Sunday Opens (1/12/14)

By Dave Fratello | January 12th, 2014

We literally took last weekend off, with nothing new to see or show on the market. Strolling the Strand, we snapped this wintry photo. (Wintry for the beach.)

Now, we're not even at mid-month, but things are changing quickly. Dave's been busy all week, and there are several new listings already to occupy buyers. This is just the tip of the iceberg, the first to emerge in what should be a busy next few months.

The kickoff to the "Spring" market for Manhattan Beach real estate is traditionally Super Bowl weekend, still a few weeks away, but this is a nice start.

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

2912 Pine (5br/4ba, 3800 sq. ft.) (5br/4ba, 3800 sq. ft.) is an expansive, somewhat newer (2001) Mediterranean tucked away on a fairly quiet corner lot up and off of Ardmore.

The kitchen/great room combo is enormous, and there are 2 separate rooms off the first floor that can serve any purpose – formal living room, game room, separate media room, kids' homework space... whatever suits. Bedrooms upstairs are all quite large.

Though this is a plus-size lot (6000 sq. ft.), there's not a yard per se, just the large, paved front patio with a fountain from which the home is set back – meant to create a grand mini-"estate" effect – and a small paved patio out back off the great room.

On this quiet corner, you'd get a nice, playable front yard by fixing the builder's mistake with that enclosed, wasted front patio area and converting it to a fenced yard instead – thereby curing the main defect of the property.

Last purchased in July 2004 for $1.950m, this one was offered for 3 months of 2011 from $2.3m down to $2.2m, then for 4 months of 2012 at $2.1M down to $1.995M, then rented out.

We have to say this one looks better now than it ever has in prior runs on the market. Listing pics show a vacant home – that's from 2012. There's now a family living there and it's almost as good as quality staging to show off the house – empty, it can be a bit heavy-feeling.

2912 Pine starts now at $2.175m and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

East MB

1650 22nd (3br/2ba, 1265 sq. ft.) sure looks a lot different than the last time we saw it. In September, a true "fixer" version of this house hit the market (here's the old listing & pics) and sold for $929K. Now a flipper has brought it back tranformed.

They've given it a completely modern look, with wide-open common areas, sharp stainless appliances and nice baths. It's fair to say that the home feels bigger than its 1250-ish square feet. However, you'll likely find the master suite a bit cozy.

You can make the cottage pretty, but you can't move it. Two of the 3br run along busy Redondo Ave., and the noise is going to be noticeable in the main living spaces as well. The main gathering spaces up front look out at traffic along two streets.

A lesser concern: The backyard, while sunny and of good size, doesn't really integrate with the living spaces, though you can go out the back sliding door. The master gets the best view of the yard.

1650 22nd is up now at greater than $1,000/PSF, asking $1.299M. It is open Sun. 1-4pm. 

1343 6th (4br/3ba, 2200 sq. ft.) is a 1960s split-level (tri-level) original – and we do mean original.

The listing nostalgically refers to the Brady Bunch house, but we frankly don't see it, and that's besides the fact that 8 people and a housekeeper would never fit in this smallish space.

We liked the tall windows and bright rooms. The plus-sized backyard gardens – the lot is 8325 sq. ft. – are actually quite charming, though with the yard being on the north side and this being the depths of winter, it's very shady, so photos don't show much.

All of the bedrooms are pretty compact, the split-level arrangement is a real challenge and there is an enormous amount of work to do if you really want to modernize. That could make it a tough sell, but an ambitious buyer might go to town.

1343 6th starts at $1.599M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

1508 Wendy (2br/2ba, 950 sq. ft.) will be a very pleasant surprise for the family that needs what it offers, and compromises to go with its location.

With a newer kitchen and baths, freshy redone (original) hardwood flooring and fresh paint everywhere, the place has been tastefully rebooted and is ready to go.

The backyard – backing up against Aviation – has a pool, referred to in the listing as "the jewel of this home." So please don't ask how much it costs to take out a pool.

This one compares interestingly against the 3br original cottages and larger remodels sold in Liberty Village in 2013. See our complete summary for more. (Read "2013 in Liberty Village.") There were no 2br sales in 2013 in the LV, but this one might be compared best against larger 1825 23rd ($1.049M) and 1800 Wendy ($1.050M); then adjust for the 2br and location.

Nearby 1205 Wendy (2br/1ba, 920 sq. ft.), on the "right" side of Wendy, got an even more ambitious remodel – walls moved to open up the floorplan – and hit the market last year at $959K. That listing ran just a month in Summer and quit.

1508 Wendy starts at $929K and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

1741 9th (5br/6ba, 4400 sq. ft.) rebuts a notion we've had for a while: No one is building Mediterraneans anymore. Well, here, pretty far east, is an exception.

It's got everything you expect in big, modern construction, including the big great room in back.

There's an unexpected surprise, though: A guest house in the backyard. (Are we overstating it? The listing calls it a "detached accessory building," which sounds so commercial.)

Priced at $2.649M, this one aspires to pretty great heights.

The highest new-construction price hit east of the highway in 2013 was $2.729M at bright, white and huge 1200 10th (5br/6ba, 4600 sq. ft.). A gorgeous new plantation home at 1421 18th (6br/6ba, 4430 sq. ft.) is in escrow now with a list price of $2.699M. In those cases, the home style and location seem to be a bit more market-friendly.

The top Mediterranean sales of last year were 1146 8th (2004 build, 5br, 5000 sq. ft., $2.575M) and 1613 5th (1992 build, 5br, 4400 sq. ft., $2.450M).

Some Mediterranean new construction comps from last year would include the similarly located, but smaller homes on smaller lots at 1765 Gates (5br/6ba, 3725 sq. ft., 6000 sq. ft. lot) at $1.998M and 1768 1st (5br/5ba, 3600 sq. ft., 6225 sq. ft. lot) at $1.999M.

1741 9th starts at $2.649M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

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