Sunday Opens (8/9)

By Dave Fratello | August 8th, 2009
Permit us a little rant.

There are 30 or so homes for sale in the Hills, but just 4 open houses? Maybe that's not how you sell a giant manse, but maybe it is part of it. And why can't someone get 218 Anderson open to the public? The listing agent (or babysitter) would get a ton of new names, at least.

Sand Section: A little better; more offerings, but little that's new. We understand, the sub-region is having a glut problem and no one wants to add more new stuff to that inventory. That's OK, we like what we were able to feature this week.

Tree Section: Great work. Something interesting for everyone. (1706 Pacific in particular.) Keep it up!

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

913 Highview was enjoyed by MBC readers who reported back after its first weekend.

It's an elegant, newer (2004) build, relatively compact for the Hills (3br/4ba, 2350 sq. ft.). The location is on a quiet little block near downtown.

The price is down just a bit to $2.249m (-$150k from start). That's still $950/PSF, a level we haven't seen in the Hills, even for new construction, in quite a while. 913 Highview was purchased for $1.910m in Feb. 2005; today's markup remains $339k (+18%) from there.

913 Highview is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

502 24th (4br/4ba, 3875 sq. ft.) has recently won an award for "green" building. That's a nice badge for a fun, family-friendly contemporary whose fully wide-open first floor – with disappearing walls retracted – is a huge delight.

Awards aren't going to make this project profitable, however. Due in large part to the location, right across from the Grandview Elementary parking lot, the home has been punished.

After a start at $4.895m last December, the home has shot down to $3.195m. The listing now says it's "priced at least $800,000 below construction cost."

One day someone will move on this one and get a great house, possibly for a great deal. Is that $100k further down, or $700k more, or somewhere in between?

A long day: 502 24th is open Sun. 1-5pm.

305 20th (5br/5ba, 4100 sq. ft.) is a new "warm contemporary" (the listing says so twice) with, among other nice features, disappearing walls that open the living space out to a big ocean-view deck.

Already adjusted down over 6 weeks by $500k to $3.695m. Open Sun. 1-4pm.

440 6th (6br/6ba, 4200 sq. ft.) give you a South End walkstreet, corner lot, new Cape Cod... a rare combination on the open market. It's a home planned as a custom build that the owners decided to sell instead.

The lowest level opens to a patio connecting to the walkstreet; the midlevel also opens out to the street life. MBC always applauds those sorts of details on walkstreet homes.

Lots of extra attention to detail in a solid overall build. Starts at $4.495m. Open Sun. 1-4pm.

While meandering around those South End walkstreets, you may be interested in 429 7th (4br/3ba, 2125 sq. ft.). No, it doesn't have a ton of space and doesn't open out to the walkstreet in the ways we like. And nearly 300 DOM suggest a price problem at the current $2.1m. But the home is very sharp inside and the space well-utilized, if tight. 7th is heaven for kids. Open Sun. 2-4pm.

Tree Section

2312 Pine (5br/5ba, 3150 sq. ft.) is the subject of our newest pricing poll, and if MBC readers can do just one drop-by this weekend, we ask for you to make it this one.

As noted the other day, this one is a 2003 build, full size, nice kitchen and great room, with a back yard featuring an in-ground spa and a little putting green. Location is right in the middle of the Trees, though a bit close to Marine.

The current owners paid $1.559m new in July 2003. Start price now is $1.889m (+$330k/+21%). 2312 Pine is open Sun. 1-4pm.

1900 Oak (4br/3ba, 2175 sq. ft.) is another in what seems like a stream of 2005 acquisitions up for resale today.

This attractive remodel fetched $1.253m in Sept. 2005 and starts now at $1.199m, a little below.

The kitchen was in fairly modern shape in 2005; the bathrooms are all new since then. Oak, is, well, Oak, but it's a snappy little place that may work for someone at or near this price. Open Sun. 1-4pm.

1706 Pacific is: wow. A charming, classy Spanish with lots of great details inside.

The home is more spacious (5br/4ba, 4650 sq. ft.) than you might expect in this area, as the Pacific lots on the east side are generally deeper. (7150 sq. ft. in this case, versus around 4500 for a standard lot.)

The early-90s build has been steadily updated to reflect current tastes in baths and kitchens (maybe skipping off the Spanish reservation just a bit, but who's complaining?). The big stone fireplace shows you what you can get if you're not skimping like most stapled-on stone imitators in new homes these days. The study is a classic as well.

There are supposed to be pluses like this when you're asked for $2.495m for a single house. Open Sun. 1-4pm.

We had almost wrapped up our discussion when we saw, for the first time, that 649 29th is now posted as a short sale. Even at the adjusted price of $1.539m (down from $1.699m), that's still a tidy sum for 4br/3ba, 2650 sq. ft. (including guest house), but the authentic-feeling Cape Cod style is a real draw. The green carpets... well, work with the bank on that.

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