Sunday Opens (3/9/14)

By Dave Fratello | March 9th, 2014

We have to start with a shout-out to our friends, colleagues and clients running today's LA Marathon.

That's one terrific course, and it's a clear day – if a bit warm – for a great run. Maybe we'll get back out there with you all next year!

To the business at hand, have you noticed the Spring rush of activity in the market?

New listings every day of the week (42 active now as we write), plenty of deals being made, it's keeping the MB Property Ticker humming throughout the day. Check that or the Dashboard for updates. It's a busy Spring.

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

East MB

1450 6th (6br/6ba, 4530 sq. ft.) is pretty much the most you could ask east of Sepulveda (before getting into extremes like 106 Terraza, which just sold for $6.5M).

Good location? Check. Big, well-built Cape Cod? Check. Flat lot with a big, sunny yard on the south side? Check. 

They know what they've got here, and are asking for one of the bigger prices paid for a home on a 7500 sq. ft. lot.

A sale at the $2.795M asking price would put this one in the pantheon of 18 sales east of the highway over $2.6M, five of which occured last year or this year, with the balance mostly at the last market peak in 2006-07. (We're focusing here on 7500 sq. ft. lots, not some of the half-acre lots or other unusual ones.)

It's a gorgeous place that certainly has a chance of reaching into those lofty heights.

In retrospect, this was a good get at $2.375M new in Oct. 2008. Right as the (financial) world was collapsing, the current owners were closing escrow. Just 2 East MB homes sold for more over the next 4 years. But this is now.

1450 6th starts at $2.795M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

1200 Lynngrove (4br/3ba, 3100 sq. ft.) is a fairly big late-90s Mediterranean – unusual in Liberty Village in that it's a new(er) build rather than one of the original cottages with additions, etc.

Bedrooms are all pretty big. The layout features a big kitchen/great room in back, opening to the yard, an up-to-date feature. However, the house feels very much like a creature of the 90s, with the kitchen and baths all beginning to whisper that they'd like an update. (They call the master bath "upgraded," which might refer to the frameless shower enclosure, but it still felt a bit original from 1999.)

The backyard is now mostly a lush garden around a koi pond, limiting its value as a play space. As a plus, there's a separate bonus room out there as well.

We could not help but think of a listing that Dave sold (with a co-agent) last year that was a reasonably comparable home. 2104 Harkness (4br/3ba, 3200 sq. ft.) was older (1990 build), substantially more modernized and lacked much of a backyard. We put that out in February 2013 at $1.549M and it sold higher, at $1.580M. There were some other Liberty Village sales last year a bit higher, too, though 1712 Wendy (4br/3ba, 3535 sq. ft.) lingered a bit due to location and some dated features and sold for $1.416M in October.

Meantime 1200 Lynngrove starts at $1.529M, somewhere in between those. It is open Sun. 1-4pm.

1220 2nd (4br/3ba, 3550 sq. ft.) is a big 4br with a large upstairs bonus room. The home is tucked back deep as the third home on a so-called "flag lot." That means a shared driveway gets you to the property, passing two neighboring homes along the way up and off of busy 2nd St. 

The home sports a build date of 1994, though we've seen a couple dozen homes with this floorplan, all built in about an 8-10 year period from the late 80s to early 90s. It's forward-looking with a nice kitchen/family room on one half downstairs, large living room at the entry with high ceilings and formal dining in back opening to the yard. One bedroom is downstairs.

The second floor has 3br, two of them sharing a hallway bath, and that huge bonus room we mentioned – big enough to be the kids' rumpus room, or home to homework desks – or even, if you add a closet, a very large 5th bedroom. The master has high ceilings and two large closets.

They've worked to upgrade this home in stages, with newer wood flooring and modern kitchen. But they haven't finished all the stages, so you still have original windows, some cabinets/bookcases with a dated "whitewash" finish, older cabinets and pulls in the baths, and so forth.

The backyard feels almost forested (thanks largely to neighbors' big trees) and is larger than most. However, the listing's (accurate) claim of 9050 sq. ft. for the lot has to be mentally dialed back a bit – some of that lot square footage is consumed by the access driveway.

Disclosure: Dave has toured this property with clients.

1220 2nd starts at $1.995M, and is open Sun. 12-4pm.

31 Nantucket (3br/3ba, 1820 sq. ft.) is a Village townhome that at some point got an aggressive re-do inside, ripping out the divisions between the kitchen and common areas to create one big, wide open space. That gives it a very big feel. The enclosed concrete back patio flows well from the common areas and seems a bit bigger than some we've seen for comparable units.

Though the home has undergone this great modernization, it does not seem to have been all that recently. The flooring could use a refresher and the paint colors are a bit custom and probably could be brighter. Carpet throughout most of the upstairs might nto be everyone's choice today.

They've done the big stuff, it would appear. Now to trick it out would require a pretty straightforward cosmetic modernization.

31 Nantucket starts at $1.199M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Tree Section

2200 Elm (4br/3ba, 3200 sq. ft.) is an 80s Mediterranean that had gotten a very striking modern update before its last sale in 2012 (at $1.790M).

The current owners changed the flooring to replace all carpet with dark hardwood and have kept the overall feeling of the home as sharp, open and bright. That plus a rise in the market over time has them targeting $2.299M for their resale just 18 months later.

The kitchen is very open and is probably the defining feature we think of as "striking(ly) modern." The backyard is mainly patio.

Upstairs, there is a large common area among the bedrooms, a second living room for the kids if you like. (That's how it showed in 2012; this year it's hosting a pool table, that quintessential sign of, "we've got too much space here.") 

2200 Elm starts at $2.299M and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

3513 Palm (2br/2ba, 1300 sq. ft.) is probably the hardest case among the listings we saw that are new for this weekend. It would take some imagining and some work to make this smallish cottage really special.

While the master is of decent size – and has a pretty nice bath – the other "real" bedroom is just small. There's a bonus room that's set up for sleeping, too, though it's also small, and lacks a closet and formal designation as a bedroom.

The kitchen is a narrow alley, and dated. The backyard is fairly big but tired. Of course, the location here puts you fairly close to Rosecrans and the refinery.

Of course, every home has its price, and this is a rising, Springtime market. So what can they get? For comparably located past sales, we look back to 3612 Poinsettia (2br/1ba, 865 sq. ft.) at $935K last June, nicely updated 3616 Pine (3br/1ba, 1080 sq. ft.) at $950K in October and larger 3521 Poinsettia (2br/2ba, 1675 sq. ft.) at $1.075M just last week.

3513 Palm starts higher than all those at $1.200M, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

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