Sunday Opens (7/14)

By Dave Fratello | July 14th, 2013

Let's admit that it's been a strange week in MB, with a big fuss about a ho-hum shark sighting and a dead body found at a park

Luckily, these are unrelated stories – no reports of a Sharknado.

As we entered the weekend, we had 69 total listings in MB (SFRs and THs combined). We'll be watching to see how demand and supply balance out over the Summer.

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

Tree Section

3013 Poinsettia (4br/4ba, 3100 sq. ft.) is at the mouth of one of our favorite blocks of the Trees, a unique stretch of the area north of Valley with a tree canopy and overall charming, neighborly feel – an accidental mini-paradise.

This house, well, it's different. They don't really prepare you for it in the listing, so here's your fair warning. The home is almost two separate structures, with a mother-in-law's unit over the garage that's been connected back to the main house via the top level. The layout in each building and on each floor is... unique. The design... architecturally interesting.

The main living room is on the small side, but bright. The kitchen is mostly walled off (could be great if opened up to connect to the living spaces). A couple bedrooms are downstairs, two more, plus office, upstairs. And way in back upstairs – a kitchen (sans stovetop) and living room belonging to the former guest quarters. Wrapped around the home along the side and back is the (mostly paved) yard.

You can imagine some work being done here. Everything's clean and freshened up enough to live in as is, but to really give this house its due, it would probably mean moving walls and refashioning the place.

3013 Poinsettia's start price, $1.639M, appears to take this into account. It's a challenged layout, but 3000+ square feet on a nice block. So it's got assets, now, what do you put into it to make it great?

If it had these basic specs but was newer and/or more conventional, it'd likely be in the 1.9s easily in today's market.

3013 Poinsettia is priced at $1.639M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

3616 Pine (3br/1ba, 1075 sq. ft.) is a nicely spiffed up original cottage with a glaring location issue. It's not just near Rosecrans, it's kind of staring at the traffic there and at industrial vistas across the way courtesy of the refinery.

To the positive, this is a big lot for the Trees (5300 sq. ft.), with two separate grassy areas/yards. And inside, the remodel is pretty thorough – no major work do to that we could identify, unless you wish to add a master bath or something.

The opening request here is for $1M. Are we at the point now where a location-challenged little cottage commands that type of money?

Consider recent sales: 3204 Pacific (2br/2ba, 1270 sq. ft.) at $1.040M, 3612 Poinsettia (2br/1ba, 865 sq. ft.) at $935K and 2904 Pacific (3br/2ba, 1100 sq. ft.) at $1.100M. All have location issues of their own, but they wound up in this ballpark.

3616 Pine starts at $999K and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

Sand Section

432 23rd Place (3br/4ba, 2250 sq. ft.) is a late-90s alley townhome that returns to the market after attempts to sell in each of the past 4 years, 2009-2012.

Various factors conspired against it in those runs, probably none more central than the dated, tired feeling all around and the walled-off kitchen.

Now they've fixed those two liabilities, opening up the kitchen, recarpeting and repainting, and redoing the cabinets with paint and new hardware. While we visited, the old white appliances all had tags saying they'd soon be replaced by stainless steel versions. Once that's done, it will really only be the dated-feeling granite counters that hold the property back.

In short, this was a place that needed work, and got it.

We last saw this one when it was offered (and failing) at $1.149M, back in early 2012, but now, with the changes in the property and in the market, they're up quite a bit to $1.499M to begin.

As to the layout, we should point out this is the typical TH layout, with 1br on the bottom (garage) level, two more in the middle (including a decent master) and then living spaces up top.

Even with the work they've done, this one doesn't reach the level of its competition: Next-door neighbor 436 23rd Place, a fresher and more unique property that's listed at $1.599M and now has 30+ DOM.

432 23rd Place starts this time at $1.499M and is open Sun. 1-5pm.

468 34th (4br/5ba, 3525 sq. ft.) is Dave's listing in the North End of the Sand Section.

With a price cut this week, it's at $2.575M.

MBC doesn't offer "neutral" reviews of Dave's listings, so here's part of the official description:

Your family will enjoy this lovely, newer Cape Cod... with [s]pacious common rooms on the first floor...

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...

This whole home has been refreshed with new paint and carpet and looks terrific...

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.

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

After a cut this week, 468 34th is at $2.575M and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

East MB

1240 2nd (4br/3ba, 2650 sq. ft.) is a pretty luxe one-level rancher.

It is utterly unrecognizable as the 1970s house it once was, after a tasteful 2002 renovation that reshaped and vastly updated the house. As a bonus, the '02 work looks great now.

Yes, there's a frontage along busy 2nd St., and there's no getting away from that, but the living spaces are largely built away from 2nd to be insulated from it. (Dining areas excepted.)

The step-down living room seems a bit of a dated feature, but with everything else saying "21st century," that might be overlooked.

Nice wood flooring, high-end kitchen, modern baths – it all comes together well. The bedrooms are all tucked back away in one wing of the house, a sensible floorplan.

There's a decent-sized, grassy and sunny yard off the living areas.

This being 2013, they're aiming higher than we figure anyone would have before for 2600-odd square feet on a busy street: over $1.8M.

1240 2nd St. starts at $1.825M and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

1712 Wendy (4br/3ba, 3535 sq. ft.) is a safe, conventional home that's gotten updates since its 1990 build.

It's a lot of house for a bit over $1.5M, its number dragged down some by the proximity of Aviation Blvd. just over the fence. (This is on the "wrong" side of Wendy.)

At this moment the photos in the listing are limited to one (is this a 21st-century listing?), so we'd have to advise dropping in on the open house if you're interested in a nice family home in the 90266.

As we saw in our tour, the layout, with formal living and dining up front, and kitchen/great room in back, opening to the yard, is in line with current expectations. Even if that backyard is just across a wall from Aviation Blvd.

You might not love the style in all respects (the red brick fireplace, the kitchen counters), but it's not stuck in yesteryear, and the overall sense of "home" is great.

There's a guest bedroom downstairs and 3 more up – another layout positive for lots of families.

Fully grown and tall bamboo provides a very effective shield, blocking views of Aviation, and perhaps noise, from the upper level.

Looking at recent Liberty Village sales, there's comparably sized 1804 Faymont (4br/3ba, 3300 sq. ft.) with an upside-down layout and very dated 80s feel at $1.549M, much more updated 1713 Faymont (5br/3ba, 3430 sq. ft.) at $1.800M (yes that # surprised us), and, in a deal struck way back in February (closed in March), 2104 Harkness (4br/3ba, 3200 sq. ft.) at $1.580M.

Nearby and nearly new 1608 Wendy (4br/4ba, 3625 sq. ft.) just went under contract quickly with a list price of $1.629M.

1712 Wendy Way starts at $1.549M and is open Sun. 1-3pm.

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