Sunday Opens (5/19)

By Dave Fratello | May 19th, 2013

We've got inventory at 55 now, heading toward Memorial Day weekend. We sense that the old rule about inventory dropping, and sales activity slowing, in June won't quite bear out this year. We're thinking Summer will be busier than expected. But still, this can be viewed as the last week of the Spring market.

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

468 34th (4br/5ba, 3525 sq. ft.) is Dave's new listing up on the plateau. Of course we think it's great, but we don't purport to offer "neutral" reviews of our own listings. So here's the official description, and here's hoping you'll come by during the open:

Your family will enjoy this lovely, newer Cape Cod on a quiet street of the Sand Section plateau.

Spacious common rooms on the first floor feature hardwood flooring, including an open kitchen/family room in back.

All four bedrooms are on one level, including master suite with fireplace and separate "his and hers" walk-in closets.

Upstairs, a family/game room opens to great deck with ocean peeks where you're sure to spend a lot of time. (Tax records count the top floor room as the fifth bedroom.)

This whole home has been refreshed with new paint and carpet and looks terrific. Wood shingles recently replaced with long-life Hardie shingles. Near new central vacuum unit.

Once you see this home, it's easy to feel the lifestyle pluses of a short walk to school, the beach and MB's "second downtown" in the North End. Start your summer off right with this great beach house!

The photos look great full-screen at the dedicated property website:

468 34th starts at $2.725M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Tree Section

Time has been kind to 644 33rd (5br/5ba, 4225 sq. ft.), which had a rough time on the market when new 5-6 years ago. 

Back then, it was a big spec house too far north – locationwise, and pricewise – for the market. They came out asking $3.4M and people just weren't buying $3M+ houses within a few short blocks of the refinery. The listing ran from Nov. 2006 till March 2008, and $500K was ultimately shaved off the asking price, as it closed for $2.875M – still rich, of course.

Since then, the landscaping has grown in to complement the home, and the current folks have really filled out and decorated the place wonderfully, so you can actually see the home's potential actualized. And it's terrific, deep, luxurious. (Though admittedly we've spent way too much time analyzing the description's claim that this home has "the panache to stand without pretense." Does it? Or is that a contradiction?)

Don't miss the huge basement home theater with bonus bed & bath.

For an "estate" on a street-to-alley lot, this one does lack much of a yard. The garage in back takes up a lot of the would-be outdoor space, so you really wind up with a nice sunny patio and a little grassy area.

Here we are in 2013, and the home looks better than ever, and people are paying around $3M – or more – for newer homes north of Valley. As we said, time has been kind.

644 33rd starts at $2.950M and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

3305 Laurel (5br/5ba, 4300 sq. ft.) is another extra-big and serious home that had bad timing initially. They listed this one new at $3.750M in Summer 2007, and that was not going to happen. The property rented out instead for 5 years.

This one compares favorably against 644 33rd, which is just 2 blocks west. Both have similar specs, including big basements.

We said in our review 2 weeks ago: "There's no dismissing the ambition and quality of the construction here. It feels authentic and old-world."

3305 Laurel is priced at $2.799M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

3211 N. Valley (3br/2ba, 1450 sq. ft.) packs a lot of glamour into a smallish package, and hosts some nice surprises, like a quiet backyard and nice treetop views over the greenbelt.

This is a 1970s original that has been remodeled a couple of times in recent years. (Once by Dave & Mrs. MBC!) With the interior and exterior now fully modernized, you would hardly know the vintage.

There's a large master downstairs with a big bath, and 2br upstairs with the living spaces. Ceilings are high and vaulted and the living areas are bright, opening to a multi-level deck in back.

Sure, the home suffers from being along a busy street and somewhat far east and north. And it's not very walkable to school or downtown, but you can go under Sepulveda along the greenbelt and wind up at the MB Village mall. (In our 2003 remodel, to mitigate sound, we redid the front of the house and insulated the rooms, and it works pretty well.)

The $958/PSF on the start price ($1.399M) has us scratching our heads a bit. The lot is much smaller than normal for the trees at 2500 sq. ft. If this is comparable to some recent Rosecrans sales, that's a pretty penny. We'll see what they get.

3211 N. Valley starts at $1.399M and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

East MB

1116 18th (4br/2ba, 1500 sq. ft.) would seem to have some promise, but we haven't seen it yet. They posted the listing late Friday. 

It's a decent size and they claim it's fully remodeled. Locationwise, it's got an issue, being right next to commercial property and in sight of Sepulveda. Still, at $1.050M, there's bound to be lots of interest.  

1116 18th starts at $1.050M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

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