Weekend Opens (3/5-3/6)

Posted by Dave Fratello on Saturday, March 5th, 2011 at 7:32pm.

You could spend much of this Sunday just touring Strand open houses, but then you'd miss out on the rush of other new offerings as well.

Yes, once the little leaguers march through downtown, you know it's officially Spring. And that means more and more to see every week. Janie Sue Nagy got to see several East MB homes we didn't get to, so for complete coverage you may need this story plus hers.

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.


Sand Section, Strand Division

It's an unusual confluence of events that brings us 3 open houses on the Strand, all within a few short walkable/blade-able blocks of one another.

2504 The Strand (4br/5ba, 3415 sq. ft.) is touted as "exquisite" and "stunning," but we're more curious as to what superlatives MBC readers might attach to the property.

The home proudly shows off its 1950s vintage with a remodel that we'd now call "mid-century modern" throwback styling. Some of this work seems to have been done a number of years ago, while other parts seem newer. Regardless, it seems doubtful that a high-end buyer would accept the kitchen, cabinetry, baths or flooring in most rooms in their current condition.

Of course, you do get plenty of ocean views, but the first 2 floors are relatively narrow – only the top-floor master seems to draw in the commanding views we've come to expect in premium Strand properties. There's a nice top-level deck off the master too. One more unique feature of the master – a "floating bridge" of steel and glass connects the sleeping room up front to the bath in back.

In addition to the main house, 2504 The Strand offers a 1br/1ba rental unit in back, which was not open at the time of our tour.

2504 The Strand starts at $7.190m, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

3308 The Strand (technically 3309 Ocean) is also 1950s construction, on market for the first time in decades.

Unusual for a Strand home, this one 4br/5ba, 3100 sq. ft. home boasts an interior, brick-paved courtyard off the middle (Ocean Dr.) level, giving you some exterior space that isn't open to the world below. Bedrooms on the top and bottom floors get ocean frontage, while one is tucked away on the middle level.

Despite the vintage, this home is more plain than stylized like 2504 The Strand.

Janie Sue Nagy's post hints that 3308 The Strand could be viewed as a "Strand bargain" at $6.590m, but we don't quite see it that way.

3308 The Strand starts at $6.590m and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

3112 The Strand (duplex w/ two 3br units) launched early this year at $6.9m and has come down to $6.690m. We called that start price ambitious previously, and we'd say the same about the current list. Here's some of what we said in our January review:

The late-60s build is nicely situated high above the walking & bike paths and beach, with stunning 2-story view windows in the main (top) unit that are featured from the main upstairs bedroom....

The building does suffer from a dated, plain-vanilla (i.e. rental) feeling overall, plus a quirky layout in the main unit, and as such is probably more valuable for the land and location than for the structure – at least as-is.
3112 The Strand is now at $6.690m, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.


Sand Section, Non-Strand

432 10th (3br/4ba, 3015 sq. ft.) is a near-perfect execution of a walkstreet home, with its entire first floor dedicated to entertaining, flowing out to a big front patio and all the walkstreet action. Bravo for that.

We'd call the home's style Craftsman – and it may be Craftsman-inspired – but at this time it's so heavily decorated with Hawaiian themes that the vibe is more Caribbean Colonial/British West Indies, a style that's been catching on since that triple-lot home on The Strand took it to the nines. (See "Big, Beautiful, Too Much?")

And yes, we realize that Hawaii is not (currently) in the Caribbean.

If you noted the bedroom count, sure, it's just 3br, and that'll be the limitation on the home's appeal.

Otherwise, it's a stunner that is so darn close to downtown, it would be truly embarrassing to ever get in the car for an activity west of Sepulveda. Maybe they should apply for green certification on that basis. 

432 10th starts at $2.799m, and is open Sat. & Sun 1-4pm.

473 34th (3br/4ba, 3175 sq. ft.) drew a mention here the other day as the 3rd Sand Section plateau listing with a 473 in front.

The custom Mediterranean has a very familiar feel if you know the local architect's work, but the layout's quite different, and the choice for 3br, instead of more, again stands out as one that must have suited one family, but may be a limitation for others (see 432 10th above for another case).

Nice use of arches, stone, sunny living spaces – those are good starts. The layout – with 2br on separate floors being accessed off their own private step-up staircases (they've over the garage) do give the home a quirky feel.

Having tried at $2.250m last year, 473 34th is now up at $1.995m, and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

464 36th (3br/3ba, 2150 sq. ft.) may seem familiar to some – it was on the market last year at a start price of $1.629m before coming down near its current, new start price of $1.389m.

It's a perfectly adequate 1950s beach house (this seems to be a theme this weekend) that they claim was updated in 2003. We don't mean to quibble, but the styling of some of the remodel seems more 90s. A nice timeless feature is the wide plank floors in the great room downstairs.

All the bedrooms in the main house are modestly sized or small, just enough. A bonus suite above the garage is a fun, private space with its own bath, and may have the best views from the whole property.

464 36th starts at $1.389m this year, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.


Tree Section

Couldn't you just pinch 569 35th?

The newer (2004) Cape Cod is very spacious for the Trees (5br/6ba, 3700 sq. ft.) thanks to the oversize lot (5400 sq. ft.). 

Inside, it's bright and elegant with extras – a big, stone-paved back yard patio with outdoor fireplace, a cupboard under the stairs for a bonus kids' play space, and a separate bath for every bedroom.

Some of the kids' rooms are really quite large, which may be the new normal in far-flung areas, but it's rare in newer homes in MB's Trees.

It seems the lower/western end of 35th has been busy over the past year since Sand Dune Park was walled off regulated, always with these high-style Cape Cod-type homes drawing quick interest. 569 35th will, too, though what someone will pay remains an open question.

Purchased new from a developer in Sept. 2004 for $2.0m, 569 35th is now up at $2.250m. One of the sellers is the listing agent. The home's open Sat & Sun. 1-4pm.

1907 Pacific (4br/2ba, 1375 sq. ft.) is a reasonably pleasant surprise, given its location along a busy street and its period exterior (1950s again).

The interior has been refreshed completely for sale, with all-new wood flooring, a fully modern kitchen and updated baths. Of the 4br, 3 are of good size, 1 makes a better office, and none is truly a master (no attached bath).

The back yard – well, there isn't much, with the back-of-the-lot garage consuming a chunk, and a sliver of grass offered as a place to toss a ball or romp around. The proximity of Pacific School will prove to be an asset for families with kids. 

If you're a devotee of 50s cottages – and who isn't in the $1m-ish range? – you'll recognize much here, including the big limitation: one real living area. But you've rarely seen a sample of the genre looking so spiffy out of the gates.

1907 Pacific starts at $1.079m, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

1144 Walnut (5br/4ba, 3275 sq. ft.) is about a decade old, but seems lightly used over that span. The layout, look and feel have plenty in common with newer construction in the Trees.

There are some extras, like the separate office, wood floors throughout the upstairs areas, faux-plaster paint downstairs and an attractive, stone-paved back yard.


The listing's reference to the home being situated on "one of the most desirable neighborhood streets" glosses over the actual location – next to a dry cleaner's parking lot, just off MBB. These kinds of locations usually lead to discounts, but that's not quite how this listing starts out.



Records show the home last traded in July 2003 for $1.292m. 1144 Walnut starts now at $1.795m, and is open Sat & Sun. 1-4pm.
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