Sunday Opens (11/4)

By Dave Fratello | November 4th, 2012
This year we've become accustomed to auction-like multiple-bidder situations, but there's a true property auction coming up next weekend.

That's at 1761 Voorhees, and Sunday is your one chance to see it before next Sunday's auction.

That's just one of the interesting new offerings here, as the Fall always produces a curious mix.

We're also re-posting a few other highlights that we've reviewed before and which are open this weekend.

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

East MB

1251 9th (5br/5ba, 4975 sq. ft.) is big, just a half-bath shy of 5,000 square feet.

And though these owners have had the place since it was new in 1995, they've put in some work to customize and update the home, with newer-feeling flooring in some places and classy accents, plus some baths updated. This may not fully disguise the early-90s vintage, but it helps – this is not your typical 20-year-old house begging for a top-to-bottom reworking.

With this much space, the great room in back is really a Great Room, deep and wide and spacious, as large, in itself, as some MB homes. This vast family living space serves several purposes – offering a large kitchen, casual dining, a big living area and a wet bar... a step-down service bar, no less.

This is what "great rooms" in homes on smaller lots wish they could be when they grow up.

The great room opens nicely, brightly, to the back yard, which is all paved, with nice hangout spaces plus a pool and spa – that's what they wanted rather than the grass.

The balance of the first floor has formal dining and a very bright, 2-story formal living room, plus a guest suite. The odd, diagonal walkway into the home gives you double doors into the guest bedroom suite and, with both doors open, invites the space to be used more as an "open" office or private parlor.

Upstairs, you have the expected vast master, with separate sitting area and updated bath (albeit carpeted), plus 2 more bedrooms nearby.

5th BR suite at 1251 9th
Then there's the very different 5th bedroom, er, complex. Up at the front of the house, removed from the other upstairs rooms, you have almost a whole guest house. What you see in the pics as a large office with built-ins is basically an extra living room that seals off from the rest of the house with its own bed and bath. In a typical larger-family situation, this megasuite could simply serve as the kids' living room with one of the kids in the bedroom. But if you have relatives staying for longer periods, this could be a private home-within-a-home for them.

1251 9th starts, compellingly, at $2.100m, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

1761 Voorhees (4br/4ba, 3325 sq. ft.) is a unique case – this one is going up for auction next weekend.

It's a 1990 Spanish-inspired home just a couple of doors off of Aviation in furthest East MB. We don't know any more about the condition; they have not opened it up yet for brokers.

They're having their one, single public open house this Sunday, at the oddly precise times of 2:45pm-4:45pm. There will be one more chance to tour it next week immediately before the auction.

The auction is Sun. Nov. 11 at 4:15pm at the property. We'll post more details later this week.

For now 1761 Voorhees has a "placeholder" list price of $899k, but it will be a true auction next week, with the "winner" subject to possible overbid in court later down the road.

1761 Voorhees is open Sun. 2:45-4:45pm.

Tree Section

1126 Laurel (4br/3ba, 2300 sq. ft.) is a TH in a unique duplex just off of MBB.

We referenced it just the other day in "Such a Deal in '09," noting that the current owners grabbed it new for $1.037m. They're now asking $1.399m. Nice markup (+35%).

This one is considerably more conventional than the neighbor, 1130 Laurel, if you ever saw that one.

1126 Laurel has all the basic echoes of a typical MB TH, with a series of 3 smaller-to-adequate bedrooms on the first 2 levels, and all the living space up top. The "fourth bedroom" is an office space off the living room, which qualifies as a bedroom thanks to the closet, but does not seem likely to serve as such. 

The whole place feels newer and up-to-date (well, it is 2009 construction), and while we liked the open feel of the top floor, it suffered by comparison to the neighbor, which often felt huge and had more differentiated living spaces around the top floor.

By comparison, also, this one seemed – subjectively, of course – somewhat noisier than the neighbor did just this past Spring. It may be that this one faces MBB more directly than 1130 and drags in more noise from the road. We actually described 1130 Laurel as "private, quiet and close to everything," but we just could not use the word "quiet" here at 1126.

1126 Laurel starts at $1.399m, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

2702 Ardmore (2br/1ba, 800 sq. ft.) is "that funny little house on the triangle lot on Ardmore," as we described it to Mrs. MBC.

She knew exactly the place. Maybe you do, too.

Friday was the first chance we've had to see the inside. It's small (of course), more original than we had imagined. The vintage oven with its odd, circular window evoked the very recent (and pending) listing at 208 Larsson, which had the same type of ovens.

There are decent, small living spaces in here, to be sure. But the house is as compromised as its location.

If it totally works for you to have a 1br+ house in a poor location just to get into the 90266, here's an option. The $675k start price is certainly going to draw attention. It was listed for 6 months last year at about the same price, but rented out instead of selling. Last trade was way back in 2000 ($370k).

We noted that it was small. Tax records show this as a 1br house with 498 square feet of interior space, not a 2br and 800 sq. ft. house as the MLS shows. In visiting, you can see a second room with a bed and closet in it, which also steps down several steps to a lower-level storage area and laundry room. This appears to be (in part) the former garage. Prior MLS listings of the same property have used the 2br/800 sq. ft. counts.

2702 N. Ardmore starts at $675k and is open Sun. 1-5pm.

Note: We simply could not link to this property via Redfin – more frustrations with Redfin. So we apologize for the clunky link to Dave's MLS feed. Best we could do.

We nicknamed the home at 2115 Valley (3br/3ba, 3470 sq. ft.) "The Labyrinth House" last month when it debuted. (See our review.)

It's a unique 80s design with lots of levels and stairs, not much in the way of yard space, wanting updates. And you'll note the Valley address.

But give them some credit here. While we said that "its start at $1.825m goes far over the likely ceiling for a property of this type," they're down $300k since then.

It's not everyone who can make a 16% price correction within a month.

2115 Valley is now at $1.525m and is open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.

3204 Poinsettia (3br/2ba, 1750 sq. ft.) is a sharply remodeled Tree Section house with a recent history of not selling.

In Summer 2011, this one was offered as low as $1.299m, but it rented out. It's back up for sale $175k higher at $1.475m.

3204 Poinsettia is at $1.475m and is open Sun. 1-4pm.
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."

1705 Pine starts at $1.799m. It is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

4112/4114 The Strand is an extraordinary newer Cape Cod, er, duplex way up in El Porto Norte.

Actually, it is 2 separate units, townhomes connected in the middle with an option to convert the house into an SFR. (It would be unwieldy as such, but it's possible.)

Maybe the most surprising news is for the back unit – they built this out with consideration for the fact that someone might be on the hook for $4m or so for the rear home, so they made it special. There's practically an extra full story built up in back to give it substantial ocean views from the kitchen/great room of the rear unit. You look over the front unit as well as over neighbors. Thoughtful.

Great style, very nice materials, a comfortable newer home with all the bells and whistles, quality materials and – of all things – air conditioning. (This year it's seemed nearly a necessity.)

4112 is the address just for the "main" front unit (4br/4ba, 2700 sq. ft.), offered at $4.5m, or you can have the whole darn thing, including 4114 (4br/5ba, 2500 sq. ft.), for $8.250m.

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