New homes with all the modern features seem to get all the headlines and all the love.
And all the money.
But Manhattan Beach is more than 100 years old as a city. (Wanna see our photos from the Centennial Parade?) So many homes here date waaaaaaaayyyy back.
This week, 6 homes on the market were built before 1930. Here's a look at each one.
PLEASE NOTE: Below, we present listings active in the Manhattan Beach market, via the MLS. They are listed and brokered by a variety of agents and firms. The name of the listing broker and agent for each property, along with any contact information supplied through the MLS, is displayed with each property, next to the price. Blog author Dave Fratello of Edge Real Estate Agency is not the listing agent unless so stated with the listing.
Click on any property address or photo to open a new page with full listing details, all photos, listing broker and agent information, and other MLS information. Any observations and comments about listings represent the professional judgments and opinions of the author, Dave Fratello, not the listing brokers or agents. Please see our blog disclaimer.
1639 3rd (5br/3ba, 4098 sqft.)
This 1907-built home is perhaps the obvious inspiration for this whole post. 1907!!!
If you've ever meandered around the knolls of East Manhattan, you may have stumbled across this darling, restored Queen Anne/Colonial Revival style home. Its location at the top of a hill with expansive views to the north and west is a bonus.
Inside, as the full set of listing photos shows, the home is not only preserved in its original style, but largely decorated with antique style furniture to go along with it.
The primary suite's shower? A clawfoot tub with wraparound curtain.
If you're curious about the home, the listing description does read a bit like a plaque at a museum (this is a compliment), telling the whole story of the home, including its move to Manhattan Beach in 1983, in pieces.
(Yeah, it was a bit early in 1907 for people to be building big estate homes here, and the plot where 1639 3rd sits now probably hadn't been carved out of the bean fields yet at that time.)
1639 3rd came to market this week asking $3.749M. It is listed by Alejandro Abad, Tower-60.
931 1st (2br/1ba, 948 sqft., 9595 sqft. lot)
This home's prime Hill Section view lot is the attraction.
It's got 80 feet of frontage along 1st St. and the option to build a huge house (6477 sqft. per the city's calculations, 8400 sqft. plus 500 sqft. pool house per the listing description - presumably including basement space).
Back in 1920, just 2 bedrooms felt like enough. But here we are today.
931 1st is asking $6.200M. It is listed by David Caskey, eXp Realty of California Inc.
533 13th (2br/2ba, 1194 sqft.)
This is Dave's and Edge's new listing on a nice 2100-sqft. plot right near downtown, with ocean views.
The home was built in 1920, and adjusted and tweaked here and there over the years.
It features a large front family room with lots of light, and, as we say, an "efficient" layout for the rest of the spaces, with a modest dining area, kitchen and separate laundry room. The bedrooms can be called "railroad style," meaning you walk through one to get to the second.
Based on feedback from buyers and agents touring the property, this home, with its very high land value, has some chance to find a buyer who falls in love and wishes to restore it. We'd love to see that, but we understand that the area's zoning allowing for a 3-story, 30' tall home may mean that the eventual buyer plans to rebuild from the ground up.
533 13th is offered at $2.350M, and is listed by Dave Fratello of Edge.
120 36th Place (3br/2ba, 1260 sqft.)
At this El Porto duplex, built in 1927, someone's already done all the work to modernize the house.
The upstairs unit, with its 2 bedrooms (sorta kinda) and open living areas, has gotten the full treatment. New kitchen, new baths, new electrical and plumbing, mini splits to provide both heating and A/C.
The separate downstairs unit is similarly modernized, with its fireplace preserved, and many of the same modernizations as are found upstairs.
With this much rehab work already done, you wouldn't consider knocking down the home to get a 3rd story, right?
Good. Because there's a deed restriction preventing a 3rd story from being built. That would disrupt the ocean views of the neighbor to the east, who didn't want to take that risk.
120 36th Place is offered at $2.500M, and is listed by Robert Freedman, PLG Estates Inc.
UPDATE: This property went into escrow later the same day as the post went live (Feb. 7).
2701 Manhattan Ave. (3br/3ba, 2356 sqft., 2556 sqft. lot.)
This home is actually a duplex (listed as an SFR) with an original build date of 1927. There appear to have been additions in the 1930s and 1950s.
Due to very high land value, the survival of the structure after sale is in doubt.
Given that the property is on the outer periphery of Bruce's Beach Park, and benefits tremendously from the lack of development there, it's worth a quick mention of the history of the park.
Two plots originally owned and developed by Willa and Charles Bruce, located under what's now the location of the LA County lifeguard station, were taken by the city using eminent domain, in a process begun in 1924. At the time, the Bruces' waterfront resort catering to Black families, and a few other plots up the hill that were Black-owned, were the only developed properties between 26th and 27th Streets west of Highland, in the area now used as the park, lifeguard station and parking lots. (25 White-owned plots were undeveloped.) The Bruces abandoned their property in 1927. City Council almost two years ago voted to "acknowledge and condemn" the eminent domain action for its evident racial motivations. The heirs of the Bruce family recently agreed to sell the land to LA County for $20M (link goes to MB News), a sale that was set to close last week.
This property at 2701 Manhattan Ave. was built soon after the land was claimed as parkland, and appears set to benefit from that designation for another 100 years. The views over the parking lot area and to the west are considerable.
It's quite rare that any home in Manhattan Beach that's not on The Strand can come to expect permanent view protection. But here you go.
2701 Manhattan Ave. is asking $4.650M and is listed by Ann Walker, Sotheby's International Realty.
Disclosure: Dave recently has shown the 2701 Manhattan property to a client.