Weekend Opens (10/22-10/23)

By Dave Fratello | October 22nd, 2011
You would hardly know it's late October by the rush of listings. A lot of new opens are coming up east of Sepulveda – as this post will demonstrate – but there are land sales, elite sales and all kinds of things west of the highway as well.

A bumper crop one week before Halloween? That's a surprise by any measure.

Those of you reading MBC on the main site (rather than by email) have seen our ad for a couple of weeks for Saturday's TEDx event in MB, themed "Transforming Learning."

The all-day event did sell out, but you can view streaming video on the TEDxMB blog, or see updates on the event's Facebook page and on Twitter using the hashtag #TEDXMB. (We like the note from Stanford U folks who brought a 3-D printer – we have got to make MBC 3-D some day.)

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.

Sand Section

2517 Vista (3br/3ba, 2125 sq. ft.) is a fairly large SFR on a half lot with surprisingly good ocean views, just steps from Grandview school.

The home sports a 1998 build date, reflecting a top-floor addition around that time. It's well-preserved since then and clean, but clearly could use some updates.

Probably the major concern for a family moving in would be the layout, with the 3br each on separate levels. Indeed, the first-floor bedroom (just off the garage) doesn't literally have a closet, though it does have an attached bath, and could be used as a sleeping space in any number of ways. We're told that a wall to seal the room off is in the plans but was never put in to keep it open.

The true master is on the top floor, just off of a second family room – the one with the big views. There's one living/dining room on the middle level with the kitchen, plus that view room up top. (Oddly, an agent who reviewed the property for the Redfin property page calls that 3rd floor master a "bedroom" in quotes, as if it's somehow less than real. We don't get why they wrote it that way.)

Views from the top floor and ample deck are great, drinking in some ocean and PV regularly, and Catalina on a clear day. If the little home to the west were built up, you'd lose some, but not all of that view, and there are reasons to feel secure that it won't be built up soon. (Buyer to verify, of course.)

2517 Vista launched in late April at $1.599m and recently cut to $1.499m and got staged as part of a more determined effort to sell. It's open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.

Tree Section

1605 Pine  
1601 and 1605 Pine (5br/4ba, 3000 sq. ft.) are the 2 newest Speedy Speckies to reach completion and debut on the market for public viewing.

If you've seen any of the others, there are few surprises. 1605 is the Caliterranean of the 2, replete with the surprising details common to these: stone laminate inside, framing doorways and covering walls; gold-flecked, ornate railings; palm trees in the driveway, and so forth. 1601 is the more Cape Cod-ish.

Both homes will feel smaller than the rest of the bunch, and they are. The 4200 sq. ft. lots here are somewhat smaller than standard Tree Section lots, and due to city building restrictions, the homes max out at 3000 sq. ft., or 200 sq. feet less than their brother speckies. While everything seems just a little smaller, we noticed this most in the kitchen/great room for 1605, which truly felt shortchanged. On the plus side, the back yard with patio and grass seemed surprisingly ample for a small lot.

Interestingly, both speckies are priced at $600/PSF, just a tick above the Tree Section's median PPSF of $584/PSF. 

1601 and 1605 Pine are priced at $1.799m and are open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

Speedy Speckie update: We had heard, and ignored, tales about a 6th Speedy Speckie in the works. Whoops! Turns out, the 6th just hit the market: 3613 Maple at $1.599m – a price to reflect the location one door off of Rosecrans. This lot was acquired back in 2006 and only recently redeveloped. Not listed currently as a public open house. New construction for 1.6 – that's one to watch.

East MB

1622 10th (4br/4ba, 3500 sq. ft.) is an interesting and pretty compelling, updated mid-80s build with a substantial, sunny, south-facing yard on a 7500 sq. ft. lot.

The main living room is just off the entry, with grand, 2-story ceilings, a very tall rock-adorned fireplace, and lots of windows.

The formal dining room is in back, separated from the kitchen/great room in back but getting plenty of light and air from ample windows. The kitchen itself is very nicely updated in a Craftsmanesque style, with a very big walk-in pantry. (Hello, storage!)

Alas, this feels essentially like a 3-bedroom home, a shame for the large square footage. True, there is a first-floor bedroom (now an office) that might serve adequately as a guest space, and there is a big upstairs family/game room (pictured with a pool table) that could also become another upstairs bedroom, but the fact is that, for now, this is 3br plus office and bonus room. There's also a second office space now in a peculiar step-down space off the kitchen/great room – this would be a good homework area for kids.

The location on 10th has its pluses – a fairly flat street with sidewalks, just steps to Polliwog Park and (even closer) Manhattan Heights park, with its basketball and tennis courts, baseball field, tot lot and community center. Those are some nice assets nearby.

Sure, that mustardy paint color on the stucco must go, and we'd love to see someone substitute in better replacement windows – the day that the last white vinyl plastic windows are installed in America will be a great day. Still, most of the revisions this one needs to become a very nice home are minor.

1622 10th starts at $1.525m and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

1832 8th (5br/5ba, 4300 sq. ft.) is, comparatively, a far easier home to see, imagine and enjoy. It just has a big location issue to overcome.

Step inside, and the Caliterranean feels more open, bright and spacious than the typical late-bubble spec home. (It was built in 2004.) And it's a little bit different wherever you look.

Take the ultra-wide, arched hallway that leads from the entry right to the kitchen/great room and on to the substantial, sunny, south-facing yard. The "formal" living room is a truly separate, contained – even smallish – unit just off to the right of the entry. Fitting, since no one seems to love formal living rooms anyway.

The upstairs layout feels different, with each bedroom accessed off of an O-shaped landing and feeling quite private, each almost to its own. They're all very sizable, to boot.

Overall the home felt very blank, with white walls, neutral accents and minimal furniture, but that should be largely a plus to help buyers imagine the space as their own.

With the high square footage, they've pushed the price up quite a bit to $1.795m, a 16% markup over the 2004 acquisition at $1.549m. Just 5 doors off of Aviation, that seems fanciful.

1832 8th starts at $1.795m and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

1601 Wendy Way (3br/2ba, 1350 sq. ft.) is a very nicely updated, if smallish, 50s cottage in Liberty Village.

It's so compelling at $899k, we doubt it will last.

The listing pics don't give the home its due, because the interior spaces are taut and nicely done. The kitchen, though still an alley reminiscent of the 50s, is seriously outfitted with newer cabinetry and a heavy, high-end range.

You won't always find 3br in an original cottage like this, and the bonus family room addition to the rear is a nice, second living space. The yard remains substantial, with a partly covered, paved patio out back as well.

1601 Wendy Wy. starts at $899k and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

Surprising Liberty Village note: Did you like how we just slipped in a reference to Liberty Village? Given MBC's longtime focus on homes west of the highway, references to The LV have been few and far between.

MBC launched in March 2007, but never used the phrase "Liberty Village" until April and August of 2010 – and then, each time, it was in reference to someone else's post, not a review of our own.

MBC's first post mentioning Liberty Village was a June 2011, jokey post about a sale at 1500 Lynngrove, reported at $93,000,000. OK, it was a typo. Today represents our first actual review of a home in The LV.

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