Tracking 1990s East MB Homes

By Dave Fratello | June 30th, 2021

In the space of just a few weeks, three roughly similar East Manhattan listings came out.

All were built in the 1990s, two early, one later (1998).

At 25-30 years, each home would be due for some upgrades.

Now let's see how they all presented to the market, and we'll watch, down the road, how they close.

1618 6th Street Manhattan Beach CA1618 6th (5br/5ba, 4050 sqft.)

This is the newest of the three we'll discuss, built in 1998.

However, it came to market looking the most dated. (Review the full set of listing photos to see what we mean.)

There's a lot of carpet, some cream-colored travertine tile and a mix of other wood and wood-look flooring.

Tile in the baths is what people used to build with. Black-granite countertops are featured in the kitchen.

1618 6th Street Manhattan Beach CAAnd throughout the home, custom paint colors and the sellers' longtime furniture conspire to make the home feel, well, older. Like it is.

The need for upgrades is apparent, and as you walk through 4000 sqft. worth of house, as a buyer, you're constantly adding to your mental calculations of "how much is this going to cost?"

The listing came out at $2.899M in late May.

There was instant interest, and the home was in escrow by June 1.

So, the vintage and the presentation didn't stop buyers from jumping on a property listed under $3M. But it will be interesting to see where it settles.

1622 5th Street Manhattan Beach CA1622 5th (4br/4ba, 4200 sqft.)

This large home is the oldest of the three we're discussing today, but it was presented with a fresh, new feel.

Here, the dedicated market preparations were apparent. The home was super clean, almost everything was painted neutrally white, and beachy staging predominated. 

1622 5th Street Manhattan Beach CAThere was an airy, easy feeling when touring through the house.

Remember how we said of 1618 6th that buyers would be running a mental total of upgrade costs? Well, a modernization of 1622 5th could be comparably pricey, but somehow, that wasn't top of mind. The market prep was pretty convincing in that way.

Was there still a goodly amount of carpet? Yes. Older tile flooring? Mmm-hmm. Some dated granite in the surprisingly tight kitchen? Yepper.

But the home's huge, open, bright spaces, ample light and the sizable pool and deck were the things you saw most. Upstairs, a ginormous master suite with an included second room, plus views to the north of the mountains and downtown L.A., got your attention more than the carpeted master bath (ooof, remember the 1980s?).

This listing came out at $3.189M and got multiples of offers, likely bid up significantly.

What's the most you would guess? Guess higher.

(Disclosure: Dave had clients who offered on the property.)

1613 5th Street Manhattan Beach CA1613 5th (5br/5ba, 4400 sqft.)

This home sports a 1992 build date, just a bit later than the neighbor across the street that's already in escrow.

But here, the work has been done.

That is, flooring has been updated or replaced. The kitchen has been extensively remodeled. The master bath was redone in inspiring fashion with a Spanish flair.

It would appear here that the sellers' furniture was used for the presentation, rather than staging, but it's quite nice and not remotely dated.

1613 5th Street Manhattan Beach CALike the neighbor across the street, this home features a pool. Somehow, even the pool and deck feel more "updated."

Yes, there are some sunken rooms, partly because that was a style of the time, partly owing to the property's downslope. You have to follow the lot down, so you make gradual transitions.

This one just debuted late last week at $3.389M, and should have interest right away, in light of what's gone on nearby in just the past few weeks. 

Does the final price here capture the value of the existing remodel, when compared with relatively original (but nicely presented) 1622 5th?

We'll check back after each of these close for a final analysis.

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