Weekend Opens (11/12-11/13)

By Dave Fratello | November 12th, 2011
We're going to throw the rulebook out – this should be a slow time, but the number of listings popping onto the market is surprising. We couldn't even get to everything Friday; 2 that we saw (including 121 36th Place) are technically off-market listings looking to generate some buzz before they launch who-knows-when.

East MB seemed particularly to be popping. Janie Sue Nagy reviews the new offerings there in a new post.

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 always, we appreciate it when readers see these homes and offer opinions here at MBC.

Sand Section

121 36th Place (4br/4ba, 2700 sq. ft.) is a newer (2005) custom build on a 2/3rds-size lot (1725 sq. ft.) just a few steps up from The Strand.

It's not on the MLS now and will be open this Sunday for, they say, a one-time, exclusive open house. So check it out. Now.

The top level boasts a full-bore, PV-to-Malibu ocean panorama as well as the sounds of crashing surf.

The home blends an exterior style that's more the modern Mediterranean, while the living spaces boast the all-white aesthetic you'd find more commonly in a coastal Cape Cod, but we'll try not to make too much of a stylistic disagreement. It's a fully modern, spectacular space upstairs, and if you climb up on tiptoes, you may see the waves crash into the sand. The neighbor to the west is new construction, so the view now is the view you'll keep.

On a smaller lot like this, you expect to find rooms that are a bit tight, and that's the case. The master is clearly the master, but with no extra space. There are 2 kid bedrooms and a laundry room sharing the main bedroom floor, so space is at a premium everywhere. A 4th bedroom is downstairs at the garage level.

But here's the surprise: Go below the garage level, and there's an extra bonus room plus a big wine cellar. The space seems now to be sort of a gym/media room. However you use it, space dug out beneath the garage like this clearly shows a commitment to maximizing the lot.

121 36th Place is being put out there for $2.799m at this time. We'll see about that. It's open Sun. 1-3pm.

2303 Vista (4br/4ba, 2500 sq. ft.) is a 10-year-old non-view TH east of Alma with an unusually large amount of space, modernistic flair and highly custom decorator finishes. Wallpaper may seem sooo yesterday, but here they've got some with panache.

The top-floor living space is built around a fun balcony/atrium that brings in extra light and makes for a good, private outdoor space in itself. If you can't have views, at least you can have privacy.

Vista joins a fairly slow segment of the market, Sand Section THs around $1.6m, starting up at the higher end at $1.699m.

This TH last traded in 2009 for $1.662m, and sold 2 years before that for a bit more.

Stunner: This unit was purchased brand new in 2002 for $995k, and resold 5 years later for – ready? – $1.720m, a 72% jump.

2303 Vista starts at $1.699m and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

119 El Porto (3br/4ba, 1750 sq. ft.) is exactly what someone wanted – a somewhat updated 1980s TH just steps from our town's best surf break.

It was placed in "backup offer" status just after the brokers' open house on Friday. (The property has logged 30 DOM but this was the first time it was on the Friday tours.)

119 El Porto came out at $1.399m, and is slated to be open Sun. 1-4pm. If this is on your radar, best to hurry. 

Tree Section

766 33rd (5br/5ba, 4800 sq. ft.) is a giant, early-90s home on a much bigger-than-normal Tree Section lot.

Those things are nice starting points, but a $2.499m start price raises eyebrows very high.

If you took note of that square footage, you won't be surprised to find big rooms, extra spaces, a layout that is generally inflated and boasts something extra around each corner.

There appear to be 2 separate guest bedrooms, one smaller one on the entry level and another just a few steps up from the great room. It's really 3br on the main bedroom level. The master suite, up on top and in back, has some surprising views to the east, with the Tree Section dropping off gently toward Laurel and giving you big treetop and rooftop views in that direction. 

You won't find much of a yard – an outdoor grassy area with a small, built-in hot tub is out back, while a front yard area is outfitted so that you could hang out outside if you like.

Though the home is certainly livable and is mostly in good condition, there are several points where you may wince and say, "that needs to be updated."

Don't you think that, for this kind of money, you should get a modern home, beautiful, ready to go? Even if you overpay? (See our discussion of 605 33rd in "-1% Since '07?")

Maybe the issue here comes down to math vs. aesthetics. Big home on big lot on big street = big dollars. But are there buyers who will pay $2.5m and then start work? Is this a $3m house when updated?

The home is vacant, so it looks like one that's meant to sell. We're really curious to see how buyers react.

766 33rd starts at $2.499m and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

2708 Ardmore (4br/3ba, 1850 sq. ft.) is a 1973 build touted as an "[a]rchitect's personal residence," which certainly hints that it doesn't echo the 70s so much anymore, but rather a talented artist's reimagining of the space.

Though the home has been reconfigured and updated – including a great kitchen re-do that's just a few years old – we can't call it a smashing architectural statement. It's a mostly competent remodel that, unfortunately, is wearing at the edges.

The home has an NOD against it and will likely be sold "as-is" only. They are looking for offers ASAP.

The layout is upside-down, with 3 official bedrooms all downstairs. The 4th referenced in the count must be the built-out garage space, but the room is accessed through another bedroom. (The garage is not usable for parking or storage as a result.)

The top-floor living spaces get nice views of the greenbelt out the front, and Tree Section treetops and rooftops out the back off the kitchen. Of course, traffic noise is a factor. There's really no yard on this 2500 sq. ft. lot.

Want into the 90266, west of the highway, for about $1m? This is one of the better options for folks with those basic search parameters, it's just not going to knock your socks off.

2708 Ardmore starts at $1.149m and is open Sat. only 1-4pm.

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