lot values

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A new listing at 1308 Ardmore shows the power of real estate appreciation over time.

But maybe first and foremost, the staying power of this home is what impresses.

An original cottage was built at 1308 Ardmore way back in 1905.

The city of Manhattan Beach was not even formally founded for another 7 years.

There weren't so many residents in the area then, but MB was becoming a tourist destination. Most folks came to splash around at the beach by way of the Red Car electric trains, on tracks running along the sand, right about where volleyball courts predominate now.

The little cottage soon had neighbors as Manhattan Beach was built out. Fast forward a great deal, and we see in tax records the last time this property changed hands: 1973, for the…

There is no neighborhood in Southern California quite like the "flat" South End walkstreets of the Manhattan Beach Sand Section.

Once people see it, they want it. Then it's a question of: Can you get it?

Dave has sold 3 homes on those treasured blocks in just the past couple of years, always off-market. These properties just don't trade much. And with scarcity, you see prices jump.

That's how a lot recently traded near $4M, and a built home way over $5M.

First let's look at one that has finally closed, after hot rumors flew for weeks.

316 4th St. is a full-size corner lot running along the alley at Crest.

You can go either way on whether the alley is a plus or minus. You've got no neighbor on that west side and there are ocean views down 4th Street,…

Let's face it.

As nice as Manhattan Beach is, not every property here is beautiful.

Not every location is awesome, just because it comes with our ZIP code.

But still, if someone's gonna sell, someone's gonna buy. Folks just need to work out the math on what a challenging location really means to the overall value.

We're thinking of that with respect to 3 recent offerings in the North End of the Sand Section.

Just short of Rosecrans, you have:

462 36th Place (2br/2ba, 1150 sq. ft.) is one of the more awkward remodels we've seen in recent years.

You have to give credit for how some past owner tried to add square footage on this smaller-than-half-lot plot of 1267 sq. ft., by building up 3 stories on part of the property. There's a little tower that…

To judge by the most recent closed sales come in, you'd think no one knows how to price a house anymore.

We've seen markets where nearly every listing price seemed to be an overreach. Today, start prices seem to be literally just the starting points. Consider these very recent closings:

510 23rd (4br/4ba, 3200 sq. ft.) is a 2009-built Spanish in the gaslamp district.

Start Price: $2.699M

Sold Price: $2.826M

Amount Over Asking: +$127K / +4%

Note: That result was different from when the same home debuted back in 2008-09. It ran 7 months on market and sold for 16% under the asking price way-back-when, the year your kindergartner was born.

1901 Lynngrove (3br/1ba, 1100 sq. ft.) is a mostly original corner-lot cottage in Liberty Village. The home has