Sunday Opens (7/17)

By Dave Fratello | July 16th, 2011
Here at MBC, we try not to have life's events intrude much on the content. Readers ought not to be asked to care if Dave's on vacation or a business trip, overextended or exhausted from other work or athletics, etc.

Keep the content coming... that's the goal.

So this week, as your blog author went under the knife (all's good!), the question was whether we could recover in time to get to brokers' open houses on Friday. Alas, Dave could not, but we do have a secret weapon: Mrs. MBC.

We deployed Mrs. MBC to 523 14th and 853 9th, and her reviews appear below. We're grateful for the contribution.

There's also new South Bay Confidential column in this Saturday's Daily Breeze, focused on a flipping project both Mr. and Mrs. MBC passed on a few years back.
To plan your open-house tours for this week, use MB Confidential's online list of Manhattan Beach open houses (it's mobile-friendly!).

As usual, we appreciate it when readers share views on this week's featured properties. Let us know what you like, don't like or must have.

And if you're in active the market or thinking about it, please consider asking MBC for help in identifying the right agent for your needs. See our referrals pagefor a little more.
OK, cue Mrs. MBC...

Hill Section

853 9th (5br/5ba, 4225 sq. ft.) is a Hill Section beauty that packs a lot into a 6300 square foot lot and still manages to leave a nice-sized yard.

Inside, you’ll find an upside-down layout (all of the bedrooms are downstairs) that serves mainly to highlight the mountain and city views from the main living area upstairs. There’s an extra level a few steps up from the main entrance where you’ll find an office and a guest bedroom with its own bath – a nice way to separate those rooms from the flow of living/dining traffic.

Downstairs, each of the three primary bedrooms (the master plus two others) has its own bath. There’s also a large playroom/family living area with a large closet that’s perfect for toys and board games. Outside the playroom, don’t miss the little outdoor alcove currently used as a kids’ painting area. 
The main backyard draw is the “spool” – an oversized kidney-shaped spa with a waterfall feature that adds to the lush and secluded feel of the well-landscaped yard. Although the master bedroom is the room that leads directly into the backyard, your guests can get there by way of an attractive spiral staircase winding down from the upper level (allowing you to avoid those awkward “everyone-walk-though-our-bedroom-to-get-outside” moments).

Past trades of 853 9th: The MLS says it sold new for $2.175m in Aug. 2001, while public records point to an off-market sale for $2.6m in May 2004.

853 9th starts now at $3.089m and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Tree Section

523 14th (5br/6ba, 5100 sq. ft.) is about as sweet as it gets in the Martyrs neighborhood – an enormous house that takes advantage of hilltop ocean views without being too far from the beach itself.

When it first came on the market as a spec home in 2009, MBC wrote that it would "shatter the notion you may first have when we say "new spec home in the Trees.'" It’s got some originality to it with a nice balance of modern features and a traditional Cape Cod style.

The main living room is two stories high, light and bright, with doors opening to an ocean-view patio. All of the main living spaces are on the entry floor, which makes for easy entertaining, and the overall feeling is elegant but relaxed. Upstairs, a well-designed layout gives each of the four bedrooms gets an ocean view (or at least a peek). On the basement level, there’s an enormous playroom/rec room that gets a decent amount of light, as well as a guest suite that’s a little on the dark side. (Regardless, if you lived here, we don’t think your guests would be doing too much complaining.)

Extra bonus: A three-stop elevator for when the stairs just won’t do.

523 14th sold quickly when it hit the market in 2009 for $3.1m; this should be a good one to watch for gauging where the market has gone since then. Now asking $3.399m.

523 14th is open Sun. 1-4pm.


MBW's shameless promotion of the week:

To see Mrs. MBC's talents on display, check out her own website focused on kids' nutrition, The Jolly Tomato. Enjoy!

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