Sunday Opens (6/3)

By Dave Fratello | June 3rd, 2012
New inventory seemed to be held back for a long weekend last week, but now there's a little rush of new options, including several big-ticket homes.

We rushed around Friday to see as many as we could, but could only write up 4 of them for now. Of these, the must-sees are in the Hills and East MB, including 1836 6th and 222 Anderson for sure.

Janie Sue Nagy got to writing short capsules on a few more new offerings, so check out her post, too.

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

222 Anderson (5br/5ba, 4625 sq. ft.) is a big, custom, ocean-view house boasting all sorts of exquisite touches and special craftsmanship. A lot of the great details were added by the current owners in a pricey upgrade of the spec house that was built here in 2001.

Drop in if you can to see the spacious house, nice views and gorgeous extras. 

The layout is mostly upside-down, with most bedrooms downstairs and living spaces up, capturing the best views. Master is upstairs as well – this was the way to give it more than its share of space while keeping the secondary bedrooms enough room as well.

The back yard is mostly set up for entertaining rather than play, with stone covering the patio, a big outdoor living room with fireplace and a separate, covered dining area. A putting green and hot tub will do for outdoor recreation. Don't miss the enormous wine cellar built into the curved staircase that connects the outdoor living spaces with the palatial, bright kitchen and great room upstairs.

As a speckie, this home was offered for $3m and ultimately sold for $2.4m more than a year later, in Sept. 2002.

Now, a decade later, with the upgrades, in a market that's moved up, up, up, then down and back a bit, 222 Anderson is offered at $4.495m.

By way of comparison, 2 homes of comparable size, style and location on a busier street have recently sold in the mid-3's – 504 Poinsettia (5br/4ba, 4600 sq. ft., $3.5m) and 510 Poinsettia (5br/5ba, 4300 sq. ft., pending, listed at $3.569m). At the same time, slightly larger 504 John (5br/5ba, 4800 sq. ft.), also bearing some resemblance to 222 Anderson in terms of opulence and craftsmanship, is in escrow with a list price of $4.595m.

As a street, Anderson is clearly the least busy of these 3; the home at 222 is offered up toward the range found in the John sale.

222 Anderson is open Sun. 2-4pm.

921 9th (6br/5ba, 4600 sq. ft.) is big and brand new, in the eastern portion of the Hill Section that we like to say is an under-appreciated, family-friendly part of town.

The huge house and 7500 sq. ft. lot are more emblematic of East MB, but here you are walkable to town and you're at Robinson Elementary. (Go, Riptides!) Big pluses.

In fact, this is new construction with a devotion to the feeling of "big." Ceilings are uniquely high almost everywhere, lending a sense of grandiosity to this whole, huge, bright Cape Cod "Martha's Vineyard captain's house" (per the listing).

The developers tout "several green features," including progressive materials and paints, water-wise landscaping (well, maybe not counting the huge, grassy yard), and an operable skylight to pull through nice ventilation.

The layout features a large formal living room up front – in a twist, it opens to the front patio with firepit – formal dining and then a gigantic, bright, white great room in back. Along the way to the back, you'll pass the entry to a downstairs bed/bath suite. Because the home is built into a downslope, the home also has a couple changes of elevation going down toward the back, a few sets of steps breaking up the hallway and setting off the living and dining rooms. Attractive, dark wood flooring is used throughout the house.

They're not kidding when they tell you all the bedrooms upstairs are large.

921 9th starts at $3.379m and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

East MB

1836 6th (5br/5ba, 4050 sq. ft.) is a surpassingly gorgeous Tuscan Spanish-style home that boldly poses the questions:

• Would you really like a Spanish? How Spanish would you like your Spanish?

• Can you go really, really far east in MB to get your ideal Spanish?

The poor snapshots currently presented with the listing do not do the home justice. You can maybe get the sense from the exterior shot that it's appealing, but not a lot more comes through. In person, we found the extra attention to detail – in the Spanish style, which you have to love – to be warm and attractive.

The first-floor layout includes a dedicated office up front with its own mini-courtyard, a separate bed/bath suite, a formal living room that opens to a sunny courtyard right at the middle of the home – that brightens up the middle portion of the home a lot – plus formal dining and the kitchen/great room in back. The backyard is not much of a "play" yard, mostly set up for outdoor living – a nice stone patio with a small inset hot tub – but there's a little patch of grass and attractive landscaping overall. Also, the garage is huge, labeled as a 4-car space.

Upstairs, all the bedrooms are of good size and have attached baths.  The master is ginormous, with dark wood flooring. Though that room is objectively nice, for some reason it struck us a little negatively – it could have been the astroturf on the balcony that cheapened the look. Nice treetop views and a great bath are assets.

The real challenge for this one, listed at $1.999m, is to be so darn close to Aviation – just the 4th house in. The closest comp for location, size and style is 1833 5th, which did net $1.970m in late April. The style of that one is much more down-the-middle "Mediterranean" and that block of 5th doesn't go through to Aviation, it's a cul-de-sac, while 6th St. does go through.

Square footage note: The builder's data, and the 2005 listing, suggests an extra 500 sq. ft. to the interior of the house, but tax records say 4050.)

About the Tuscan/Spanish conflict: Walking through the house, the terra cotta flooring, wrought iron and heavy, dark woods all conveyed a "Spanish" style clearly. The listing now calls the home "Tuscan," a label that does not fit the style and, not incidentally, is a label we'd like to see go the way of the dodo bird.

We looked up the 2005 listing, and there it was: "This exquisite Spanish Home features..." So, yes, Spanish.

1836 6th sold back in 2005, pre-completion, for $2.175m. It's offered now at $1.999m. It is open Sunday 1-4pm.

1525 Curtis (5br/5ba, 4400 sq. ft.) tried to sell for much of 2011, but it didn't work out. Now, in a different market, they're hoping they've got another chance.

This mid-90s spec home is quite close to both Pennekamp Elementary and Mira Costa High School, maybe enough to go from "convenient" to "neighborhood impacts."

The Caliterranean home itself is styled, outside, in strokes that are almost too bold. Inside, the custom paint and décor dial it up – the feeling is supposed to be splashy and glamorous, but it's hard to see it as just a home.

That said, the spaces are ample – a big, high-ceilinged formal living room up front, a great room in back, an objectively gorgeous pool/spa setup in the backyard.

In the nearly 7 months this property was on the market last year, list prices ranged from $2.149m down to $1.995m.

It's back now just a little above the last list price, up at $2.049m on its restart.

1525 Curtis is open Sun. 1-4pm.

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