Sunday Opens (3/15)

By Dave Fratello | March 15th, 2009
Why do they hold open houses for teardowns?

Contemplate this while visiting 3216 The Strand or 1204 Fisher, two featured opens this week.

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.

Hill Section

We don't see new opens this weekend in the Hills so we'll suggest a few greatest hits. The first 2 were featured on the blog earlier this week (see "2 Classy Hillies Down $2m").

511 Pacific (pictured) has shed $2m since its start at $8m late last year. Ginormous (5br/8ba, 8300 sq. ft.) and unique with surprisingly good views. Rated a "must see" for the year by MBC when posted for its first public open. Now priced at $5.995m. Open Sun. 2-4pm.

218 N. Dianthus is also plenty big (4br/4ba, 6100 sq. ft.), has some nice views up at the top of the hill and a very different layout. Huge entertaining spaces. Now at $4.695m, maybe the best deal in the Hills Section now – in this case, we agree with the listing copy. Open Sun. 2-5pm.

852 8th (5br/6ba, 4650 sq. ft.) has drawn raves from visitors each time we've mentioned it. If you haven't seen this classically styled home with big ocean views and nice East Coast flavor, do. They haven't shifted from that $4.25m start price yet, and we're nearing 5 months on market. Open Sun. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

3216 The Strand is posted as open Sun. 2-4pm, and we are optimistic that they'll go forward even if rumored buyer interest is for real.

We're also very hopeful that the home sitting on this $5.9m lot will be cleaned and dressed a bit better than it was for a recent broker's open. It was a little house of horrors – an apparently diseased parrot, a clearly deceased rubber ducky hanging from a noose (!), a highly disturbing life-size wizard puppet hiding behind a door. Enough to make you wish for beige walls and scented candles.

Some issues, like the one funky kitchen, holes in the exterior walls, suspiciously low ceilings in the front room – probably won't matter much if you view this (rightly) as a teardown.

We should note in passing that 3216 The Strand was offered briefly last November for $7.3m (see "And Then There Were 4"), and cut to $7.0m before dropping off for a while. Nearby 3404 The Strand (same size lot, 3500 sq. ft.) went into escrow recently at $5.5m, but we don't know the deal price there. By Summer this year we could have 4-6 closed sales on The Strand to help establish market values.

517 3rd
is fairly modest for a $1.8m South End home. It's a late-1970s build (4br/3ba, 2425 sq. ft.) with recent upgrades throughout the interior, wanting some help on the exterior. After 6 weeks, it's down a bit to $1.795m; purchased in April 2003 for $1.3m. Open Sun. 2-4pm.

408 9th is similar in size to 3rd (4br/3ba, 2400 sq. ft.) but has much more going for it. Midblock on a flat walkstreet, nice outdoor spaces, kinda dreamy. It's also $500k higher than 3rd. As mentioned here last week, 408 9th starts at $2.299m. Open Sun. 2-4pm.

Tree Section

2404 Elm adds something nice to Tree Section options near $1m, a 3br/2ba, 1200 sq. ft. cottage with a finished basement, offering another 600 sq. ft. of usable space. Shows you that there's potential in these little postwar cottages. Starts at $1.199m. Open Sun. 3-5pm.

700 35th is something like a dream home for Tree Section shoppers. Here, your blog author's biases (and those of Mrs. MBC) are showing, we'll admit – it's our kind of thing, if you're going to do the Trees. A comfy, spacious home that feels somehow forested and offers a quiet location with a big yard. We speculated last year that someone might willingly "overpay." At $2.349m, it could be close to right. Open Sun. 1-4pm.

1208 Fisher and 1204 Fisherare rather different. 1208 is The Fisher Queen (see "The Fisher King (& Queen)"), a big new contemporary (4br/4ba, 4750 sq. ft.) priced at $3.999m, while 1204 is a tiny (2br/1ba, 850 sq. ft.) MB original, a 1929-vintage home built mainly of brick. (Pictured.) You don't see that much.

1204 Fisher was scooped up at the same time as the lots for 1212 Fisher and 1208 by the same developers, and we once speculated that 1204 might become The Jack, if all went well for the King & Queen. Despite nibbles, the royalty haven't sold. So 1204 is, frankly, dirt for sale at $1.575m. Distinguished dirt.

Did we mention that 1204 was actually acquired for $1.7m in June 2005, so this sale represents an unloading of sorts?

Both are Open Sun. 1-4pm.

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