Sunday Opens (7/28)

By Dave Fratello | July 27th, 2013

We can tell our children some day that, once upon a time, this was the weekend each Summer that MB was allowed to be overrun by insane, costumed amateur volleyball players and their hangers-on.

The 6-Man – officially the Charlie Saikley 6-Man Beach Volleyball Tournament – could be funny (even outrageous), it could be risqué, and it was always huge.

So of course they put a stop to it.

Not exactly. But the powers that be have taken the 6-Man away from the weekend – this year's will be on Wednesday and Thursday this week. It's like a conspiracy to thwart Team Fletch, and other old standards, since surely some of those players have jobs to go to midweek.

Oh, now, we almost hate to diminish the city fathers' sincere efforts to make MB family-friendly and less like Hermosa For A Day, but you have to poke the Fun Police when you can.

MB housing inventory this week is at 67 as we write (SFRs and townhomes combined), neither higher nor lower than we've seen for the past several weeks. Not a lot of new options emerging, though.

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

Sand Section

224 29th (5br/6ba, 5000 sq. ft.) is a larger-than-normal home on a walkstreet up toward the North End, with very nice ocean views currently and a bonus guest quarters/rental unit – if you want to use the space that way.

What allowed them to build this out bigger than the normal 4100-4300 sq. ft. walkstreet home is the wider lot. It's 35 feet instead of 30 wide. That translates into a bigger footprint and more interior square footage, ultimately.

Those 5 extra feet came out of the lot to the east, meaning the higher part of the walkstreet – and that means the home can also be taller than it would have been otherwise.

The layout here is not what you may expect. Enter on the midlevel and there's the master – that's what you'd anticipate. But toward the back, there are 2br and a kitchen/living room combo. One of the bedrooms is accessed only through the other. One or both bedrooms can be locked off to create a 1br or 2br separate unit in back. (It has its own entry, laundry and parking.) Or you can use it as is, giving the kids their own living room (and kitchen?!?) in back.

The lower level has 2 good-sized, bright bedrooms and a living room opening to the walkstreet. It's not the sort of full-size den/entertaining room you might usually see on a walkstreet home, but it works. The garage hosts 4 interior spots and there's one outside (covered) parking space.

But enough of those fussy details. Upstairs is where it's at. The views... yes. To the west is a small home that does not threaten the views right now. To the north, you look over new construction on a steep downslope – that view will always be there. In back, there are good views, also, toward the south. And even from the kitchen and living room, view windows capture a bunch of blue. Heck, you even see some sand down on the beaches below if you look carefully.

Though the home was built in 2000, the kitchen is fairly modern, and nice, warm cherry-stained flooring is throughout the upstairs living spaces. It's everything you expect in one of these homes and a little more. (About 5' more.)

Views and extra square footage help raise the value here. The layout with the guest unit won't be what everyone's after, but for some it will work perfectly.

224 29th starts at $5.300M and is open Sun. 2-5pm.

No open house this week at 468 34th St. (4br/5ba, 3525 sq. ft.), but click here to see our new video tour!

Tree Section 

There was a time when you couldn't hit $3M in the Trees, let alone approach it.

This week, you can see 2 homes that aspire to those heights.

562 36th (5br/6ba, 3600 sq. ft.) is new construction in a Tuscan vein, aiming for the right mix of high-end modern amenities with timeless old-world charm and materials.

Though the downsloping lot does create some quirks for the layout – the odd step-up here or there – it's not extreme.

The kitchen is huge, open and top of the line, and the private courtyard for al fresco dining is a very nice feature.

Upstairs, the master feels huge, particularly the "his and hers" baths. Yep, one wing for each person. (Admittedly this is a very custom detail for a spec house, but it sure gets people talking.)

Is there a "yard?" Can't say there is. The front parkway is grassy but not meant for kids. The front yard is really an outdoor room extending off the formal living room. Then there's that nice courtyard, which just happens not to be a yard. But this location is fairly close to Sand Dune Park. (And maybe a bit too close to the armory.)

Bonus MBC translation service: The informal name ascribed to the home, "Villa Trenta Sei," basically means "36th House."

562 36th is starting at $2.949M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

608 27th (5br/4ba, 4200 sq. ft.) hides a lot of luxe home behind that exterior. And for $3M+, you'd have to expect that.

It's funny that this one is not so dissimilar to 562 36th, the new home reviewed above. Both aim for a modern take on an old-world home. 

Here, the official build date listed is 1952, but what you really see is the fruit of a much later expansion – pre-ZORP, meaning higher allowances for interior square footage based on lot size. Then after that expansion, you have more recent modernization efforts that give the home a "now" feel (high-end kitchen, etc.) while running with the Spanish style as truly as they could.

The downsloping lot forces some tiering and step-downs to the interior layout. We've seen this done poorly and we've seen it done well, and here – though the tiers are quite noticeable – we're putting it on the "done well" side. The great room in back, in particular, seems welcoming, bright and open – a place where you want to go, even if there are some stairs to navigate.

The front living room, higher up, has a soaring ceiling, showing off dark-stained wood, as does the master. 

There really are not recent examples of homes like this one, with 600-1000 sq. ft. more than the typical Tree Section home and this committed Spanish feel.

608 27th sports a very nice location, a good starting point, plus all that square footage. It starts at $3.099M and is open Sun 1-3pm.

3311 Elm (3br/2ba, 1485 sq. ft.) ran its open house Saturday before we got this post up, but we thought we'd share a review regardless.

This one probably has to be viewed as a lot sale.

And what a lot.

It's nearly 8800 sq. ft., with an unusual shape and topography. The lot widens out from the front almost like a slice of pizza, getting wider in back. And the plot is at the top of a downslope. From the current one-story home, there are nice, lush treetop views over the neighbors, greenbelt and even the far-off hills along Ardmore closer to town. From higher up you'd really have something interesting.

The current home feels very original and has a somewhat odd layout; we guessed that a bedroom and den were added on to an original 2br cottage at some point.

Yes, you could aim to rework and update the current home, but it'd be quite a project.

"Some day, there will be a really nice home here," said one fellow agent after a tour Friday. Maybe so.

3311 Elm starts at $1.500M.

East MB

1757 Voorhees (4br/3ba, 2450 sq. ft.) is a 70s house with a big yard that's up for sale as a FSBO.

Can you really sell a home FSBO on Voorhees? Why, yes, the neighbors just did it. 1748 Voorhees, remodeled if different, sold in early July at $1.675M.

This one's not that one. You have to view 1757 Voorhees as a remodel in waiting. The basic bones are fine – though the step-down living room is a dated feature.

All bedrooms are up, all common spaces down. The kitchen's fairly open to the dining area. Yard is almost huge.

There's a lot to work with here, if you don't mind a project. You may want to redo it all – kitchen, baths, flooring, exterior, maybe even drywall in spots. At 35 years old, it's all asking for a refresh.

More Voorhees trivia: This one is right next-door to the auction house, 1761 Voorhees, that listed early this year at $899K (silly) and sold for $1.320M (deal). For more, see "East MB Auction Wrapup."

1757 Voorhees starts at $1.495M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

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