Sunday Opens (2/16/14)

By Dave Fratello | February 15th, 2014

Each week, MBC offers reviews of the new public open houses.

This week, we're going to focus mostly on one very special open Sunday.

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

Maybe there was just love in the air as we toured 633 33rd (4br/5ba, 3350 sq. ft.) on Valentine's Day.

But we're pretty sure it was an authentic feeling we got touring this custom-designed Spanish, and it was something like love. If you like houses, and whether or not you go for Spanish style, we think you'll readily appreciate the work of art that is this home.

You'll have to go to really "get it," because right now they've got only 4 photos in the listing, and not really enough said in the listing description to convey what you will walk in and see.

Come down the steps off sleepy 33rd St., and you'll come to a fountain and entry courtyard. You actually pass a sunny, good-sized office up front. From the entry near the middle of the home, you can go toward a formal living room in front, or move back to the kitchen and family room. In a couple of spots along the way, the home opens to the sunny western side and both covered and uncovered courtyards and patio areas, nicely landscaped and usable.

Because this is a downsloping lot, you will have to take a few steps down at the transitions between each room. Some people disregard homes with this sort of liability, but for the right place, you might adjust to it.

The specific design details of the home – the wrought iron, distressed wood, artfully chosen tiles and countertops, etc. – hang together perfectly. When the listing speaks of "Montecito in Manhattan," it's not an airy claim like you might find in any description of a home with a tile roof. There's a seriousness to every detail in the home design and decor makes it both luxe and simple.

Upstairs, a fourth bedroom in back is nicely private, tucked away from the flow of the home - a good guest suite. The other two are more toward the front of the house and share a hallway bath. The master suite is up front to get morning light and features a large master bath and closet. You have to see the unique carved natural stone sinks – somewhat whimsically, each is of a slightly different shape. A delight.

One advantage of this downsloping, street-to-alley lot is that the garage is "buried" in back and does not seem to impose on the living spaces. By contrast, sometimes with a street-to-alley, your living areas don't seem to go very far back before you're confronted with the garage walls.

As we noted, this one doesn't yet have enough pics online to do it justice, so you'll have to plan to drop by the open house.

633 33rd starts at $2.550M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

108 Manhattan Ave. (3br/3ba, 1850 sq. ft.) is a 90s TH in the South End with very good ocean views and a good, spare open floorplan.

There's good deck space in front, both off the living room and the master, allowing for good indoor/outdoor living.

The whole home, including the exterior, really wants to be rebooted. It could be a straightforward project to modernize everything, but we do mean everything.

Noise from Manhattan Ave. is a factor that nearly everyone trying to grab the big views has to cope with. You either roll with it, or you don't.

The back unit of this complex, 109 Bayview (3br/4ba, 2000 sq. ft.) sold late last year for $2.600M, way over the $2.399M start price. The unit was in similar condition and had a less favorable floorplan. But if there was ever going to be a time to "buy the views," that was the opportunity – the back unit is overheight by today's standards and could never be duplicated. Those views were so huge, we applauded the "truth in advertising" of that listing for saying "the views are literally breathtaking and unblockable."

108 Manhattan Ave. starts at $2.199M, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Disclosure: Dave has toured this property with a client.

Hill Section

616 N. Ardmore (5br/6ba, 5400 sq. ft.) is a big 2002 custom Mediterrean ("Tuscan estate," per the listing) that gets surprisingly good views over Ardmore thanks to an upside-down layout. It's a sprawling home with a private backyard.

This one was on the market for a brief while in 2011 at $4.000M, but rented out instead of selling.

616 Ardmore is now asking $4.795M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

East MB

1608 Magnolia (3br/2ba, 1950 sq. ft.) is a nicely updated home with the master suite built up over the garage, and the other 2br downstairs. The back of the home, with kitchen and great room, has 2-story-high ceilings, while the formal living room up front gets afternoon light.

There's a very tasteful, modern flair to all of the work, including the kitchen and baths. A "disappearing," big, glass slider opens the family room to the very private back patio for an indoor/outdoor feel.

1608 Magnolia starts at $1.499M and is open Sun. 2-5pm.

1605 Wendy (5br/5ba, 3550 sq. ft.) is a big, newer (2006) home in Liberty Village – a rarity for the area, which seems mostly not to see its original cottages scraped and replaced with big homes.

This one appears to have been richly upgraded from its condition when new. Take it out of Liberty Village, and the $1.995M start price would look cheap almost anywhere else in MB.

1605 Wendy starts at $1.995M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Please see our blog disclaimer.

Latest Listings Among
Manhattan Beach Homes For Sale