Sunday Opens (5/6)

By Dave Fratello | May 6th, 2012
Little landlocked 533 5th  
Before we dive into this week's new listings, just a quick update on something that drew interest from several readers after a public open last week.

That's tiny 533 5th (2br/1ba, 630 sq. ft.), which came with this unusual warning: "This home is protected by The City of Manhattan Beach and cannot be added on to or built up. Only cosmetic changes and maintenance can be done to the existing structure."

Now, "protected" may be an overstatement – the problem for this half-lot, walkstreet residence is that it has no garage. The back half of the lot, adjoining the alley, is separate and owned by someone else. This is informally known as a "landlocked" property. If you can't build adequate on-site parking, you can't build new. Hence the restrictions. Some day, this lot should be joined with the neighbor to the rear, but for now the neighbor's not buying or selling. Still, little 533 5th has found a buyer pretty quickly at $759k. Does that imply that a full flat-walkstreet lot near Valley is worth $1.5m+?

The new offerings this week all have full lots, parking and just the usual sorts of protections/restrictions courtesy of the city.

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

814 1st (4br/5ba, 3800 sq. ft.) is an unusual 2003 Mediterranean on an unusually narrow-feeling Hill Section lot. It's on a great street, with some views to the south off the rear. (The "unobstructable panoramic" views are not featured in any of the listing pics.)

Unusual layout fact: You'll enter on the top level, with kitchen, living room, dining and rear patio, but all the bedrooms and extra living spaces are downstairs – even down 2 levels in a basement (or quasi-basement) where you find a legal bedroom and the big media room. The downslope of the hill from front to back seems to have led to this layout.

Those top floor living spaces are ample, but, surprisingly, set with travertine flooring instead of wood. (You get wood on other floors.) The formal living room has more of a "library" feel, including an attractive wood coffered ceiling. (Though again the tile floor clashes a bit.) The great room opens to the back and includes a little breakfast nook enjoying some of those views. A small balcony gives spiral-stair access down to the yard with a little hot tub.

Unusual paint fact: You know how the palette of Mediterraneans in town tends to get a little bland? It usually runs the full range from white to taupe. Not so, folks, at 814 1st. Bold gold, bright orange, brick red, terra cotta. Way to spice it up.

814 1st was last purchased in Nov. 2004 for $2.650m, and is offered now at $2.898m. It is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Tree Section

1130 Laurel (3br/3ba, 2875 sq. ft.) is a major surprise, a very spacious, sensible and modern home (TH) spread out mostly flat in an SFR-type layout. It's newer (2009), private, quiet and close to everything.

Did we mention the nearly 2900 sq. ft.? At $1.490m, that's a lot of house, a short walk to downtown and all.

They did not cut corners on this build, a 2-TH development which had to be very custom to suit the unique, trapezoidal lot. (The plot looks exactly like Nevada – click the link and look at the map on Redfin.)

All 3br are on the middle (entry) level, with living spaces up top. The big, open, modern kitchen with skylights opens into a large living room. Another family room shares space with formal dining. With the garage 2 levels down, it's nice to find an elevator that lets out right at the kitchen – groceries go from car to kitchen that quickly. 

There's not much outside space – a grassy area at the entry is staged with an outdoor dining table and umbrella, but it's kind of out of the flow. A small back patio/deck does include a hot tub off the master. Nice.

You could not be closer to Pacific school, and this is a very short walk to downtown and the beach.

1130 Laurel was purchased new in 2009 for $1.225m. It starts now at $1.490m, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

3528 Palm (2br/1ba, 850 sq. ft.) has a little more to offer than they say officially on the MLS – in fact, another 300 or so square feet. There's extra living space in 2 separate buildings in back that would make for an office, playroom, maybe even a guest bedroom. Plus some outdoor living area.

The main house ain't huge, of course. In the 1950s this was all people needed. A couple bedrooms, shared bath, a living room and small kitchen, and people were happy. Here the kitchen's been nicely upgraded. Laundry is just off the kitchen in a large pantry that's doing double duty.

Location near Rosecrans is a bit of a concern. And you'd want to check with the city on expansion potential. But if all you need is what they needed in the 50s, you can do a little better here, and get in well under $1m.

3528 Palm starts at $925k and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

East MB

1540 10th (6br/5ba, 4770 sq. ft.) is huge and newer (2002) Spanish on a full-size lot. The ample back yard is on the sunny southern side, with enough room for lots of grass plus a sports court.

The downslope of the lot from side to side, as you see in the pic here, allows for a nice feature: the garage is set under the living spaces, making much more space available on the main living level.

It's a very spacious feel throughout that first level, brighter than you might expect, with a simply huge kitchen and big great room. A little courtyard on the western side brings a bunch of extra sun into the main living spaces. Upstairs, the master includes an extra sitting area overlooking that courtyard, and of course a huge walk-in closet.

The start price of $2.450m got our attention – are East MB homes in that territory now? As one marker, consider that this home was was acquired in 2006 for a bit over $2.6m. As another, look several blocks due south and you see that 1544 Voorhees (6br/6ba, 5200 sq. ft. on a 7500 sq. ft. lot) is in escrow, having made a deal within 2 weeks of listing for $2.699m. It's OK, you can say, "really?"

1540 10th starts at $2.450m and is open Sun. 12-2pm. UPDATED: 2-4pm.

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