Weekend Opens (6/22-6/23)

Posted by Dave Fratello on Saturday, June 23rd, 2012 at 6:02pm.

The kids are done with school, maybe you're thinking "getaway time," but the real estate market here in MB is saying, "No, no, don't go."

There's a full crop of new listings to look at, family homes mostly in the Trees and East MB, but don't miss the unusual party megaplex at 3305 Pine this weekend; that kind of offering doesn't come along often. 

Manhattan Beach 5k
Saturday morn we enjoyed the Manhattan Beach 5K, a wet sand run starting at the pier, now in its 11th year. It's a quiet little race, a great if unsung Summer Solstice tradition. Just another cool local run, just another reason to love MB.

Make sure Monday's Stanley Cup rally in Hermosa is on your calendar. At 11:00am they'll drive the Cup down Pier Ave. toward the Pier Plaza for a rally starting around 11:15am. Then at 11:45am they drive it up The Strand toward MB.

Think they'll stop at the MB border? Don't be so sure.

To plan your weekend 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 more traditional Beach Reporter list of opens.

As usual, we appreciate it when readers share views on this week's featured properties. Let us know what you like, don't like or must have.


Tree Section


3305 Pine (5br/7ba, 5700 sq. ft.) is hands-down the coolest house in the Tree Section. It rocks the suburbs. If you can spare a part of your Sunday to drop by, you must. Plan some time – a party might break out.

3005 Pine is not so different from a nice Hill Section mini-compound – huge main house, large entertaining areas, yard with putting green and pool. You'd find those things in a house a mile south, perhaps with ocean views. But in the Trees?!?

In truth this is 2 separate homes, jointly owned; by city regs the structures could not be joined and must be capable of operating as independent houses, each with their own garages, etc.

View from 3305 Pine
If you want to look at things that way, the "main" or "living" house (to the right in this pic) is a well-above-average, newer "rustic Mediterranean" with plus materials and features – finely crafted. Upper floors get terrific views toward the south and west thanks to a hilltop location. (The golden dome of the American Martyrs steeple was readily visible to the eye; it's hard to spy in our pic here.)

You could be be happy with that house, but there's a lot more next door at the pool house/party complex.

What would you hope to find there? Elaborate, multi-section pool (including waterfall and cave/grotto)? Check. Huge entertaining space flowing out to the pool area? Check. An even larger, more open bar/party room upstairs with disappearing walls, nice vistas and 5 TV inputs to catch all the games? Check. Basement home theater? Of course!

You didn't even think to ask for a home gym? Huge home gym. (What would be the legal "garage.") Sauna? Yep. Spa shower accessible from the inside or outside? Why, yes.

It goes without saying that this one has no equal in the Trees. And it's a step above plenty of competitors by the beach or in the Hills. One to gawk at, and, if you've got the $4.3m, one to share with family, friends, and neighbors, too.

3305 Pine starts at $4.295m and is open Sun. 2-5pm.

2200 Elm (4br/3ba, 3650 sq. ft.) is a late-80s Mediterranean that has been refreshed and updated almost completely with great use of materials, including nice exterior stone, new dark-stained wood flooring, showcase high-end kitchen and terrific master bath.

The downstairs flow is as you might expect from a home of this period – a large formal living room off the entry (step-down of course), with formal dining right off that (step up). The family room is long, running front to back along one side of the house. Kitchen (fabulous) has casual dining and opens to the yard. What's missing on the first level is a separate den/office or extra bedroom.

For a late-80s home in the Trees, this one has more of a backyard space than we expected, though still not a lot – most of the space is hardscaped now for outdoor living, with firepit and built-in bbq, and with a little grass patch off to the side.

Upstairs the master is up front, with a big closet, separate sitting area/office area and fireplace (80s detail), with that very now, updated bath. The other 3br upstairs share a midsize hallway bath, but everyone upstairs shares the biggest surprise: A very large, open family room/rumpus room/kids' living room. (This is the big room with blue walls and a big red couch featured in the pics.) That's a great way to keep the kids' stuff out of the flow of the main living areas downstairs.

2200 Elm starts at $1.799m and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

2009 Oak (3br/2ba, 1850 sq. ft.) is a sweet remodel that was last on the market in 2010, so you may be familiar with it.

The layout offers 1br downstairs and 2br up, with the "master" sharing a hallway bath with the other upstairs. A spacious landing area upstairs makes for a bright, out-of-the-flow play area or office space.

Downstairs, the living spaces are comfy, with an upgraded (and custom) alley kitchen (blue caesarstone!) and bright living room in back, opening to a covered deck and sunny, west-facing yard. Solid hardwood floors are in the entry areas and kitchen.

Don't look for much of a garage. The one-car legacy space from the 1950 original qualifies as a "garage" but would work only for one of those spiffy new Fiats, otherwise it's just for storage.

Sure, this one's on Oak and has an imperfect layout, but it's cute and a nice way to get in west of the highway – with a yard! – under $1.2m.

2009 Oak last sold in April 2005 for $1.350m and starts now at $1.179m, 13% off that peak-era price. It is open Sun. 1-4pm.

2600 Oak (5br/4ba, 3200 sq. ft.) is the newest addition to the crop of Speedy Speckies, now the 8th, by our count, put up quickly by the same builder.

In the pantheon of these quickly sprouted specs, this is among the nicer ones. They dialed down some of the extra frilliness we saw in some of the other Caliterraneans, used some better woods and a decent stone flooring for the main living spaces. None of that odd interior stacked stone or some other builder quirks we saw in the others, like the mid-driveway palm trees.

So here you have a somewhat better than plain-vanilla spec house with a familiar layout and smallish yard on the "wrong" side of Oak – backing up to a large commercial property. (Consider it a noise buffer.)

This one's still speedy – the lot sale closed in late February at $695k, and here we are 4 months later with a completed home, even partly staged.

For this they're seeking $1.799m to start, pretty much what they got for similar homes in better locations on Pine (2516 Pine at $1.775m and 2600 Pine at $1.799m). Another one in a subpar location, 3613 Maple, sold for $1.599m in March.

2600 Oak starts at $1.799m and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

2709 Laurel (3br/2ba, 1600 sq. ft.) is a quite original, mid-50s house built into a smallish (4325 sq. ft.) upsloping lot.

It doesn't scream "must have" in terms of size, location or condition, but they've already accepted an offer. List price starting last week was $1.198m – about what you'd pay for the slightly larger, much cuter house with a yard up at 2009 Oak. Location, location.

This mid-century house has the option to be revived in the style. It gets nice treetop views to the east. Would someone build new on this site?

2709 Laurel is still looking for backup offers, list price of $1.198m, and it's definitely still open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.


East MB

1324 19th (4br/3ba, 2375 sq. ft.) is a fairly cute late-80s build in a "center hall Colonial" style with formal living room and formal dining up front off the entry. We often say you only really need around 2400 sq. ft. for a family, so this one clocks in right at that number and poses the question directly: Is that enough?

The home is charming in its way, though a refresher here and there would help a lot. The kitchen has some newer features but we can't quite call it "new," as the listing does. Kitchen opens to a sunken family room in back, though yard access is off to the side – a little bit askew from what you'd expect in a modern style; many would prefer the flow straight out back. 

The lot is nearly full sized at 7000 sq. ft., with the garage tucked in back. Backyard is uneven – literally – bumping around to and fro, slightly inclined sideways, tough to use as is for play. They did stash a hot tub in the far back in a private spot.

Location is pretty nice on a typical flat suburban street, with several nicer homes nearby, and it's a fairly short walk to elementary and middle schools.

1324 19th starts at $1.449m – an interesting price point where there is demand for decent family homes – and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

We saw 1617 Mathews (5br/4ba, 3350 sq. ft.) after 2200 Elm, and the similarities and differences were notable. Mathews sports a 1993 build date, but hasn't gotten much of an update since then – call it 20 years ago – whereas Elm obviously has been brought current, an example of what you can do with some money and commitment.

Mathews does have the 5th bedroom that is lacking at Elm, and the much bigger yard (it is East MB), so it has its advantages.

But they're really over-hyping this one when the listing describes it as "wonderfully detailed" with "stunning" elements. It's a pretty good base for a substantial update, with nice wood floors, a spacious, open kitchen, big master (with his and hers closets) and other features.

Location is something of a drain, just a block from the high school and Artesia. It's a nice street as things go, but those facts result in location markdowns.

With the bigger yard and location differences, this one's priced just $120k below 2200 Elm at $1.679m. Call it a coincidence that they hit the market at the same time (or got compared in this post), but we'll track them and see how much the gap winds up when/if they both trade.

1617 Mathews starts at $1.679m and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.
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