Sunday Opens (9/28/14)

By Dave Fratello | September 27th, 2014

It's going to really feel like Fall next week, with the Hometown Fair following the landmark MB 10K next Saturday morning.

Hope to see many of you out there on the streets of MB! (It's not too late to register in person at the Village Runner MB.)

In real estate, it's quite a turnaround to see the Hill Section lead off this week with 3 new listings open, while the Sand Section offers no new listings.

Prominent among those in the Hill Section is one with great ocean views, and 2 more with a promise.

If you don't mind going pretty far east, the new remodel at 1701 Voorhees is definitely worth a look.

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.

Hill Section

1019 Duncan Ave. (5br/6ba, 4600 sq. ft.) is a custom "Santa Barbara" Spanish near the top of the Hill Section with seemingly well-protected views from its top level.

There is a lot of style and authenticity to the design and its many details, such as the mosaic at the entry and the colorful selection of tiles lining the main stairway, custom iron work and great woodwork.

The master suite and 3 more bedrooms are together at the entry level, the master up front. Head downstairs to the game room and separate home theater, plus spare bedroom and wine cellar.

The top level is what really sings. Pulling open the Nana walls, the kitchen/great room get very nice views toward PV and the Pacific. There's a cozy breakfast nook and a formal dining room. Tucked away in the back is a smallish formal living room or separate TV room out of the flow.

We especially liked the side deck, with curved, built-in seating, outdoor kitchen and fireplace. The views from all around the deck are very nice, and, we're told, will get better when a tree to the northwest is trimmed substantially to open up views toward Malibu. (This is evidently in the plans of a neighbor.)

About that view protection: The home immediately to the west is "Summerhill," the classic, Old World custom build at 250 S. Dianthus that sold in April 2014 for $8.100M. At that lot's eastern edge – the west edge of 1019 Duncan's property line – there's a pool cabana/guest house that is already 2 stories tall and does not block any views for 1019 Duncan. To threaten the Duncan views, that part of Summerhill would have to be sold off and developed separately – a far-fetched scenario, it would seem.

1019 Duncan starts at $4.395M and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

929 John (4br/3ba, 1870 sq. ft.) technically meets the 4br definition with a small office area, but should really be seen as a 3br with an open floorplan and smallish pool.

The corner-lot location gets some decent city and mountain views to the north, and they speak of potential ocean views up 10th St. if a second story is added. (We're more skeptical of that, seeing really a glimpse potential.)

There's a very large kitchen for the amount of house, with granite and stainless appliances. The home is vacant now and maybe hard to figure in terms of layout, but we see one big ample dining area off the kitchen and a fairly spacious main family room with windows out to the pool area.

The master suite is right over the garage on one side of the house with the office/4th br, and the other 2br are nicely separated on the other side of the home. 

Flooring is a light maple and the bedrooms are carpeted. It's a plain-vanilla look well suited to the fact that this property has been a rental for a while. There's a chance to add some style to it.

929 John traded way-back-when in June 2009 for $1.499M. Since then, well, you know what's happened. 

There aren't really good Hill Section comps for this one. The lot is on the small side for the area at 4750 sq. ft. But that's a number you'd see in the Tree Section. And over there, homes with this kind of interior square footage have been coming in around $2.1M. (See "Is 2.1 The New Norm for Tree Section Cottages?") Add to that the prestige of a Hill Section address and close walkability to downtown, and you can start to see the numbers.

929 John starts at $2.199M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

922 Duncan Place (4br/2ba, 1785 sq. ft.) seems to be partway into a quick cosmetic refresher – new paint, maybe replacing some carpet, fixing floors, etc. So that may convey to prospective buyers that the home is livable as is.

To indulge that a moment, you have four smallish bedrooms, clustered together at the "front" of the house by the garage, but the entry is actually in the rear with the living areas – you'll access the proper entry by walking the length of the house along the east side.

Inside, we can only call the baths and kitchen dated. The kitchen is somewhat open to the living areas upstairs, and there are stairs down to a reasonably bright basement room as well.

What stands out, both from the exterior and the main living room in back, is the view and view potential. The neighbor to the south is (for now) under height and you can easily see PV and some ocean blue. Building up on this site, you'd get a lot more.

Duncan Place is an alley street, although there are some nice homes and frontages along this particular block. (We're mentally contrasting this stretch with some others that really feel like garage upon garage – there's more of a neighborhood feel here on Duncan Place.)

We're going to bet on development here, but you can never be sure.

922 Duncan Place starts at $1.750M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Tree Section

3313 Walnut (5br/7ba, 3600 sq. ft.) is new construction in the Tree Section in a notably north and east location.

Enter into the formal living room, which has a little deck off of it in the front of the house. The flow continues back to the familiar kitchen/great room, but something quite different here is the large, open formal dining room with 2-story ceilings.

A bright, sizable basement makes for a good media room and adds considerably to the square footage that you would have here otherwise.

The lighter-stained, distressed, wide-plank oak floors are exactly what everyone seems to want today, while the kitchen's Carrara marble island and black granite counters, also, hit very current notes. This is the modern "Plantation" style across the board, with the whites and blacks accented by tastefully light grey walls and carpeting (upstairs). 

Somehow the master and great room seemed to us a bit smaller than we're accustomed to seeing, and the master prominently lacks french doors out to a balcony. No one ever uses those balconies, but they are a common feature and it's jarring when you don't see it.

Each of the bedrooms upstairs has its own bath, and laundry's upstairs, too, also modern must-have features.

Have you noticed that a 3 in front is no longer surprising for new and newer homes in the Trees? Even east of Pacific?

3313 Walnut starts at $3.299M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

1720 Oak (4br/4ba, 3470 sq. ft.) is a 1980s original that has gotten a complete, modern remodel inside and out, leaving absolutely nothing to be done by the buyer but to move in.

The floorplan features a big formal living room off the entry, stretching long and all the way back to the yard.

On the other side of the wall is a big, open kitchen, with built in "booth" seating for informal dining, also opening to a family room that goes to the backyard.

Want a formal dining room? That's the only thing that is kind of shortchanged. It's an area back at the front of the house just off of the entry. It's enough, and elegantly presented.

All 4br are upstairs, including a large master suite with a separately, dedicated office just off the master. Unlike the kitchen and so many common areas, which have been thoroughly modernized, the master bath is still a few steps behind, though clean.

In the 1980s they didn't realize that everyone would want their own bathrooms, so only the master gets its own – 2 other hallway baths serve the bedrooms.

The backyard here would be sunny in the mornings, and it was when we visited in early afternoon. Buyers will note the location here on the east side of Oak, backing up to commercial, and wonder if there is a noise issue from Sepulveda or the commercial properties. The wall behind the house seemed very high – perhaps allowed for the commercial building – and we didn't immediately recognize a noise problem. 

Buyers looking for lots of space and a nearly complete remodel will find this to be one of the most affordable homes west of Sepulveda.

1720 Oak starts at $1.999M and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

2808 Laurel (4br/2ba, 2100 sq. ft.) has already accepted an offer and is now trolling for backups.

It's a very original home with an unusual layout and very dated feel.

The steeply downsloping lots along this part of Laurel often lead to home layouts that are a bit challenging.

Here you'll step up to enter on the main living level, with formal living room and wet bar, hallway back past the kitchen to formal dining and a family room. The kitchen is small by today's standards, and dated.

The 4br are divided between the top floor and a lower level. Decks off of both levels are extensive, with nice treetop views from the top level, and more of an "outdoor room" feel to the lower level.

A surprisingly large yard area (for this 4640 sq. ft. lot) is down, down below, down a whole extra set of stairs from the lower level.

2808 Laurel began at $1.579M and is listed as open Sun. 1-4pm.

East MB

1701 Voorhees (3br/2ba, 1650 sq. ft.) is a wide-open remodel of a 1950s original, with terrific details all around and some custom touches – not just a series of nods to current tastes and fashions.

1701 Voorhees starts at $1.625M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

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