Sunday New Year's Opens (1/3/16)

By Dave Fratello | January 2nd, 2016

Hey, we sure hope your 2016 has started off on the right foot.

When it comes to these holiday breaks, we love the travel, the time with family, the slower pace and the occasional quiet of the season.

And there's nothing like that feeling of optimism that seems to come along with a simple calendar flip.

In our first blog post of 2016, we're going to go out on a limb and say it feels like change must be coming to the real estate market... but what kind? It will be interesting for sure. Stick with us here, we'll do our best to capture it.

There are no debut open houses, but there are more to see this week than last. See our capsule reviews plus times below.

To plan your open-house tours for this week, use MB Confidential's new online list of Manhattan Beach open houses (it's mobile-friendly!). This link always appears in our weekly wrapups and on the main front page, under "Open Houses."

And don't forget, when previewing homes here on MB Confidential, you can click "Open All Images" right above the main listing photo to get immediate display of all the listing photos at once.

Hill Section

201 Larsson Street Manhattan Beach CA201 Larsson (4br/4ba, 4000 sqft.) has been on and off the market for years (2004, '09, '10, '11 and '12) but has never resold. Partly that's due to pricing and market conditions.

It is also clearly the kind of house that requires someone who matches up well with a unique property. When we wrote about it in 2012 just after they made a deal (ill-fated, as it happened), MBC described the house thusly:

"[A] bachelorish sorta-modern with a Miami Vice flavor [with] [o]cean views from the top of the hill, a big main floor for entertaining, including a pool and spa, a huge and utterly modern kitchen..."

You could fairly say that the style and floorplan are different, with an enormous master suite plus living room on the top level, and 3br and other common areas downstairs. But it shows well, once you grasp the layout, and on balance, it's a lot of house for the money for the Hill Section. More from the official description:

"Situated on one of the highest points in Manhattan Beach, this corner lot house was built to enjoy the 180 of unbelievable views...from the Ocean to the city lights of downtown Los Angeles and the Hollywood sign. The awesome top level family room includes floor to ceiling windows, a gas fireplace, granite wet bar, dark distressed wood floors, under counter lighting and a half bath to entertain to the finest! The main floor has a living room, a family room with a second gas fireplace and a formal dining room with copper ceiling and chandelier. The gourmet kitchen has built-in top of the line appliances, including a wine brig, warming drawer, microwave, steamer, Sub-Zero refrigerator and a 12 foot granite slab center island... perfect for large family gatherings... And if that isn’t enough, right next door is the Larsson Street Park, perfect for the kids."

Wondering about Larsson Street Parkette? See this DigMB story.

201 Larsson starts at $3.399M and is open Sun. from 2-4pm.

Tree Section

716 12th Street Manhattan Beach CA716 12th (6br/7ba, 4475 sqft.) expands upon a newer trend of new construction in the South Martyrs Hill area near downtown. The 3000 sqft. lots in this district are more like those found in the Sand Section, so the city changed development rules to allow 3 formal stories for new construction – unheard of elsewhere in the Tree Section. 

This home was just completed and we haven't yet toured. We're pleasantly surprised with the views attained in this new build toward the south – much better than expected for a home east of Highview.

Here's more from the official description:

"Brand new British West Indies-inspired home in American Martyrs with sweeping ocean, city and mountain views which can be enjoyed from the top floor as well as from three outdoor view decks (one with a fireplace)... The casual elegance of the Caribbean is reflected in the open reverse floor plan, the 9" wide distressed oak flooring with ebony stain, louvered cabinets and railings, mud room, Rejuvenation lighting and tons of windows to soak in the views. The chef's kitchen includes a Bertazonni range, Subzero fridge, center 'peninsula' with breakfast bar, two Bosch dishwashers, butler's pantry and a pass-through window to the outdoor deck."

716 12th starts at $4.799M and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

3513 Oak (3br/3ba, 1775 sqft.) offers a lot of house, relatively speaking, in a reasonably spacious 2-story floorplan with a bigger-than-expected grassy backyard.

This home fell out of escrow just before year-end, so it's back looking for new buyers now.

Previously, we've noted the property's odd qualities, common with many homes around MB where piecemeal or not-so-fully planned additions were made to existing 1950s-era homes. This listing claims a 1997 build date, but there's no chance it was new as of then. The first floor features a smallish true bedroom, a "pass-through" office or craft room and a big back room that counts as a bedroom, but also feels like a living room given its size, shape and the fact that it opens to the yard. A master is popped up on top. The kitchen wants a modernization, but overall, the home presents adequately and could be seen as a deal for the Tree Section.

Location is the biggest issue here, being just across from a hotel and its parking lot, but with location compromises come lower prices.

This is the second listing of the home this year. It began at $1.499M and is now at $1.399M, and is open Sun. 2-5pm.

1501 Pine Avenue Manhattan Beach CA1501 Pine (5br/4ba, 2950 sqft.) is a conventionally Meditteranean home. It's custom-built with a 2005 completion date, making it somewhat less new than the recently sold neighbor at 1601 Pine (5br/5ba, 2950 sqft., 2001 build, sold for $2.550M). 

Notwithstanding that nearby, same-sized comp, they're asking a bit more, $2.599M, with a recent $100K chop here in the 5th month of the listing.

From the official description:

"With 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, front and back yard areas, soaring ceilings, 4 fireplaces, gourmet appliances, new paint and carpet and more, this neighborhood home is a must see. From the grand entrance to the soaring ceilings, from the custom rod-iron [sic] stair rail and cozy wood library nook, master suite with Romeo & Juliet balcony and fireplace plus 3 more bedrooms and baths on the 2nd floor, this is an ideal open floor plan. First floor bedroom or office, 3/4 bath, living room with fireplace, formal dining, great room with fireplace and a cooks kitchen with breakfast nook and counter space for snacking or watching the cook completes the flow."

1501 Pine is at $2.599M and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

East MB

36 East Malaga Place Manhattan Beach CA36 East Malaga (3br/3ba, 2075 sqft.) is a Village TH that appears mostly original, with modest updates. It's very central, just across from the community pool. From the official description:

"Popular Plan “7” Townhome, Light and open floor Plan with 3 Skylights, Updated with Granite kitchen counters, New hardware & Lighting Fixtures, Newer Stainless Steel Appliances, Custom Tile in Kitchen and Baths, Custom Desk cabinet In Breakfast Nook, White Wood Shutters, Large Family Room and Dining Room, Freshly Painted throughout, Private Gated Front Entry, Lushly Landscaped, Nice size rear Patio has open feeling, recently Landscaped."

The Village has been mostly quiet this year, compared to some recent years. But there are a couple of closed sales right on Malaga worth noting: 50 Malaga (3br/3ba, 2000 sqft.), also a Plan 7, at $1.369M in August, and 5 Malaga (3br/3ba, 2050 sqft.), also a Plan 7, at $1.399M in June.

The priciest Plan 7 to sell recently was remodeled 26 Dover Place (3br/3ba, 2050 sqft.) at $1.625M in October.

36 East Malaga is at $1.425M and is open Sun. from 1-3pm.

1321 5th Street Manhattan Beach CA1321 5th (4br/4ba, 3500 sqft.) is a case where the sellers seem to be showing that they're motivated. It was one of the only listings open last weekend, and here we are again.

Previously we've called this a "classic, mostly single-level ranch house with a sprawling feel."

The 10,000 sqft. lot, a bit pie-shaped at the end of a cul-de-sac, is 155' wide at the back, and you do feel the extra width in the way the house just goes on and on in both directions off the entry.

Style-wise, each room has gotten its fair share of updates – evidently from a major customization and remodel in 2004. The home is conventionally pretty, clean and shows well as a move-in-ready home. If you happen to have a soft spot for ranch houses, it's easy to say this one feels simply like a warm home.

Of the 4br, 3 are downstairs along one wing. A full-size bonus room accessed through the garage makes for an attractive media room. The open and large kitchen is the highlight of the main living areas, but you also find both a large family room and a formal living room as places to spread out.

The master is on an added second floor, with a nice bath, plus a wall's worth of closets in the room and a long walk-in closet as well. There are views from the master due east over rooftops.

Despite the vast lot size, there's not a ton of outdoor space. Mainly it's a medium-sized yard off the north side of the house off the family room.

1321 5th is at $2.599M and is open Sun. from 1-3pm.

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