Sunday Opens (3/30/14)

By Dave Fratello | March 29th, 2014

Inventory's up, including in the pocket of MB that typically has the fewest offerings, the Hill Section. 

Earlier this week we "dreamed" of seeing inventory hit 50, and it has – we're at 51 as of Saturday afternoon.

Dave will be at 1600 N. Poinsettia Sunday 2-4pm. If you want to say "hi," have any kind of question or would like a consultation, why not drop by? You can always use our simple contact form.

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

856 9th (4br/4ba, 4300 sq. ft.) is just one of 6 new listings to begin to help populate inventory in the oft-strapped Hill Section over the past week.

It's a 1999 build in a "French Mediterranean" style, per the listing, at once elegant and modern. The style applied through paint and carpet inside softens and brightens the home considerably, with light blues, greens and greys predominating.

The upstairs spaces in this reverse floorplan are bright and feature city views which – on a clear day – can include Mt. Baldy and downtown LA. (The day we visited was a bit hazy but we saw photos as proof.)

All of the bedrooms are downstairs at the entry level, including the master up front with a balcony, two reasonably sized bedrooms sharing a jack-and-jill bath plus a full suite bedroom. (That suite is easy to miss for some reason, though it's right off the main hallway.)

Also downstairs, opening to a back patio and with access to the elevated backyard, there is a den in back that may serve well as a second family room or "kids' living room" out of the flow of the main common spaces upstairs.

We've seen this design before and both times loved two things about the top floor. One is the dedicated study/office at the utter peak of the height limit – you can really feel "on top of the world" up there. Also there is patio right in the midst of the living areas upstairs that's nicely shielded from onshore breezes and would make for appealing al fresco dining.

Neighboring 864 9th (5bf/5ba, 4000 sq. ft.) has much of the same floorplan, though with its updates a bolder Mediterranean/Tuscan style. It sold in May 2012 for $2.850M.

856 9th, with its softer edges, greater square footage and – dare we say it – more favorable timing starts now at $3.399M, and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

1102 Ardmore (2br/2ba, 1150 sq. ft.) is a nicely done 2br remodel very close to downtown, and also close to traffic. Location is both the attraction and the liability.

You literally look out the front windows to Von's and downtown. Town beckons. In summer months, the flip-flopped hordes will beckon, too. It's five minutes to the beach.

The recent remodel seems to have taken good account of the location, with newer windows muffling traffic nose somewhat effectively.

The style of the remodel is fresh and fun, with rehabbed hardwood floors in most rooms and polished concrete in the modern, open kitchen. The master bath (the only one with a shower) is a little more dialed-up modern in style. The back patio (pictured) is inviting and there is decent outdoor space as well.

Quirk: Laundry is outside and covered by an awning.

This one was a good get as a foreclosure in 2009 at $849K. A total down-to-the-studs remodel followed, giving you more or less what you see today.

1102 Ardmore starts at $1.350M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

717 10th (5br/4ba, 4250 sq. ft.) is a mid-90s modern with ocean views and a nice backyard.

We were not able to tour the home before posting about weekend open houses, but remain eager to drop by to get the whole picture.

717 10th starts at $3.999M and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

Tree Section

1500 Walnut (3br/2ba, 1200 sq. ft.) is poised to be this week's sensation.

It's a doll-perfect cottage that hits all the style points of modern MB remodels, plus an attractive backyard. The front room of the cottage has been opened up to become a great room with a high-style kitchen with Carrara marble, subway tile and stainless appliances.

The shingled exterior, surrounded by a white picket fence, tugs at the heartstrings.

The only real limitation of the home, besides overall living space, is the lack of a true master. The second bath is a hallway bath rather than being attached to any one bedroom.

Disclosure: Dave is friendly with the sellers and has toured the property with clients.

1500 Walnut starts at $1.499M and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

Tree Section

1600 N. Poinsettia (2br/1ba, 920 sq. ft.) is Dave's listing in the Tree Section. Here's the official listing description:

This charming beach cottage features a great family-friendly location in the Tree Section. This bright and well-kept home is close to school, parks, town and places of worship. You can truly walk everywhere.

Having huge Center Field across the street means no neighbors to the west, creating a feeling of wide-open space that's hard to beat.

The home features 2 good-sized bedrooms and an added den that is great for an office, extra family room or even sleeping quarters.

Enjoy the ample and nicely landscaped front and back yards. Garage now set up as storage. Love this home as is, update it, add on or build new.

We hope you can come by.

1600 Poinsettia starts at $1.350M. Nearby, a similar 3br home at 1500 Poinsettia (3br/2ba, 1230 sq. ft.) is in escrow at $1.399M.

1600 Poinsettia is open Sun. 2-4pm.

East MB

1540 Nelson (5br/5ba, 3600 sq. ft.) is perhaps the 30th home with this same basic late-80s/early-90s design and floorplan that we've seen in just the last 2-3 years, but head and shoulders above most of the versions we've seen. The updates here are complete and total, tasteful and warm, while the home is among the brightest we've seen.

Part of the reason this one is so bright is the favorable north/south orientation of the lot, with the big backyard on the sunny southern side. There's an attractive pool/spa combo back there along with nicely tended landscaping. (The pool is not kid-safe at this time – no gates or post holes for removable fences.)

In this floorplan, there's always one bedroom downstairs – in this case, it's outfitted as a formal home office with attached bath. Laundry is always downstairs, the one dated feature that we often fantasize about changing by claiming some space upstairs.

There are two bedrooms up sharing a hallway bath and a third that is a full suite – unusual among most of the other iterations of this floorplan, and definitely a plus. The master is sizable, with big his-and-hers closets, and a very tasteful remodel.

The updates have all but eliminated the 80s/90s feel that some of these home retain even after updates. Good work.

Two of the most recent offerings of homes with this floorplan were 1411 8th St., which just closed for $1.965M, and 1220 2nd, now on market asking $1.995M.

1540 Nelson does have the liability of being located within the first block from the high school, where neighborhood impacts tend to be felt the most. That may tamp down its market value, but not its overall desirability. 

1540 Nelson starts at $2.150M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

1658 11th (2br/1ba, 800 sq. ft.) is a small but refreshed cottage on a small half lot right near a local park and along a busy street.

Those factors make it the least pricey SFR in all of Manhattan Beach at $875K.

There is a little backyard area to retreat to, but this is generally a very small place.

Much the same could be said 2 years ago when they last tried to sell this one, at prices as low as $749K. They rented out instead, and time was kind as values rose.

1658 11th starts at $875K and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

1716 Voorhees (4br/3ba, 3175 sq. ft.) offers a surprising amount of square footage on a full-size lot pretty far east.

The 1980 build date makes sense given the 1970s vibe of the home, though it has newer carpet and it would appear that all of the cabinets were re-stained from a medium brown to a dark brown to give the same boxes a more modern feel.

There are newer replacement windows, a new roof and the whole place is freshly painted. Still, it feels a bit blank and wanting some love and design savvy to be applied to it all.

There's a lot to work with here to begin, including a big south-facing, sunny yard.

There's almost no comparison for a home this large in the low $1.4s in East MB, so there should be something left in the budget for a serious round of updates for the buyer who is so inclined.

1716 Voorhees starts at $1.429M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

3304 Alma (4br/4ba, 2450 sq. ft.) is the only new listing of this busy week to come out in the Sand Section.

Hey, sellers, this is called Manhattan Beach, not Manhattan suburbs. Anyone got a beach house for next week? (We're channeling some frustrated buyers here.)

We're grateful here, at least, to have one newer (2001) ocean-view TH available for folks who are looking for one.

Past listings have called this both modern/contemporary and Mediterranean. The current listing does not purport to name a style, but we see echoes of both styles still.

With a fourth bedroom and extra square footage above the usual 1800-2000 sq. ft. for a typical TH, it's got something extra.

The master and kitchen appear to date back to the initial build date – no major updates are apparent, in other words – but still look quite decent. The top floor open floorplan is very bright and gets ocean views mixed in among rooftops across Alma. 

Perhaps the best feature in the parking-starved North End is this home's 6 total parking spots, including garage and uncovered driveway and side spots. If you have guests, they may actually be willing to come, and arrive on time.

The past trades on this one: $1.145M (2001, new), $1.586M (2004) and $1.800M (2007). 

3304 Alma starts now at $2.350M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

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