Super Saturday for Opens (1/31)

By Dave Fratello | January 30th, 2009
Here comes the Super Bowl, one of the last big secular holidays worth stopping everything for – even if you don't believe in football.

Though there's an increasing wave of open houses this week, most are not open Sunday, or they end before kickoff.

The ones open after 3pm Sunday – maybe they're telling you something...

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 these homes to also report back. Tell us what you see, what you like and what you don't like. Use the comments here to discuss the homes we've highlighted.

And, by all means, if you do visit one of our recommended opens, tell the agent MBC sent you.

Hill Section

If you see just one open house this week – heck, this year – make it 511 Pacific. It's open to the public for the first time on Saturday, 2-5pm.

This ginormous home (5br/8ba, 8300 sq. ft.) is geared toward the very top of the market. The high ceilings make you think maybe even a b-ball star would fit right in.

Great finishes, big-time extras (like the 10-seat theater) and surprisingly good views over the treetops of the South End Sand Section and to the water make the whole package quite impressive. Pricewise, it has even been moving from $8m+ last year, pre-completion, to $6.699m today.

If you do your research, you'll see a notice of default against this home – construction loans in trouble. But there's still quite a gap between what's owed and what the likely market value is, and we would not bet on this one going back to the bank. If you're looking for an over/under, consider betting that the final sale price on this one will be the highest in the Hills in 2009.

511 Pacific is, as noted above, open Saturday 2-5pm.

852 8th (5br/6ba, 4650 sq. ft.) is a big new Cape Cod to the west of Poinsettia. The first time we featured it as a "Weekend Open" to see in mid-December, we got back several raves.

It's a pristine, traditionally styled home that carries plenty of East Coast flavor, with great cabinetry and nice finishes across the board. The big ocean views should be nicely featured all weekend as the skies look to be clear.

852 8th remains at $4.250m. Open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

218 N. Dianthus (4br/5ba, 5600 sq. ft.) is back again among our weekend recommendations, owing to the newest price cut – $200k more since last week. A home that began 11 months ago at $6.750m is now at $4.995m, a total drop of almost $1.8m. That's not because it's got big issues, just a big pricetag and a more limited buyer pool. Open Sat. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

2520 The Strand is a recently completed, contemporary remodel of a townhome bordering the Strand and the lifeguard HQ by Bruce's Beach. That location means a walkstreet on one side and huge, unobstructable views west and north toward Malibu.

We know, we know, these contemporaries aren't everyone's favorite, but, on the Strand, these slick, angular moderns tend to shine. The style allows for the biggest windows – in this case, picture frames for the Pacific.

The home is 3br/3ba and about 2500 sq. ft. At $5.850m, that works out to a stratospheric $2,400/PSF. Well, this is the Strand.

Across the park, another TH at 2700 The Strand is asking $1m more for just 300 more square feet – and that one's got diggers and cranes and a huge sewer-repair project in the front yard.

2520 The Strand is open Sat. 1-4pm.

425 26th has largely been off the MBC radar, but we now suggest a look. This is one of a dozen or so homes on the plateau up above Grandview School, with treetop views of the Tree Section and ocean views toward Catalina to the west.

It's not cheap at $2.973m, but 26th is down $777k from its pre-completion price. For that you get 5br/5ba and 4400 sq. ft. in a different sort of Asian-inspired build.

For the builder, margins may be getting tight – the lot was acquired in April 2007 for $1.725m.

425 26th is open Sat. 1-4pm.

Tree Section

2103 Elm joins the ranks of new construction in the Trees, offering 5br/4ba and 3100 sq. ft. for $2.199m.

That's sort of the standard profile, so how does it compare? First, you need to see it to know.

Around the Trees, there are now a few competitors of similar size below $2m, and a few more just above $2m. None features a great location, but then, neither does 2103 Elm. (Perhaps the best current combination of price, style and location is 2504 Poinsettia at $1.649m.)

Up the block, newbie 1820 Elm (5br/4ba, 3025 sq. ft.) sold last August for $2.1m, and 2408 Walnut (5br/4ba, 3100 sq. ft.) went for $2.062m in December. So $2.199m has some basis as a start price, but this is the sort of new-construction listing, late to the party, that will help tell us what 2009 will be like.

2103 Elm is open Sat. 1-4pm, also Sun. 12-3.

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