Weekend Opens (11/13-11/14)

By Dave Fratello | November 13th, 2010
There's not too much new this week, after a couple with some gems that sold quickly. But we're thinking that one theme for any weekend touring ought to be views, views, views. 

If you've been anywhere near the coast recently, we've had some sparklingly clear days with Catalina in clear view, azure seas, even crisp views of downtown L.A., if that's your thing. (We're trying to put out of mind that silly "mystery missile" from Monday night's sunset.)

We'll start with a list below of open houses offering the best ocean views, hoping we don't invite some unexpected marine layer by doing so.

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 the featured homes, or any open house, to also report back in the comments here. Tell us what you see, what you like and what you don't like.

It's Got to Be the Views

222 John (4br/4ba, 3850 sq. ft.) (pictured) is a late-90s contemporary custom-built to the lot to maximize the spectacular ocean views. Now at $3.149m after 5 months and open Sun. 2-4pm.

219 N. Dianthus (4br/4ba, 3300 sq. ft.) has a quirky layout, but utterly amazing views from one of the highest spots in the MB Hill Section. This one has lingered nearly 6 months and is now at $1.949m, and open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.

2716 Highland (3br/3ba, 1850 sq. ft.) looks over Bruce's Beach to the south, capturing the MB pier and the PV Peninsula. (Pictured.) They say the home's current height would be "tough to duplicate" given changes in the regs. This one's priced at $1.674m and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

2300 Alma (3br/4ba, 2520 sq. ft.) is a warm modern townhome with big views as well. Priced at $2.399m and open Sun. 1-4pm.

And if you'd dare to slip over to Hermosa, check out 2219 Park Ave. (4br/4ba, 3125 sq. ft.), at the crest of the hill near Monterey Blvd. and Circle Drive, which has those big-blue-marble views from the kitchen and living room upstairs, plus a well-outfitted roof deck that takes it all literally to another level. Priced at $1.950m and open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.

Not The Views, but The News

563 33rd (3br/2ba, 1650 sq. ft.) looks somewhat better in pictures than it does in person. The photos can't quite capture the rough edges, dated features or peculiar layout.

The pics don't capture those elements, but the start price – $1.149m – is meant to communicate that this is a flawed house that otherwise boasts some nice attributes and, as they say, "potential." That's a full 5400 sq. ft., street-to-alley lot with a flat, grassy backyard, and with a medium amount of work you could have something decent here.

We mentioned a layout issue: The original, late-40s home makes up the front part of the home, with two smallish bedrooms. A narrow hallway between them steps down into a bonus room, which connects to a staircase in back to reach the master suite upstairs.

It's a bit cobbled-together, as many of these additions tend to be. The kitchen and master bath both need updating – potentially costly projects – and the whole house, outside and in, could use freshening up. Some folks will be tempted to remove the existing garage and move it to the alley, another pricey move toward perfecting the house.

Location is OK, though that may depend on how you feel about Sand Dune Park and how effectively demand for use of the park has been squelched by the new regulations there. You can see The Dune just a stone's throw from the front yard, and in the old free-for-all days at the park, this home would have been affected more than most.

563 33rd starts at $1.149m and is open Sat. 12-4pm, Sun. 12-3pm.

3201 Laurel (3br/2ba, 1650 sq. ft.) offers the same bed/bath and square footage as 33rd, in a better location, for about $100k more. One big difference: not much of a yard.

No quirky remodel here – the 3br are all together on the home's single floor, set off from the main living spaces. It's a very typical early-50s cottage layout. Hardwood floors seem to be original but in very good condition. Kitchen is quite small but has been updated within the last 10-15 years, and is clean and cheerful.

The lot slopes up in back to a garage and small bonus room. To get there, you cross a lovingly planned and tended "Hawaiian garden," and while we hope that's appreciated by the next owners, sadly we have our doubts. In fact, the home pushes a Hawaii theme in a few places, enough to make you think the address is 3201 Lanai, instead of Laurel.

3201 Laurel starts at $1.268m and is open Sun. 1-3pm.

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