Sunday Opens (8/15)

By Dave Fratello | August 15th, 2010
Your blog author now makes a habit of dropping in on brokers' opens on Fridays to review fresh listings as they come out. Alas, on this chilly weekend in mid-August, the 3 homes we saw were not going to be open to the public just yet.

So we'll pull out a few "greatest hits" featured on past weekends. With your travel and beach schedule you may have missed some of these.

Bonus: We're going to post 2 reviews of new listings courtesy of another local blog author. See the end of this post.

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

We ask MBC readers who visit the featured homes, or any open house, to also report back in the comments here. Tell us what you see, what you like and what you don't like.

Hill Section

We first mentioned 217 N. Dianthus (4br/3ba, 2950 sq. ft.) about 7 weeks ago when it was new to the market. It's one of 2 next-door neighbors of comparable size with ginormous ocean views from the peak of the hill. (The other is 219 N. Dianthus, near 90 DOM now.)

217 boasts 4br, with the master plus 2 quite small kid bedrooms on the middle level, and one more (with bath) on the ground floor, opening to a patch of grass/"yard."

The top floor is what it's all about. There's a comfy living room, a newer island kitchen and a big patio that drinks in the views.

217 launched at $1.739m, which prompted MBC to observe that it was "priced to draw immediate action." And yet, no deal so far.

217 N. Dianthus is open Sun. 2-4pm.

222 John (4br/4ba, 3850 sq. ft.) is a late-90s contemporary custom-built to the lot to maximize the home's main asset: spectacular ocean views.

Of some concern: the home design is probably a bit formal for the average family, and there's really no yard. Starts at $3.399m.

222 John is open Sun. 2-4pm.

Sand Section

516 1st is a smallish (3br/2ba, 1175 sq. ft.) cottage that launched late last week and was featured on MBC in "Breaking the Curse on 1st?"

We reviewed the home in some detail there, but said, in sum:

Mainly you have to take the home for what it is: A groovy old beach cottage that's got all the bare essentials for life near the beach and some lovable quirks. 
Bonus: A gate opens to the grass fields at Robinson, giving this home just about the biggest back yard in Manhattan Beach.

516 1st is listed at $1.219m, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

(The listing accidentally states that it's open 1 a.m.-4 p.m., but we'd think twice before knocking before 1 p.m.)

Tree Section

763 31st (5br/5ba, 3575 sq. ft.) debuted nearly 3 months ago at a price MBC noted was as high as it could possibly have been: $3.295m. Earlier this month it cut to $3.095m.

Regular readers know we're huge fans of this stretch of 31st, with its tree canopy and street-to-alley lots. This home is a custom, European masterpiece that MBC one said "puts to shame a thousand 'Mediterraneans' that you've seen before."

Open-beam ceilings lining the dramatic living/dining area are classy, with the same attractive, woodsy ceilings dressing up the master. A spacious, modern kitchen has all the must-have features and  could accommodate a catering crew easily if you're entertaining.

No doubt it's a special property, well worth a tour.

763 31st is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Sometimes we're just taken by a property and it shows. That was clearly the case in our first review 2 weeks ago of 530 21st (6br/4ba, 3670 sq. ft.), which we called "a classic, custom Cape Cod that might melt the hearts of skeptics."

We liked the love of quality wood and woodwork that runs throughout the home (the owner says that "planks" were a theme that carry from the front door into each room), plus lots of custom, personal details.
Among the 5br upstairs, the master is substantial, with enough room for a sitting area, high ceilings with exposed wood and beams, and a fireplace. (Plus a sauna in the master bath.) None of the kids' bedrooms is huge, but they're sufficient, save for the room now set up as a gym – that's truly small. One bedroom features a dreamy twin bed built together with drawers and cabinets.

Locationwise, the rear of the home is more or less on Valley, with Live Oak Park right nearby. In our tour, Valley didn't seem like much of a factor.

530 21st is priced at $2.599m and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Guest Re-Posts on 2 New Listings

For a while now, local realtor Janie Sue Nagy has been following the MBC format of teeing up new open houses with reviews for a weekend story on her blog. There's plenty of room for more information!

She saw 2 for this weekend that drew our interest as well. What follows is excerpted directly from Nagy's blog (for the whole post, click here):

644 12th St. (2br/1ba, 1000 sq. ft.) This home is in the Martyrs Hill Area of the Tree Section, which offers a view from the deck and an easy walk to the beach or downtown. The home was built in 1997 and it is move-in ready. If you are looking for a large(ish) back yard close to the beach go see this one. It is rare to find this much back yard on a 3,000 square-foot lot....

717 12th St., a little farther up the block, gave hope when it went pending last month with an asking price of $1,199,999. But that is a bigger house with a lower ppsf.

644 12th starts at $1.199m, and is open Sun 1-4.

2105 Lynngrove Dr. (4br/3ba, 2825 sq. ft.) Don’t wait too long to visit this home. Similar ones are selling quickly in Liberty Village. The original home was built in 1950, but it was rebuilt in 1997.

The rear of the 5,400 square-foot lot backs to Redondo Ave. and is elevated from the street. That makes the pool area feel more private. Garage access is also off Redondo Ave. In addition to all room inside, there is an outdoor kitchen to complement the pool and spa. If that is not enough, there is also a very nice tree house in the front yard (you can see the floor of the tree house in the photo).

2105 Lynngrove starts at $1.425m, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

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