Sunday Opens (5/25/14)

By Dave Fratello | May 25th, 2014

Starting Monday, it's (unofficially) Summer.

Days are longer, neither too cold nor too hot – we'll take it.

Sunday morning, we saw the beginning of the weekend's beach blowouts with a major beach blanket brunch on the sand by the pier. Good start, folks.

Not too many listings debut this week or this weekend, with the thinking being that "everyone" is out of town or uninterested in real estate on a holiday.

Balderdash, we say. True, there's only one new listing to review, but we'll hit a few other highlights to guide you if you do go out.

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

Don't forget, when previewing homes here on MB Confidential, you can click "Open All Images" right above the main listing photo to get immediate display of all the listing photos at once.

East MB

1812 10th (3br/2ba, 1700 sq. ft.) offers a full-size lot (7500 sq. ft.) and a modest, fairly dated house with a 1950s build date and some remodeling thereafter.

The kitchen is an alley off to one side, but the main living room and family room in back are pretty open spaces. One bedroom is off the living room and two more are in back. Bathrooms really want updates.

The backyard, with a concrete patio, is quite large, though broken into two sections for reasons we could not discern. It's on the sunny southern side and could really be something with some imagination and hard labor.

When you see an 1800s address, you know Aviation looms nearby, but this home seems far enough away that Aviation does not cause much noise or other impacts.

1812 10th starts at $1.300M and is open Sun. 2-5pm.

Sand Section

312 44th(4br/5ba, 2700 sq. ft.) is a newer El Porto condo with good views and a modern flair. The unit has been upgraded some since its January 2011 purchase.

It's not exactly a "new" listing, because this one launched (and failed) as a FSBO earlier this year, starting with a "Make Me Move" type of price, $2.700M, for a condo purchased just 3 years ago for $1.269M. (See "Double Your Money?")

Now, using a local agent, they're still asking for a hearty markup at $2.375M.

The 3-level unit (with garage underground) has 2br each on the lower and midfloors. One of the private side decks hosts a hot tub, which required a crane to install between tightly packed buildings. (The tub stays.)

While the whole home – as with the whole complex – was built in a modern style only recently, here they've upgraded the master bath with some different tile, added bamboo flooring to some rooms that were carpeted, and added built-ins upstairs to the main living spaces to help the home "live" a little better. They even added a firepit to the front patio.

A home like this is about the views, and they don't disappoint. You can see lots of blue from the living spaces upstairs and especially from the front balcony, where you can get a good panorama from PV to Malibu, with the rooftops of lower El Porto west of Highland beneath.

312 44th re-starts at $2.375M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

524 24th (6br/5ba, 3475 sq. ft.) is a compelling Spanish with a basement to add square footage. Here's more from the listing description:

This custom built, Spanish inspired villa home is located in Manhattan Beach's Gas Light neighborhood 5 blocks to the beach. Dark stained distressed hardwood, Spanish pavers and hand painted tile flooring throughout. The great room with fireplace opens to a spacious, one of a kind, gourmet kitchen with custom, cabinetry and granite counter tops. Accordion window/doors open to the courtyard for useable outdoor entertaining space. Beamed ceilings with custom wrought iron work on the railings. Features A/C as well. The basement area includes an entertainment room, wine cellar and an additional bedroom.

524 24th is at $3.300M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Tree Section

529 18th (5br/6ba, 5615 sq. ft.) is not new but is back after a break – 4 weeks in a failed escrow and 2 weeks on hold – and might be coming along at a great time to go see.

It's a big, beachy Craftsman with almost Hill Section-like aspirations. Digging out a basement for a new home in a prime location near town gave it eye-popping square footage for the Trees.

You start with a bright and nicely flowing first-floor layout, opening to covered patios in back and some grassy area – not a huge yard, but something decent. All 4 main bedrooms are upstairs.

Down in the sunny funplex underground, there's more than expected. A bedroom suite, yes. A big, open family room/playroom with built-in bar, fridges and snack prep area, yes. But there's also a separate, dark home theater, tiered so no one's view is blocked. There's even a little "stage" in front of the movie screen, in case the entertainment is to be live. (The stage may not be an original Craftsman detail, but let's not get picky over something cool.)

All of those fun, functional extras – and the bonus square footage hosting them – move the home up a notch, of course.

If you're going to get well over 5000 sq. ft. near town, there's going to be a 4 in front, these days. Here, they are still asking $4.499M.

Today's market is notably different from when this one debuted, new – quite unfortunately – right as the financial world melted down in Fall 2008. Back then, they started at $4.279M and waited quite nearly 2 years to sell for a lot less: $3.075M in June 2010. The home seems largely the same now as then, though refreshed in spots (like the white paint for the basement built-ins).

529 18th continues at $4.499M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

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