Sunday Opens (11/10)

By Dave Fratello | November 10th, 2013

If there's one thing that can cause stress and disruption in a family, it's youth sports playoffs.

You might view this as a 3-day weekend suitable for a little pre-Thanksgiving getaway. But not if the kids are busy being wrung through the playoff wringer.

The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat. Oh, yes, it is very hard for the coaches. But they have earned the vacations many of their players will now give them.

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

711 18th (5br/4ba, 2540 sq. ft.) is odd and dated, a rare 3-level home owing to additions over the years, but it's got one of those must-have locations in the Martyrs neighborhood. There will be buyers.

Entry is along the side of the house, coming into living spaces built around a patio toward the back that's enclosed on 3 sides.

Of the bedrooms, you've got 3 on a middle level steps up from the entry, the master another level above those, and one in a full guest suite way in back in an addition on the first floor.

Stairs up to the the main bedrooms are concrete, reflecting construction of an earlier time. The 3 br together on that middle level share a hallway bath. (Though there's also a half along with the laundry room.)

It's impressive to see what a little fresh carpet and staging can do to remove the overwhelming sense of the home being tired and needing updates. We've seen plenty of homes with similar bones and vintage that were shown empty and with old, rental-caliber carpeting, and they can be dreary. Not here. But the fresh feel won't take away from the fact that the home wants a thoroughgoing modernization.

711 18th starts at $1.865M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

1733 Pine (5br/6ba, 3115 sq. ft.) is all white, bright and shiny new, a nice execution of the "Plantation" style that's all the rage now.

There's a big, bright kitchen/great room in back with boxed, coffered ceilings and a mix of white marble and black granite counters that keep the kitchen interesting. A breakfast nook is tucked in back toward the backyard. Double doors open to the yard, which has just enough space for a partly covered patio and a little grassy patch – no soccer field here, but not the tiniest yard we've seen in the Trees.

The layout here benefits from having the buried garage in an upsloping lot. That means no first-floor space wasted on the garage and a nice deck off the living room over the garage. Indeed, that deck makes the formal living room more attractive as a place to gather – perish the thought – rather than a forgotten space to show off untouchable furniture and knicknacks.

The flooring is worth a note. By now, you know that wide-plank oak flooring is the style of the moment, and very dark stains have begun to fade in popularity. Here, rather than one of the greyish-brown stains we've seen on similar flooring, they tried something different – a "white-wash finish" after a dark stain that seems to leave a ghostly white outline of the grain pattern against a darker backdrop. It's quite an effect.

With just 3100-odd square feet to go around, nothing feels large. We did like the positioning of the office/guest room on the first floor, far out of traffic, but it's not huge. Most of the kids' rooms upstairs are a bit cozy as well, partly because they each got their own baths. And the master suite, while large enough and with a pretty great bath, is also not gargantuan by any stretch. Call the layout "efficient" for what they were able to fit into it all. 

New construction in the Trees... we're starting to see more of it. A home two blocks over on Poinsettia is nearing completion by another builder with comparable bed/ba/square footage and at a rumored presale price of $2.750M.

1733 Pine, on a street that's less busy and with the sunny west-facing backyard, asks the same: $2.749M. It is open Sun. 1-4pm.

3604 Palm (5br/4ba, 3250 sq. ft.) is a surprisingly pleasant, newer (2008) Craftsman spec house that first tried to sell at an unfortunate time in the market: late 2008 through mid-2009.

It was not to be. But here, 4+ years later, the market has come back and this one has got a fair shot. It's out at $2.2M, just what the builder first sought in the crashing market of 2008.

This is a good and familiar layout; great room in back, formal dining and living up front. The sunny porch/deck over the garage is a nice feature off the living room. Similarly, in back, a sizable, raised stone patio opens off the great room before a little step down to an ample, grassy yard.

Basically this is a modern home in a classic style, warmer than might be expected.

Now, you don't see many addresses that begin with "36," and that always signifies "close to Rosecrans." (Or double-chai, extra good luck – depends on your perspective.)

Make it a Cape Plantation, pull it away from Rosecrans and you might approach the $2.7M+ they're asking over at 1733 Pine. Well, if wishes were fishes, everyone would eat well.

Another interesting comparison would be 3521 Walnut (4br/4ba, 3250 sq. ft.), newly in escrow with a list of $1.769M. That one's a 1999 build with a location that's got the refinery feeling somehow more present. The layout at Palm here is more open and the yard is better as well.

3604 Palm starts at $2.205M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

The first line of the description for 200 Kelp declares that it is "not your typical 1950s El Porto beach shack."

Which is true, partly because it sports a build date of 1979. But is it, otherwise, an El Porto beach shack? Yes. One that needs a coat of paint yesterday.

But it's also true that this is not typical. The layout is not one of those simple 60s boxes that sprouted all over El Porto and other high-density areas of town back during an uninspiring architectural period. The top floor has high, angular ceilings and a little bonus loft space above. The somewhat updated kitchen is reasonably large and opens nicely to the living areas. And there is plenty of light and ocean to be seen.

There's one bedroom suite downstairs with a shower that's got easy access for the surfer who just trudged back up the hill. A back patio area that's relatively generous for a half lot. The second bedroom suite is upstairs off the living areas, ample enough. The surprise is the little loft area accessed off of a metal ladder bolted to the wall. Office? Extra roomie? Collectible storage? Sure.

200 Kelp had a deal recently but flopped out, and they want a new one yesterday. It's listed at $1.175M and is open Sun. 2-4pm. (No it's not on any lists, but MBC confirmed it.)

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