MB by clicking the title on a column.

Or click here for the new-format Beach Reporter list of opens.

If you're thinking about getting into the market as a buyer or seller, please consider asking MB Confidential author Dave Fratello for help. For more, see MBC's Need an Agent?" page.


East MB

1605 Harkness
1605 Harkness (3br/2ba, 1500 sq. ft.) is a marvelous re-do of a 50s original house, a spare-no-expense, do-it-all-right flip project that went much further than most – moving walls, adding square footage, and decorating with a wonderful sense of style.

If you saw 2001 Pacific earlier this year, it's the same great feeling of "modern beach cottage" with flair, but this time, more living space. (Good.)

Oh, you should go see it, but it's taken already. They were in "backup offer" status 15 minutes after the brokers' open Friday. Some savvy buyer was watching to see if this project lived up to its advance billing, and when it did: Pounce!

List price was $1.059m, but with a quick deal like that, meant to blast away all other parties, do you think it stays there?

Go to the opens to enjoy, at least slide through the photos to ooh and ah, and if this is for you, promise yourself: Next time, that's us.

1605 Harkness came out at $1.059m and is open Sat. & Sun. 2-5pm.


Tree Section

3605 Laurel (3br/2ba, 1150 sq. ft.) is one of those cases where they've lavished love and attention on a 50s original cottage, and a little, forgettable house has been transformed into a near must-have. Well done and very warm.

The sub-$1m price west of Sepulveda doesn't hurt. This one's at $959k and that will draw more eyes.

Kitchen and baths are modernized, but you can only do so much living in this much square footage, so the bedrooms do get pinched. People were smaller in the 50s, apparently.

There's a sunny backyard to flow out into, so you have more space out back, which will help.

We've learned to always ask, "Where's laundry?" In this case, a stacked unit is cleverly hidden behind an attractive sliding door right in the front great room, but you'd never know it as a guest. That's efficiency. 

The location, on the map, is too close to the refinery and Rosecrans for many buyers, but, in mitigation, there's no real view of the refinery or even, so much, Rosecrans, from the house. We're not sure of the impact, just sure that some will resist this one.

There are mature trees on this lot and nearby ones that help give it a "shady lane" feeling, even 250 feet from some notable negatives.

3605 Laurel starts at $959k and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

If you visit 2115 Valley (3br/3ba, 3470 sq. ft.), you should bring two things: comfortable shoes for the multiple stairways and levels, and a pocketful of bread crumbs, so that you don't get lost in this maze of a house.

This one is unusual in every way, willfully oriented diagonally, almost, along a normal, rectangular lot.

No room has a squarish shape; they're all polygons. The twists and turns create hallways, bonus spaces and a generally confused feeling.

Call it The Labyrinth House.

There are also split levels. And split split levels. And more angles. And spiral staircases. Oh my.

It was daring even for 1988 (the build date). Maybe they thought that some day, everyone would live like this. Now, well, it's unique.

As to the living spaces, you have a big living room off the entry with 2-story ceilings, a decent-sized kitchen that looks the part of its 80s vintage, and a little concrete-and-grass back area (yard?).

Go up one level to a secondary living room looking out over the main living room. More angles there. Up again and, amid the split levels, you'll find a long master suite (with steps in the room) and 2 more bedrooms in back with a jack-and-jill bath. Those bedrooms actually have nice views from a high point looking north and west over the treetops.

Two little pocket "office" spaces on the upper level are a nice touch. (That, maybe everyone should have now.)

This home is simply not for everyone. And its start at $1.825m goes far over the likely ceiling for a property of this type.

2115 Valley starts at $1.825m and is open Sun. 1-4pm.


Sand Section

4021 Crest (2br/3ba, 1700 sq. ft.) gives you a very current-feeling TH with sweeping and unobstructable ocean views from the very top of the hill above Highland Ave. in El Porto Norte.

The mere 2br will be a limitation for a lot of potential buyers, location will be a question mark for others, but those who want the views will have an easier time saying "yes."

The complex here sports a 1980s build date, but everything was overhauled in just the last few years. We hesitate to say "remodeled" because we've seen what happens sometimes when there's an effort to "freshen up" a building with a more current style, and it often doesn't work. Here, they did it right; the unit feels much newer. They really reset it.

The bedrooms and their baths are truly 21st-century in feel, while the modernized kitchen has a daring splash of green glass as a backsplash for an accent.

Parking is at a premium up near Crest, but this one has the 2-car garage plus another covered spot under the 2nd floor, and you might park friends/family in the pad behind the garage. So there are options.

Friday we also saw 4320 Highland, right in the neighborhood, which is bigger, newer and also 2br but with lesser views and priced higher ($1.460m). We preferred 4021 Crest by a lot.

4021 Crest is up at $1.349m and is open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm. 
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