Sunday Opens (11/24)

By Dave Fratello | November 23rd, 2013

All of a sudden, it's single-level cottage week in Manhattan Beach.

That's what we've got among the new listings that are pubicly open.

Do you expect anything next week? We don't. So check these out – and whatever else you find out this week. It could be 2 weeks before there's really anything new.

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

2913 Pacific (3br/2ba, 1890 sq. ft.) was purchased jointly by the city of Manhattan Beach and its then-new city manager in 2011. Now that he's moving on, the house is being sold – with profits to be split by the outgoing manager and the city. (A nice profit on both sides.)

Good story, but how's the house?

This is one of a series of "Roth-built" 1960s single-level cottage-type homes. You see this layout a lot more east of Sepulveda, but it crops up from time to time west of the highway.

This one's been very much updated since the 2011 purchase. Newer (engineered) wood flooring, modernized baths and kitchen, newer windows – it's a competent and comfortable upgrade. (When we saw it in '11 this home was a blank slate.)

You'll enter off the side of the house, pretty much in the middle, with one big family/living room toward the front of the house, and the master suite just off the entryway. Toward the back is the kitchen/dining area and family room. Two kids' bedrooms in back share a hallway bath.

At this site, the backyard is very typical of the Trees, a small patio really.

Your tax dollars helped the city buy this home for $1.080M in 2011. With the upgrades, movement in the market and utter scarcity today, it's going to go way over that.

2913 Pacific starts at $1.495M, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

East MB

1316 Curtis (3br/2ba, 1570 sq. ft.) is an East MB cottage from the 50s that's been expanded back to add a family room and formal dining area.

It's absolutely typical of the originals on these 4 short blocks between Meadows Ave. and Pennekamp Elementary – with that add-on and good updates.

One question we had on coming in was whether they'd created a true master with the addition. They did not.

That means really all 3 bedrooms share one smallish full bath. The second bath noted in the listing is more of a half bath serving the main living areas.

The kitchen is tasteful but not 21st-century in all respects, while the added dining/family room feels open and comfy. It extends quite nearly to the back of the lot, and opens to one side to a paved outdoor patio area. From there, you can see over the homes to the south out toward the high school football stadium.

Locationwise, this is undeniably a quiet street very close to the elementary, a nice plus. And its position on the rise of the hill is favorable. The hill drops down behind and to the east of the home, so you feel like you're on a nice little high spot.

If you wanted to see a true original of the cottages in this area, you need only have dropped in on neighboring 1321 Voorhees when it was for sale in September. That one still had just the original 1000 sq. ft., a single common room up front and was begging for updates and/or additions. It sold for $1.055M in a sale closing just 3 weeks ago.

Here, they've added space and the place is move-in ready.

1316 Curtis starts at $1.270M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

1813 10th (3br/3ba, 1610 sq. ft.) presents an interesting comparison with 1316 Curtis. It starts at roughly the same price ($1.299M) and has similar specs, though a lesser location.

Here you do get a much bigger lot, though – a full 7500 sq. ft. with the garage tucked in back. This means you have an ample front yard and plenty of space to run around in back – even if the home has to be narrower to allow for the driveway to the "garage" in back.

Like several homes we've seen recently, this one shows quickly that it's been added onto and remodeled in stages. That's mostly fine here, but there is the unusual case of a (smallish) front bedroom that's isolated from the other bedrooms, which are tucked much further back beyond the living areas and kitchen. There are awkward transitions between flooring from one room to another.

But the kitchen was opened up nicely into the common areas, and its style holds up OK now. The other baths probably want some updating, bearing more of an 80s feel, but that's better than the 50s.

You really should step all the way back to the garage. The space looks usable even if you don't plan to park your cars there.

Like you, we can read a map, and an 1800-block address means Aviation looms, right? You are practically in North Redondo. But by some luck, this stretch of 10th rises quickly up off Aviation closer to that busy street, and here we didn't feel it so much. (Or hear it, which is the important test.) So, let's say the location rates better than expected, though it is where it is.

In all, this is a quirky but reasonable space, the big lot being a nice plus.

1810 3rd starts at $1.299M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

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