Weekend Opens (10/15-10/16)

By Dave Fratello | October 15th, 2011
No "Southwesterns" this week, alas. After 2 straight weeks with debuting listings in the SW style, we were wondering if a trend was afoot.

Not so much in RE... turns out, it was weather. That desert blast this week just about fried MBC HQ. Yes, we joke about MB homes with A/C but there are ~5 days a year when we'd like to have it, too, alas.

This being mid-October, there are just a few new opens this week, small to big, lower tier to top tier, small and ungainly huge.

To liven up your weekend reading, have a glance at this week's South Bay Confidential column, which looks at multi-million-dollar properties that just seem to be having trouble finding their buyers. Wonder why that is.

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

As usual, we appreciate it when readers share views on this week's featured properties. Let us know what you like, don't like or must have.

Hill Section

510 Poinsettia (5br/5ba, 4300 sq. ft.) doesn't show you much in the photos; you need a tour to get a good sense of this custom home.

The 2002 build is promised to be "timeless" by the listing, and it actually delivers nicely. The home has a distinctly warm feel to it, with lots of thoughtful and even whimsical extras that make it feel special. (For instance: reclaimed, imported brick floors in the kitchen, nice but not garish woodwork, snappy tiles here, little paint flourishes there.)

View from 510 Poinsettia.  
As with many ocean-view homes, this one sports an "upside-down" layout, with 4 of the 5 bedrooms downstairs.

One is a separate guest suite up front, while 2 br share a jack-and-jill bath and the sizable master is tucked away in back, with access to the grassy back yard. ("[L]ushly landscaped" is a stretch – there's grass, some bushes and an overbearing tree that needs to be tamed.) Notably, the master is not the only yard access – a sizable family/game room opens with french doors out to the yard as well.

Also downstairs, tucked away is a very large laundry room with separate sink and lots of storage. If you can have a favorite laundry room, this might be ours.

Upstairs, the modern kitchen is a delight, and the sizable outdoor living spaces in back, including a covered eating area off the dining room, are great surprises. Living areas up front grab some ocean and PV view – plus, we were told, Malibu on a clear day.

No doubt, Poinsettia is one of the busier streets in the Hills, and for some that will be a turnoff. It's also not quite high enough up the hill to grab the most spectacular views, but what this one gets is pretty good. Check it out.

510 Poinsettia starts at $3.499m and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

88 Manhattan Ave. (3br/4ba, 2150 sq. ft.) is an updated, 1996 TH with generous ocean views down Hermosa's wide 35th St. immediately to the west.

To fit 3br on the middle level, as this TH does, requires that none be large, though the master suite has just enough space – plus the views – to clearly establish itself.

The flooring, wall colors and cabinetry all give the midfloor a casual, slick, modern feel that very much suits MB. Laundry, storage and garage dominate the lowest floor – a dumbwaiter helps get groceries up to the action areas.

Up top, the spacious kitchen/living/dining areas open out to a good-sized deck that truly drinks in those views. The kitchen sparkles with modern updates. A 2-story waterfall fountain is a striking feature from the entry up to the living spaces. A great feel overall.

88 Manh. Ave. sold during construction in '96 for $552k.
88 Manhattan Ave. really, really benefited from the runup after its construction in '96. To wit:
  • Dec. 1996: $552k (new)
  • Jan. 2004: $1.399m
  • May 2006: $1.949m
  • Nov. 2007: $2.200m
As we sometimes observe in situations like this: "Can you say 'bubble?'"

Obviously, the TH was updated in between those sales. Still, this year's start price of $1.899m is the first step down for the property, ever. The start price would reflect a 14% drop from 2007. (Maybe they should have sold it off-market.)

Adjoining unit note: 89 Bayview is the second unit in back, of similar size, built at the same time and also updated nicely, if differently, since. It has nothing like the same views, but it is up off Manhattan Ave. It sold in Jan. 2010 for $1.565m.

88 Manhattan Ave. is up at $1.899m, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Tree Section

3528 Poinsettia (3br/1ba, 1200 sq. ft.) makes pretty clear the compromises you need to make to get into the Trees for under $1m, but for this tier, it's an attractive option.

The 1950s original cottage looks to have been a 2br, with a third added on later in back. Alas, they never added a second bath, so everyone shares a smallish 50s bath with a shower/tub combo.

Though common spaces are fairly tight, there's a nice bonus in a converted garage – complete with carpeting and glass doors, the "garage" is staged as a separate media room, but not counted in the square footage.

The kitchen is completely modern and stylish, the main plus-plus feature of the home. New carpet, sharp paint and nice trim do upgrade the overall feel of the home, even as the layout betrays its vintage.

Back yard is now dominated by an above-ground hot tub and a very cool outdoor shower. It's a real stall, built out and tiled and pretty attractive – not merely a shower head stuck on a wall. There's also a little astroturf patch behind the tub and garage to give the littlest ones a place to run around.

3528 Poinsettia starts at $975k and is open Sat & Sun 1-4pm.

East MB

1623 6th (6br/4ba, 4950 sq. ft.) certainly has size going for it – it's a never-ending amalgam of spaces that somehow still retain a substantial back yard. This is complete utilization of one of those famous 7500 sq. ft. East MB lots. If you need lots of space and grass, this may be your place.

The 1990 build has been updated a bit, mainly with a cherry wood-type hardwood flooring throughout the house, including bedrooms. (Some legacy marble tile still adorns the entry, while Spanish tile covers the kitchen, bar and informal dining area.)

Curiosity 1: The vast, kitchen-sized wet bar opening into the living area. This is no quiet corner, it's a major first-floor feature.

Curiosity 2: The master bedroom is so huge, several people could live there – or, with the space tweaked a bit, at least 2 could play racquetball. But the 2 master closets are more like walk-by closets (open, at that) than walk-in closets, a surprising short-changing of space when there was square footage to give.

Though there's a lot on offer here, updates and a general sprucing up are in order. Credit goes to the photographer for making the home appear sharper than it feels in person.

1623 6th starts at $1.859m, or $374/PSF, which must seem tiny by comparison to other sales, but that price seems ambitious nonetheless. It's open Sat. & Sun. 2-5pm.

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