Sunday Opens (9/21/14)

By Dave Fratello | September 20th, 2014

With September ticking by, we're seeing mostly what we expect to see: A good crop of new offerings on the market, hoping to take advantage of our last gasp of a selling season before the holidays.

In a week, we've counted 10 new listings, but 16 new escrows. So inventory is down by a net of 6. As of Saturday afternoon, it's just 53 listings on the MLS.

It's worth keeping your eyes open these next several week. As the first featured listing below shows, the season holds all kinds of surprises.

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

Don't forget, when previewing homes here on MB Confidential, you can click "Open All Images" right above the main listing photo to get immediate display of all the listing photos at once.

East MB

1131 8th (5br/6ba, 4450 sq. ft.) is one you've just gotta see. We're hoping they will actually hold the (long) open house they have set for 11am-3pm Sunday.

Here, inside, a glam Asian modern design fervor has attacked a typical Tuscan, and won (mostly).

Outside, this home looks like the Caliterraneans on either side of it. But inside, woo hoo. Different.

The living room at the entry is like an airplane hangar (kinda), feeling unusually wide and with 2-story ceilings. The floor is highly polished marble with inlaid mosaics.

Make your way to the great room in back, and you again feel like the place is unusually wide and open.

And then you start to pick up on all the unusual details.

The walls are all a modern, steel-like light grey, with white trim and accents all around – not the expected earth tones you'd see in a Tuscan. The coffered ceiling over the kitchen is all white, and then – what's that? – green accent lighting. And the chandelier over the family room (yes) is ringed with blue and purple lighting. And back in the kitchen, the stone backsplash behind the stove lights up from behind. Back in a main hallway are some custom white art panels set into arched wall spaces. All very custom touches.

Ah, but travel all the way back, and there's a resort-like, tiered backyard with pool and spa, waterfall, outdoor kitchen and covered cabana area that all demands to be party central. Now this is a good space. The unusually deep 50x160 lot helps deliver a plus-sized house and a plus-sized, fully done backyard like this.

Many of these forward-modern themes continue upstairs. The master shower is artistically done, although the dual showerheads seem nearly to touch already in the narrow space.

In going to this elaborate level of detail, someone had a very specific idea of who the buyer might be and what they would want. No boring lowest-common-denominator stuff here. 

Worth noting: The listing info all says this is "new construction" and lists the build date as 2014. On a weekend, we can't find any evidence of when the home was built – online sources don't contradict it, even though the home's exterior, style and floorplan seem to suggest a home that's older but updated. TBD.

They're starting out here asking basically $3.5M, which is clearly ambitious for any home on a typically sized lot east of Sepulveda, but even more so for one located just one door away from a drive-through fast food restaurant and Sepulveda Blvd. It will be one to watch the market wrestle with.

And one last observation: As amazing as the iPhone is, having spent this much money preparing a property for market at the highest level for its class, we'd go beyond the iPhone for interior photos. Maybe those are coming.

1131 8th starts at $3.495M and is open Sun. 11am-3pm.

(Note: In person Friday, they indicated that Sunday might not be open, but it's still posted as such on the MLS.)

We remember 1345 Voorhees (3br/2ba, 1750 sq. ft.) from its last trade 15 minutes ago in late April this year at $1.200M.

Then, it was tired, with an odd floorplan.

Now, they've blown out walls and fully modernized the place.

We haven't seen it yet, but it's intriguing enough for an afternoon visit.

For a flip, the numbers almost don't seem to make sense: Buy for $1.200M, sell for $1.499M (new asking price). But they'll be able to hold down costs of sale since the owner is the listing agent. Lesson from this one seems to be that, in this case, there is money to be made, you just can't be greedy and you have to do the work quickly.

1345 Voorhees starts at $1.499M and is open Sun. 2-5pm.

Sand Section

616 Highland (3br/4ba, 2130 sq. ft.) is a very refreshed late-90s TH with nice views and, obviously, a close-to-town location.

Priced at $2.450M, it's a direct competitor to 512 Highland (3br/3ba, 2135 sq. ft.), which has been on the market for a couple of weeks, first at $2.789M, then down to $2.449M. (See "Now That's a Chop.")  

Here, unlike at 512, we can vouch for the bedroom count. There's a legit master that doesn't share its bath and the 3rd bedroom really is a bedroom (en suite, no less) with a closet.

616 Highland has also seen a lot of work poured in recently to try to refresh and modernize the home, though it is mainly cosmetic (new paint, carpets and thorough cleaning). Again, by contrast, when we saw 512 Highland, it was a little rough around the edges and more obviously dated.

Both townhomes feature a pretty open top floor opening to an ocean-view deck. At 616 Highland, we were pretty surprised to see the views blocked by sliding plantation shutters – it's a small matter to open those, but half will still be blocked.

616 Highland starts at $2.450M and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

Did we mention 512 Highland? Doing your own comparison shopping will be easy Sunday, as both are open. Here's a bit from our prior review:

512 Highland (3br/3ba, 2135 sq. ft.) is a mid-90s townhome built as one of a set of 4 that all share a common courtyard entry.

There are good views from the common spaces upstairs, thanks to the 5th Place alley directly west.

We found the home to be in decent shape, while definitely of its period.

An unusual feature is what we have to call the Jack-and-Jill master bath. Yes, the 2 bedrooms on the middle level share the master bath, each with its own door into there. Efficient, but quirky.

And is that really a second bedroom on the middle level? It's got to be the third of the 3 listed, but with no closet anyplace, the smallish, L-shaped room may not technically qualify.

There's a fun backstory here: Almost exactly 7 years ago, this townhome was sold by TV's Peter Brady, known in the real world as Christopher Knight. MBC wrote that up way-back-when in this Sept. 2007 post.

The TH sold then, quickly, for $1.689M, using the now-gone-but-not-forgotten discounters Catalist Homes.

512 Highland is now at $2.449M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

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