Busy South End

By Dave Fratello | June 1st, 2012
If you have to go east of Highland – and most of us do – there are few pockets of Manhattan Beach as sweet as the South End.

The flat family walkstreets are their own kind of paradise – a "playborhood," to borrow a newly coined term – but the non-walkstreet areas are plenty nice as well. You can be close to school, the beach and just a few minutes' walk from town. No one from out of the area is going to be coming through much.

The action down south this year has been pretty quick when listings have come up. For example:

421 3rd (4br/3ba, 2500 sq. ft.) blew minds with a very quick deal at full price: $1.809m.

We said in our late-March review that it's got: "a great South End location, a newer remodel and quite a bit of space – just enough to be comfy."

But it's also got a layout that's nearly impossible for your average family. The fourth "bedroom" is created by closing pocket doors in the living room. A third bedroom is a standalone suite over the garage – nice in its way, but out of the flow. And the principal 2br, the master and an adjoining room, are joined a bit too well, with glass doors separating them and with both sharing the small "master bath." 

Noting that layout issue, we asked in our review: "How to make it all work?"

Well, someone marched right in quickly with their answer in mind, and $1.8m, and is making it work.

So much for the rump opinion we were hearing those first few days, that this was priced too high for what it is. Now it's a comp that is going to drive up the numbers for everything else down south.

521 2nd (3br/2ba, 1425 sq. ft.) is a dated, 1960 post-and-beam house on a standard size, street-to-alley South End lot (2700 sq. ft.).

Eight bidders came to the table in mid-April as the property was listed for $1.329m in what Janie Sue Nagy called "the deal of the week."

People came in with different visions – was it a lot sale, a remodel project, the base for a massive rebuild? Out of 8 bidders, each vision was represented a few times over.

Dave's clients won out without bidding up the property to an extreme, closing for $1.370m a couple weeks ago. The scope and scale of the remodel/rebuild is still TBD.

437 1st (4br/3ba, 2625 sq. ft.) has just sold off-market for $1.730m.

That's a notable bump up from its last trade in June 2008 at $1.610m, a number we didn't quite agree with way-back-when.

Back in '08 we said "it's spacious although peculiar in some ways, and the remodel isn't so high-end. One of those bedrooms is teeny, while one closet (off the master) is nearly the size of a whole room – a quirk of a prior remodel."

Another quirky sorta-4br in the 2500 range over $1.7m... worth noting.

552 3rd (3br/3ba, 1850 sq. ft.) has recently made a deal after a slow boil of multiple offers came together. (Disclosure: Dave has clients who bid on 3rd but did not get the property.)

We've called this one "a cute 1940s original with additions in back that bear something of a 1980s flavor. It's definitely got a throwback/beachy look and feel... [T]he kitchen is certainly small, and the 3br won't suffice for a lot of families." It's also just one door off of Valley.

Square footage note: The actual interior square footage is almost 2100 sq. ft., as shown by a new taping-out of the property. However, the tax assessor still lists 1850 sq. ft.

The listing started sky-high at $1.849m but quickly corrected to $1.699m. At this point you'd have to expect it to close in that territory.

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