Sunday Opens (1/26/14)

By Dave Fratello | January 25th, 2014

A week with 6 new listings to review sure feels like Spring is around the corner here in Manhattan Beach. And after Seattle-Denver, we'll be in the thick of it.

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

880 11th (5br/5ba, 4100 sq. ft.) is a late-90s Mediterranean – no, they say "Tuscan" in the listing – with nice décor that complements the home well.

It's under $3M for a simple reason: The house runs the long way along Poinsettia Ave., probably the busiest north/south street in the Hill Section.

The lot placement also gives the house a different feel in the layout - it's wide rather than deep. You enter facing a large formal dining room; a formal living room and an office with full bath is on the right, while the typical kitchen/great room is on the left.

Up the grand spiral staircase you'll find a nice family layout with four bedrooms and three baths (two bedrooms are connected with a Jack-and-Jill bath), and a laundry room. Outside, the patio is larger than you'd expect, with a built-in bar and eating area and plenty of room left over for a trampoline. Overall, the house has a nice, solid feel to it and the layout is spacious and family-friendly. 

880 11th starts at $2.850M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

711 Larsson (4br/2ba, 1800 sq. ft.) is another Hill Section listing with a bit of a location issue, in this case just being on Larsson. It's on the "right" side, with a big lot (6875 sq. ft.) and a sunny western-facing yard.

But the home is really original, dating to the 1950s, and will become a project for someone. You never say never, but it appears that a remodel is beyond the scope here.

At 50 feet wide (a wider lot than both its neighbors) and 137 feet deep, it feels like you'd be able to build a substantial house and still have breathing room.

Of course, then you would have a roughly $3M home on Larsson, with views across the street to the backs of Sepulveda businesses. If you're OK with that, you can enjoy the advantages of this odd block: a relatively quiet, low traffic street with ample parking.

711 Larsson starts at $1.475M and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

Tree Section

1417 Pine (4br/3ba, 2350 sq. ft.) is a unique remodel of a 1940s original that presents with a great sense of style. (The listing actually says the home "screams with character." Ouch! But we take the point.)

When we first saw this listing post, we were very pleasantly surprised to see a nice remodel – screaming with character –  under $2M. (They're at $1.850M.) And that's when we saw that it's under 2400 sq. ft., which puts it in another class entirely.

We thought, "Buyers: Can you go for a dreamy home that's probably undersized from what you wanted by 700+ sq. ft.?"

The answer's in already, before the Sunday open: OH YES. Offers came in and the sellers already accepted one. Now everyone else is going to have to fight for "backup" position.

So is the home a dollhouse, like it looks? Style-wise, yes, and maybe even more so.

Inside, the rooms are a little smaller and less open than what you've come to expect in newer homes, but the style is pitch-perfect. Enter into a small living room and dining room, then hang a left to get to the kitchen and family room leading out to the patio. Off to the side is a bedroom/office/playroom with a full bath.

Upstairs, you'll walk through an open office that leads to two kids' bedrooms and a full bath. Off to the side is the master bedroom with a surprisingly large and updated master bath. (The allocation of space, with this huge master, may get you scratching your head.)

One challenge of this "original" house is the single-car garage. And by "car," we don't necessarily mean any of your cars. Times have changed. That means the driveway and parking on Pine, where the messy street parking is a bit of a down note, and possibly even more challenging if you're expecting guests.

The quick sale here made us realize that the comp from 2013 would be something like nearby 1312 Walnut (3br/3ba, 2100 sq. ft.), which shocked us last year with a close at $1.760M. (It had initially been in escrow at a higher price with the first buyer.)

What did some buyer have to do to "shut down" the bidding process on 1417 Pine before the weekend was out? All bets are off.

1417 Pine starts at $1.850M and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

3615 Laurel (4br/4ba, 3250 sq. ft.) is a 1999 Cape Cod oriented wide along its lot (not entirely unlike 880 11th), which gives it a favorable, slightly different flow downstairs. The kitchen is wide open to a casual dining area and big family room, also to a mostly paved backyard/patio.

The first floor also gets formal dining and living rooms, with all 4br upstairs.

When last we saw this one in October last year with clients, we felt it was quite nice and in acceptable condition, though with a few deferred maintenance issues. Probably a lot of buyers would eventually choose to upgrade the kitchen and master, but as we say, it's not urgent.

There's some kind of location discount built in here given the proximity of Rosecrans. Compare it to much smaller 1417 Pine – which already has a deal more than $100K higher – and the recent listing at 3521 Palm (4br/3ba, 2775 sq. ft.), with a comparable location, less square footage and a price tag $160K higher than at Laurel.

3615 Laurel starts at $1.739M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

3112 Poinsettia (4br/3ba, 1750 sq. ft.) is a total and complete remodel built onto a downsloping lot, with some living space and a bedroom suite downstairs, and the lower-level family room opening to the backyard.

What you see upon first entering is an inspired take on a welcoming front great room. They opened up the ceiling and now show off bright, white T&G as a dramatic, signature feature of this common space. The big kitchen island and nice cabinetry are complemented by a subway tile backsplash and – wait, did they break from white? – an aqua-blue cabinet for the island – which matches the home's front door.

Now, it must be said, this is legally a 4br, but one of those is the guest suite downstairs in what feels a bit like a basement – but brighter. Another, near the master on the first level, is almost impossibly small – good for a nursery or study, but challenging, to be sure. This one needed (and got) sliding pocket doors to prevent the loss of floor space to an in-swinging door.

For style points and a nice location, they're shooting for $1,000/PSF in the Trees, north of Valley and east of Pacific. Only a special property can aspire to that.

3112 Poinsettia starts at $1.795M and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

East MB

1161 2nd (5br/5ba, 3600 sq. ft.) is a somewhat newer (2004) Craftsman that looks fantastic, but has a busy-street problem right along 2nd St.

Here's a case where they seem to have tried to "price in" the location, because at $1.980M they're probably $150K-$200K under where the same house could be listed away from 2nd.

This house has a wide-open feel that begins with the two-story entrance foyer. The whole first floor is open from the living area to the dining room and the kitchen. The details lend an authentic Craftsman feel throughout; the breakfast nook is textbook Craftsman (and, speaking of textbooks, offers a great place for kids to do their homework).

Also on the first floor is a spare room/office/playroom with a half bath. Upstairs, there are four bedrooms, each with its own balcony (!) and attached full bath. Yes, four suites!

One real head-scratcher: In the master bedroom are two large "window" openings in the wall (like windows but no glass; they can be closed off with shutters) that look out over the two-story foyer. Don't you, er, want to be able to shut off your master bedroom from the first floor?

1161 2nd starts at $1.980M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

2200 Wendy (4br/2ba, 1775 sq. ft.) is a recent remodel (call it a flip) that was just acquired last year for $850K.

It looks great everywhere except on the map, where having a backyard abutting Aviation means it could be a tough sell.

A (relatively) big home, ready to go, does have its inherent appeal. This one will be one to watch as they try to match the highs hit on similar homes last year in Liberty Village – but homes without the Aviation issue.

2200 Wendy starts at $1.350M and is open Sun. 12-4pm.

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