Sunday Opens (12/21)

By Dave Fratello | December 20th, 2008
This time of year there are two kinds of people you might see at open houses: bargain-hunters trolling for deals, and tourists all ga-ga over these pricey Manhattan Beach homes and their high-end amenities.

We dedicate this edition of "Weekend Opens" to the tourists – your out-of-town guests, perhaps, who you might want to first send over to the computer (to consume a little MBC, of course) and then send out for part of the afternoon. We'll give them something to do while you watch vital football games, or head out to another holiday party.

If you (or your guests) happens to visit one of our recommended listings, be sure to tell the agent there that MBC sent you.

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

The Hill Section is famous for big, luxe, ocean-view estates. We have several on public offer, and a couple open Sunday.

218 N. Dianthus is the biggest Hill Section estate open this weekend. The listing even calls it "[o]ne of the most beautiful homes ever built in Manhattan Beach." Now, who wouldn't want to see what the hype is all about?

The ocean views aren't as sweeping as are those found in others, but the Mediterranean home is quite big (4br/5ba, 5600 sq. ft.) and the entertaining spaces upstairs are huge – the kitchen island is the size of an aircraft carrier.

Your guests will enjoy the sense of opulence. They may get lost on the first floor, however – it's a bit of a puzzle, so bring breadcrumbs. Asking $5.495m, down $1.255m from its start in March. Open Sun. 1-4pm.

815 2nd
is the other Hill Section estate, a Cape Cod sporting surprisingly good ocean views for a home so low on the hill. This one could not, perhaps, be more different from 218 N. Dianthus, because a roughly comparable amount of space (5br/6ba, 4550 sq. ft.) is chopped up into a series of smaller, intimate spaces. A great East Coast feel, overall, and some nice details, but just one really big room – a tiered home theater in the basement.

This one hit the market in February at $4.795m and is down almost $1m now to $3.825m. 815 2nd was the subject of an MBC pricing poll, and with its fresh price cut, it has now moved into a big sweet spot where the plurality of voters (37%) thought it might sell – $3.75m-$4m. (See our poll results story for a chart.) Of course, it's a small step down to the next tier from the current price. Open Sun. 2-4pm.

856 11th is not at all a typical Hillie, but it's a comfortable family home set humbly amidst all the luxury. What it's not is large (4br/3ba, 2225 sq. ft.), new (1975 construction) or offering any ocean views (city views instead). But it's nicely updated and warm and boasts a very large yard, all-too-uncommon around these parts. Problem: Master bedroom upstairs, kids' rooms downstairs. Priced at $1.479m. Open Sun. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

No doubt, the beach-adjacent walkstreets west of Highland are the Sand Section's big boast. Two offerings there are up this weekend, and we offer 2 other suggestions as well.

224 7th (pictured) is a pristine new Nantucket that's maxed out sizewise (5br/5ba, 4200 sq. ft.) and offers extravagant detail and a location right near downtown. Your rich uncle who has had it with the weather back east may just want to take a look.

New construction like this on the South End is still a pretty rare find. This home has only been offered for 10 days; it has a chance to go fairly quickly despite the start late in the year.

Priced at $5.695m. Open Sun. 1-4pm.

A very different kind of walkstreet home is 133 17th. This one offers a smaller front house and a rental unit in back. The updates are very nice in the main house. The whole package is up at $3.650m. Worth a quick shuffle over after a long, lazy brunch at Uncle Bill's. Open Sun 2-4pm.

465 30th is your way to teach the out-of-towners about the plateau – a series of flat, quiet streets at the top of the hill north of Marine. Though it's crowded here, plateau residents have generally responded by creating a friendly, neighborly enclave with a classic beach-town feel. A well-kept secret part of MB.

465 30th also serves as an entree to a discussion about short sales in town. (See "The Trouble with Shorties.") Now at $2.150m, a lender-approved short price. Open Sun. 1-4pm.

233 20th Place
is a great example of what you get for a million bucks these days in the Sand: Not much. The home offers 3br/2ba and 1365 sq. ft. in a 2-story box built in the 1950s, with a few updates, and more dated parts. Did we mention the location on busy Highland Ave.?

Hard to believe, but this is the cheapest home in the Sand Section at $1 below $1m – $999,999. Open Sun. 1-4pm.

Tree Section

The Tree Section is the 'burbs west of Sepulveda, with plenty of average homes on average lots, some really too close to the giant refinery for comfort. But the jewel of the Trees is the Martyrs Hill area, where 2 new homes stand out this week.

665 17th (pictured) (6br/5ba, 4600 sq. ft.) is on one of the quietest blocks around – a short street that dead-ends above the American Martyrs school. It's tricked-out with all kinds of extra details – maybe a few too many.

This one was custom built for a local builder who decided not to move in. (Don't you hear that story pretty often, somehow?) Still at the start price of $5.0m. Open Sun. 2-4pm.

529 18th is a large (5br/5ba, 5600 sq. ft.) new Crafstman-inspired home that, like the home above, also boasts a fairly low-traffic street with great breezes. The home, though it offers most of the basic elements of new construction in the area, has some great details and 2 surprises – a home theater with stadium seating and a laundry room with some of the best views from any part of the house. Still at $4.279m. Open Sun. 2-4pm.

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