Sunday Opens (6/5)

By Dave Fratello | June 5th, 2011
By necessity this week, we're heavy on TH's, one of them a new showpiece down in the South End.

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

505 N. Dianthus (5br/4ba, 4650 sq. ft.) is a fairly new (2002) and plenty big Spanish-inspired, modern home with some views to the north. The feel and layout are quite different from other recent builds.

If you're the entertaining type, you'll appreciate the flow of the main floor, from an expansive front courtyard with city and mountain views, through the big living spaces and out to the vast, private back yard. (Big enough to accommodate a very good-size pool if that's your fancy, but it's grass now.)

Upstairs, on a clear morning, the master draws some sweet mountain views. Three more big bedrooms are set together in back.

The attractive cherry wood flooring particularly stands out; the whole first floor, stairs and a large upstairs landing/office/bonus space all feature it.

Some buyers may fret about the need to hoof it up a flight of stairs – semi-circular at that – from the garage, a chore with groceries. But to ease that burden, that stairway has much shorter steps, a thoughtful detail.

Regular readers will remember this listing from last year. It ran 5 months from early 2010 till just about this time last year. It's also been on the market 2 months now, though its first public open is this weekend.

Dianthus was first offered as a spec home in 2002 at $2.475m; back in April 2003, the current owners paid $2.125m.

Last year, the sellers sought $2.999m and later cut $100k. It's back now at $2.850m. They may not get that, but we'll still expect a significant markup over '03 when this one closes.

505 Dianthus is open Sun. 1-4pm.

604 MBB (3br/3ba, 1725 sq. ft.) is a 10-year-old TH right on MBB.

Though it's technically 3 stories, only the garage and a storage room are on the first level (below MBB), meaning that the floors with bedrooms and living spaces are relatively spacious. All 3 bedrooms are together on one level, while the upstairs great room/living area is wide open. The modern kitchen has kept a current feel even a decade into its service.

The listing takes a few liberties, calling the TH an "[a]rchitecturally stunning hillside villa" and the baths "uber deluxe." Well... it's sales.

The TH is bright but has no real views, unlike some MBB properties that get big ocean panoramas.

604 MBB was last purchased in May 2004 for $989k. It starts now at $1.195m, and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

Sand Section

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.

517 23rd starts at $2.0m, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

112 Manhattan Ave. (4br/4ba, 2450 sq. ft.) is a glitzy new TH in an area we like to call the "quiet" South End, though here there is the matter of Manhattan being the busier north/south thoroughfare near Hermosa.

You can get past that by appreciating the big ocean views and relative quiet of the 2nd and 3rd stories, where the action is. The fairly competent pics you'll find in the listing now don't do justice to those views or the overall sharpness of the (town)home.

In asking $2.499m for this front unit, the spec builders are demanding more than $1,000/PSF. They say the rear unit – with a Crest address, up the hill a tad and boasting big ocean views of its own – sold for about the same. (Trust but verify.)

112 Manhattan Ave. starts at $2.499m, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

First, we should note that 449 23rd St. (3br/4ba, 1825 sq. ft.) does not actually lean like some ancient tower – it's a 10-year-old TH that happens to suffer from an awkward listing photo.

It's a 2001 build that has a 90s flavor, though it's clean and the top-floor living space is bright and comfy. The listing touts "BIG ocean peaks [sic]" from the balcony, though we'd quibble with that. (Can a peek be big? Are these peeks big?)

As is common in TH layouts, one of the 3br is by itself on the lower level. None of the bedrooms is large. The bath serving the upstairs living spaces is placed, unusually, midway up the stairs. The upside: At least it's not impinging on the living space.

449 23rd was purchased for $1.3m in March 2006, and starts now at $1.389m. It's open Sun. 2-4pm.

Tree Section

617 15th St. (3br/3ba, 1750 sq. ft.) is a 1950s rancher very near American Martyrs church that we found to be much better than expected.

With a spacious kitchen/dining area, somewhat updated kitchen and baths, and a very clean and sharp feel to the home, the home screams "livability" even while most buyers will probably be eyeing the dirt.

The 6250 sq. ft. lot has major ocean-view potential and will benefit from its proximity to both the public and private schools nearby. If you can't stand the traffic on Sundays, humbug to you.

Typically, a "live now, build later" opportunity touted in a listing is a lame come-on. (This listing doesn't actually use that phrase, but it could.) But at 15th you can actually fathom keeping the home as is for quite a while as you develop plans for something more, or hold onto the the home as is, knowing that the next buyer will see a lot of value in the land also.

One reference point for pricing will be the recent sale at 642 14th (4br/4ba, 2500 sq. ft.), a bigger home that needed some work. (See our video tour in this weekend opens post from February.) The sale at 14th closed last month at $1.639m.

The lot at 15th is slightly bigger (6250 sq. ft. vs. 6000 at 14th). Locationwise, we'd actually give the edge to 14th because of the traffic along 15th.

617 15th starts at $1.829m, and is open Sun. 11am-2pm.

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