Sunday Opens (4/29)

By Dave Fratello | April 29th, 2012

We've got another goodly crop of new offerings this week. Nothing quite so world-smashing as the Sand Section duo last week, but nice homes just the same.

Before you know it, Spring will be Summer and this little rush of inventory will wind down. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

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

Sand Section

552 3rd (3br/3ba, 1850 sq. ft.) is a cute 1940s original with additions in back that bear something of a 1980s flavor.

It's definitely got a throwback/beachy look and feel. Where else would you find the ceiling from the living room here – weathered, half-painted boards that look like reclaimed floorboards... cool. The listing description plays all of this up: "Straight from the pages of Coastal Living..." But that's figurative, not literal.

The kitchen is certainly small, and the 3br won't suffice for a lot of families, but those bedrooms are on the larger side – more flexible – and they're all together in a cohesive 2nd floor, which is more than we could say about the recent sale on 3rd St. that provides the comp: 421 3rd (4br/3ba, 2500 sq. ft., $1.809m).

552 3rd is just off of Valley and notably smaller than 421 3rd, but has a similar South End bonus with proximity to school, beach and greenbelt. There's also a similar South End premium built in. It starts at $1.850m and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

2803 Alma (3br/4ba, 2000 sq. ft.) is an easy-on-the-eyes TH with some ocean views that may well have been our favorite tour on Friday. (Granted, this weekend didn't have the 2 super options we had last week.)

It's a great use of typical TH space, with the adequately sized, but plush, master, pulling in a little ocean peek on the mid-level. As they have it configured now, one kid bedroom suite on the downstairs level adjoins the garage that's now almost 100% kids' space – desks, games and rumpus-room flooring. Weehah!

Upstairs, the living spaces boast high ceilings and endless windows on 3 sides, with real ocean views down the alley. The "Spanish Revival" style (per the listing) gives the right combination of elegance and casual flavor. Nice kitchen, nice style all around.

2803 Alma starts at $1.849m and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

517 23rd St. (4br/4ba, 2600 sq. ft.) is a completely custom, newer (2004) home with a modern European flavor inside.

The first floor is all bright living space, with a spacious patio off the kitchen for outdoor living or al fresco dining.

Upstairs, the bedrooms include one now set up as an office with great treetop views over the Tree Section. The master sports his and hers walk-in closets.

There are dozens of special details spread around the home, from the custom wrought-iron railings on the stairs to the red glass adornments to the fireplace. The home's attractive in its own right and worth a look as an "idea house" as well.

This one ran for a bit last year at $2.0m.

517 23rd starts now at $2.079m and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

East MB

1247 11th St. (3br/2ba, 1700 sq. ft.) is a cute and compelling little house that simply won't last.

Go find another home of this size with these kinds of reasonably nice updates for under $1m.

Perfect? Why, no. The kitchen boasts the greatest upgrades – big space, newer cabinets, nice appliances. But that's over 10 years old, and there's saltillo tile on the floor, a dated feature. It's nice how the dining area opens to a side patio, inviting you to eat outside any time the weather permits. (Only about 10 months out of the year.)

The bedrooms are of good size, but nothing's big. It's a 1960 cottage-inspired home with a side entry – you'll see the quirks and vintage everywhere. Wood flooring could use a refresher but will be fine.

They did update the baths, with a flair. The main bath (for 2br and living areas) is large and has multi-colored tiles and upgraded cabinets. Interestingly, it opens to the back yard. The master bath is described as "spa like," which is one way of saying bright, fresh and interesting. Quirk: a sliding rustic "barn" door closes off the bath.

There's a yard way back in back, accessed off the aforementioned main bath and also off sliding doors from the master. It's good open space, but it really wants a reboot. We do like the privacy afforded by the bamboo all along the back wall; a very useful shield to neighboring properties on the north side.

It's not hard to see why this old rancher is drawing a lot of attention. They may have offers to look at later today.

1247 11th starts at $990k and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

1629 10th (5br/5ba, 4250 sq. ft.) is a plus update of a 10-year-old spec house with a huge yard.

That exterior looks familiar if you know bubble-era construction, but the owners have taken steps to make the home far more interesting than the blank original, partly more rustic and partly more modern. And within this vast home there is a lot of room to spread these themes out.

Rustic: Custom wood doors at the entry, off the first-floor office/bedroom, the garage and even the back doors to the yard; also, redone distressed walnut flooring.

Modern: Goodbye granite, hello caesar stone in the upgraded kitchen. And a nice wine cellar room built under the curving staircase.

Faux painting adds a nice touch of elegance to the (very) formal dining area.

Did we mention the guest house? OK, it's more of a fully-built-out kids' house in back – mere tree houses, sheds and play houses cannot hold a candle to this serious piece of under-10 real estate, complete with loft inside.

The back yard is described as "park like" and on this 7500 sq. ft. lot, it's true. There's more than enough hardscaped/patio space for outdoor living, plus a large built-in bbq and bar.

1629 10th was purchased new back in 2002 for $1.450m, offered in 2007 for $2.550m for just a couple of weeks.

It's now up at $2.099m, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

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