Sunday Opens (2/8)

By Dave Fratello | February 8th, 2009
Sometimes our weekend open-house showcase skews a little too much toward the "wow" properties priced up in the stratosphere. What can we say – we know lots of folks who love to see those houses even if they're not in the market.

But this week we'll flip the orientation around here and start each section off with a modestly priced home or two. We're mixing up some older and some newer inventory to make it work.

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

We ask MBC readers who visit these homes to also report back. Tell us what you see, what you like and what you don't like. Use the comments here to discuss the homes we've highlighted.

And, by all means, if you do visit one of our recommended opens, tell the agent MBC sent you.

Hill Section

516 N. Ardmore is a little cottage among giants. You get 2br/2ba and almost 1150 sq. ft. with a little yard on a smallish 4000 sq. ft. lot for $1.045m.

This one now lives in the shadow of a fairly new double-lot home to the east and a ginormous brand-new home to the south, 511 Pacific, which we raved about last week (see "Super Saturday for Opens"), and which is also open again this weekend.

Ardmore will sell this year, we think, whatever it takes. It's already down from $1.5m last July (-$455k/-30%) as the seller seeks the right balance. Open Sun. 1-4pm.

1011 Pacific is part of a growing club of $5m+ estates in the Hills that have been lingering. In this case, 5 months have passed since the large (6br/5ba, 6035 sq. ft.) home began at $5.995m, and it's now at $5.495m. If this one was publicly open previously, we missed it.

Location is a bit of a challenge, as Pacific near MBB here is a bit busy, but there are high-on-the-hill ocean views out the back. The home is plenty sumptuous, only 4+ years old.

The acquisition price, new in Aug. 2004, mid-bubble: $3.975m. Current price is 38% up from there. Open Sun. 2-4pm.

If you're at Pacific, take a quick cut west on 11th to see 755 11th, "The Georgian," that has been around since last June with occasional interest and even one escrow (which didn't pan out). The home is plenty large at 5br/5ba and 5200 sq. ft. The oversize lot features a cool, large sports court. The home needs some updates. Really. Now at $2.949m. Open 1-4pm.

Sand Section

405 21st offers more than you might expect from a little house near $1m. The bones are that of a 1960s beach box like you see all over, but the updates on this 3br/2ba, 1450 sq. ft. home give it a much more contemporary feel.

Location offers nice benefits: ocean views from the top of 21st, beach proximity (two blocks west) and Tree Section proximity to the east – most notably Live Oak park, just a skip down the hill. And you're near downtown, too.

There are compromises here, to be sure, including no yard on the half-lot, and we don't love everything about the remodel. But for $1.149m the whole package compares well against much of the lower-end Sand Section inventory up to $1.4m. Open Sun. 1-4pm.

325 1st is a different kind of 60s beach box (3br/4ba, 2075 sq. ft.) that was taken down to studs in a thorough remodel about 3 years ago. (To see its unimproved twin, look just one door west.) Purchased for $1.617m in Dec. 2005, it's now at $1.749m after 3 months without action, and publicly open for the first time. Open Sun. 1-4pm

228 20th (pictured) is a 10-year-old, maxed-out (5br/5ba, 4150 sq. ft.) midtown walkstreet home with the expected big ocean views.

New homes just a stone's throw from here are fetching high-$4m to $5m or more; here the start is $3.899m. The listing began late last year, and this is the first public open. Open Sun. 2-4pm.

312 20th is just across Highland, about the same size and age as 228 20th, but now priced at $3.399m after launching last Summer. Open Sun. 2-4:30pm.

Tree Section

There was a time, say about 2 years ago, when a delightfully updated, not-so-huge home on Oak could fetch $1.385m.

Specifically, that's what 2613 Oak sold for in March 2007 – pretty serious money for 4br/2ba and almost 1800 sq. ft.

The sellers acknowledge that it's not there anymore. They're starting at $1.349m, just a little step down from the acquisition price.

Interestingly, there isn't much comparable in the Trees right now – closest examples are, or should be, at $1.5m or so. Oak inevitably serves as some kind of bellwether if it sells. Open Sun. 1-4pm.

864 18th is the second new home recently within a few blocks of each other in the Trees by a builder who is mostly known around MB for spare, pre-fab designs that often rated a "C" grade, if that.

Suddenly he's gone to another extreme, pouring on the extras, flourishes and stylings. The listing for 864 18th extols its "Tuscan, Provencal and Santa Barbara themes," along with Venetian plaster and Brazilian hardwoods.

It's busy, busy, busy and we're not sure it all fits.

There's got to be a lot of living space, but the listing doesn't provide square footage yet (just 6br/8ba), but we'd expect 5500-6250 sq. ft. before we get that detail, given the 7200 sq. ft. lot size.

Start price of $6m is really pushing things here as we find ourselves in early 2009.

The priciest Tree Section sale in 2008 was nearby, at 850 18th, a fairly new home boasting 6br/6ba, 5950 sq. ft. on an 8000 sq. ft. lot that sold for $4.4m. And that place had class, class, class. (See "High/Low Prices for 2008.")

864 18th is open Sun. 2-4pm.

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