Sunday Opens (10/20)

By Dave Fratello | October 20th, 2013

It seems like everything coming out these days starts with a "2" in front, but at least we can say the pre-Halloween period here continues to see activity.

This week there's new construction, a flip and a 100-block walkstreet home among the options.

Inventory count as we write: 48 total SFRs & THs citywide. 

To plan your open-house tours for this week, use MB Confidential's online list of Manhattan Beach open houses (it's mobile-friendly!).

Tree Section

801 18th (4br/5ba, 3335 sq. ft.) is a 90s contemporary at 18th and Pacific that's bright and open, and may not need all that much even if you want to fully modernize it.

The first floor offers two big family/living rooms and formal dining along what seems a long central hallway. The kitchen opens nicely to the common areas. Lots of light pours in from south-facing windows, but the home still feels quite private. (The home runs along 18th, not Pacific – the garage is your bulwark against noise from Pacific.)

As it shows now, a third major living space is in the garage – behind the frosted glass doors, they've made a rumpus room out of most of that space.

It seemed that the sellers had been refreshing and updating here and there over the years. Today, many buyers might change the flooring from the tile to some kind of wood and perhaps tweak some cabinets and baths, but changes aren't urgent.

Moderns or contemporaries in the Trees are pretty rare, but two have sold this year: much newer 1708 Elm (2003 build, 4br/3ba, 3100 sq. ft. at $2.100M in May) and 700 27th (4br/4ba, 3420 sq. ft., Dave's listing, sold for $2.300M in June).

801 18th starts right between those two sales at $2.199M and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

Sand Section

124 17th (2br/1ba, 880 sq. ft.) might seem like a misprint or screaming deal when you first hear of it. This is a 100-block address on one of the great Teen Street walkstreets near downtown. Ocean views from the living room and patio, a nice private patio in back... and all that for just S1.499M.

If your radar's up, yes, there's a catch.

This home is on the frontmost 1500 sq. ft. of what would be a 2700 sq. ft. lot, officially separate from the 1200 sq. ft. lot behind it, and therefore "landlocked." There's no garage, parking or alley access, and no prospect of that any time soon. The lot is also precluded, we're told, from being joined with the smaller lot on the alley thanks to a deed restriction.

With no parking, the city won't let you build much bigger than the existing home, though in theory you could rebuild new to the same (small) size.

Basically, what you see is what you get – a fresh and cozy little 1936 original with updates, including a very nice kitchen, and one good-size bedroom and another on the small side.

Disclosure: Dave has toured this home with clients.

124 17th starts at $1.499M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

3603 Manhattan Ave. (3br/4ba, 1900 sq. ft.) is a mid-90s Spanish style TH fairly near Rosecrans offering what are described as "Fully Executive Ocean Views." Lower down the corporate ladder, then, we assume you'd see less.

Since the views – impressive, expansive, hey, executive – are a major selling point, it's necessary for a buyer to take note of the little 1-story cottage just to the west. If/when that gets built up, what will you have then? Something, of course, but not all of this panorama will survive.

The home itself does not feel like many TH's we've been in, and that's a clear plus. We like variety. The builder brought a slightly different style to this set, some good Spanish accents and limiting the common walls to the backs of the kitchen cabinets upstairs, with a little open hallway/atrium between the units. Nice touch.

Inside, the flooring is a mix of the expected saltillo tile and (restained) dark hardwood, the exception being the first-floor bedroom (with separate entry), which has gotten some kind of updated tile flooring in more recent years.

The kitchen, upstairs with major views, also hosts a little booth for casual dining that gets such awesome views, you might not want to go far after breakfast. Newer appliances and counters point to a fairly recent update here. Among the baths, the master bath has gotten the most substantial update, though the white marble plus dark wood – while very now – does not seem very "Spanish."

It seemed to us that the wall of windows upstairs had been recently replaced, a plus, although they seem to have used vinyl replacement windows. 

They're shooting for something special here, pricewise, at $2.499M, or $1,300/PSF.

Are there THs that have come in near there recently? Yes and no. Among the comps we see, 3312 Manhattan Ave. is comparable in size and location but sold for less ($2.299M, off market); 2417 Crest ($2.575M) was bigger by 400 sq. ft. and a knockout, style-wise, and we believe its views are permanent/unblockable. Several other recent sales seem to be bigger and/or to have sold for much less. Browse this list of THs sold in the last 6 months to make your own judgment.

3603 Manhattan Ave. starts at $2.499M and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

East MB

1421 18th (6br/6ba, 4430 sq. ft.) is solid new construction on a good block on the east side that just about perfectly expresses what's current in home building style.

The style here is "plantation," bright white and beachy for the most part, with a soft greyish/brown tone to the wide-plank oak flooring. (Could dark walnut stains be officially "out" now?) 

The great room in back boasts a modern kitchen, high ceilings and lots of light from the windows and doors opening to the big deck and backyard. On a clear day you'll see the mountains, downtown and even the Hollywood sign. Also, there's a bit of a slope down from the backyard toward the neighbor beyond to the north, so it looks like a lot of that view will always be available.

In addition to one bedroom suite downstairs, there are 5 (yes, 5!) more upstairs, plus laundry. The master gets those views again, in spades.

If there's a quibble one might have, it's the way the modest downslope of the lot requires occasional steps down as you move toward the back of the home.

This block of 18th is going to see another new home next year – a project we're aware of on the other side of the street that should draw even better views of downtown and will benefit from a sunny, south facing backyard. Contact Dave for more on that one.

1421 18th starts at $2.699M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

1466 6th (4br/5ba, 3000 sq. ft.) is a recent remodeling project, but for once, someone has not turned a little 50s cottage into a new Cape Cod cottage. Instead, they've actually taken a 1970s Spanish original and mostly run with the style, giving it a very fresh, modern feeling.

There's one bedroom suite down and up front (note: watch your step down!) along with formal dining. Toward the back is a big, open kitchen and great room with soaring ceiling and skylights.

This opens to a very big yard which has two nice bonuses: One third of the garage is fully built out and could serve as a big home gym, playroom or similar, and the whole driveway is enclosed behind a sliding gate, opening up the chance to use that as play space (think basketball court), meaning you get to use even more of the 7450 sq. ft. lot than most homes would.

Upstairs we found the secondary bedrooms a bit small, but that's a modest concern.    

This is shaping up as a sweet flip: The remodeling group paid $1.250M in May for the property and is looking to get $2.000M now.

1466 6th is open Sun. 1-4pm.

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