Sunday Opens (10/28)

By Dave Fratello | October 28th, 2012
Is it bad luck to list when the ghosts and goblins are gathering?

We think not. Never believed in that stuff, though we love the scary movies.

Still, almost no one brought new listings to market in MB this week.

The ones that did, they'll do fine. Almost guaranteed – based on the hungry market tiers they're hitting. 

Surely if you're a dedicated MB'er, you've spent more time designing your pumpkins for Sunday's races than thinking about real estate.

As you prepare to roll decorated squashes down Manhattan Beach Boulevard, consider this:

MB is also the originator of the Pinewood Derby, i.e., dads cub/boy scouts engineering blocks of wood to roll down tracks. No kidding. (Click this plaque pic to enlarge.)

Why all the rolling down hills in MB?

Is it something about growing up among sand dunes and hills?

An under-celebrated culture of invention?

Discuss while in line to parade and test your racer. And remember, Cheaters Never Prosper.

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

Hill Section

Can you really get into the Hill Section under $1m?

At 208 Larsson you can.

This is a smallish (3br/2ba, 1350 sq. ft.) 1950s cottage that we were going to call "remodeled," but it doesn't fully earn that description.

Very fresh, clean, nicely staged... all true. Well-kept, yes. But it's more original than remodeled.

The kitchen, for instance, while surely functional, is full of vintage items more suited to a collector than a 21st-century home. In the main bath, cabinets and tiles belong to a bygone era.

As is commonly the case with these older cottages, there's really just one room's worth of common space, though there is a separate, small dining area just off the kitchen.

The back yard is a pool. Oddly, it's one of 3 in a row. You could look all over MB and not find 2 pools next door to one another, but here you go: Larsson = swim central. Here people don't so much need their back yards, with the fun parkette right across the street.

This home has been buffed and polished to appeal to entry-level buyers. There's little under $1m in MB and often good demand when something comes along. But the next owners will have some work to do to bring this home all the way to now. All things in time.

208 Larrson starts at $979k, and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

Tree Section

1705 Pine (4br/4ba, 3125 sq. ft.) sports a largely familiar 1980s layout – though the build date is 1992 – but it's the nature and flavor of the remodel that's a big surprise.

Those step-down living spaces betray the era, but the retiled and (some) classily carpeted spaces feel somehow modern – even midcentury-modern revival. A whole wall of the formal living room has been done up epically in floor-to-(2-story)-ceiling cherry wood cabinetry with snazzy lighting. Quite a touch.

The same red woods (cherry/mahogany) repeat in the boldly modern kitchen remodel and in elements of the family room and master.

As is typical, you don't get much of a back yard here, just a paved patio surrounded by bamboo – call it an outdoor living space, not so much a "yard."

There's one bedroom suite downstairs, plus 3br up. Curiously, the master bath still feels every bit of 1992 – one of the rough edges that give this one an overall not-quite-completely redone feeling. (Worn, stained carpets betray a rush to sale more than a lack of quality.)

This one called to mind the very recent, nearby sale at 1805 Walnut (4br/4ba, 3350 sq. ft.), a home of similar vintage and layout that closed 2 weeks ago for $1.705m. Truth be told, we found that one blank and uninspired by comparison. You can also reach back just a bit further to another 1980s house that got a much more thorough remodel, 2200 Elm (4br/3ba, 3650 sq. ft.), which fetched $1.790m in late August.

1705 Pine starts somewhat above both, but with motivation to make a quick deal – at $1.799m. It is open Sun. 1-4pm.

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