Weekend Opens (11/20-11/21)

By Dave Fratello | November 20th, 2010
Well, we went and did it – talked up the toasty weather and big ocean views just in time to see Mother Nature deliver a somewhat stormy weekend. See our new Daily Breeze column, a revision and expansion of the MBC story earlier in the week on Hill Section lot sales.

New listings these days have slowed to a trickle, but an intriguing mix nonetheless.

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.

Sand Section

617 Crest (3br/4ba, 2230 sq. ft.) is the answer if your question is: What's the most you can do to a late-90s townhome?

Purchased just 2 years ago for $1.520m, the TH has been overhauled and updated in every way to reach a par with new construction inside. It's now got dark, distressed hardwood floors, wainscotting, modern baths and a giant kitchen island that anchors a 3rd-floor entertaining space.

The unit's in back off Highland (hence the Crest address) but does have a taste of ocean view at this time. (The left half of the living room windows seen just above.) It's worth checking whether new construction in front could block that view.

The downtown TH starts with a big markup over 2008 to reflect the massive re-do, up to $2.095m (+$575k/+38%) – quite a jump, but the whole package comes in below $1,000/PSF (at $939/PSF).

617 Crest is open Sat. only, from 1-4pm.

220 15th Place (4br/3ba, 1700 sq. ft.) is also a remodeled TH near downtown, but it's not nearly in the same league as Crest.

Start with the fact that it's a somewhat typical 60s box. It has been refreshed over the years, though, and has even had a recent facelift that features bamboo floors that have been newly stained dark, modern-style smoked-glass doors and updated kitchen and baths. 

The whole package is not very high-end, but it's attractive enough. The big draws are the ocean view, 4th bedroom and extra space on top of what seems more common to the era – nothing is too squished.

The TH has been a rental for most of the time since it was purchased for $1.160 in May 2005. It's up now at $1.499m (+$339k/+29%).

220 15th Place is open Sat. only, from 1-4pm.

224 31st is a newer (2005), custom-built Mediterranean west of Highland with max square footage (5br/5ba, 4200 sq. ft.) and ocean views.

We've mentioned it a few times here, but it recently got a referesher with a completely new paint job. A sage green, for instance, recasts the exterior from its prior brown.

As we've noted, this one ran July-September this year at $3.499m, quit and came back at at $3.679m (+$180k/+5%) after a neighboring modern at at 228 31st (4br/4ba, 3930 sq. ft.) sold for $3.8m.

224 31st is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

Tree Section

2100 Pine (5br/5ba, 3100 sq. ft.) is a newer, custom-built timeless classic with a distinctly American flavor. If you've had your fill of Mediterraneans, quasi-Spanish homes or even typical Cape Cods, this one merits serious consideration.

The home's got the classic floorplan of newer construction – a big kitchen & great room open to an attractive, hardscape patio with an outdoor fireplace. The first-floor dining area has built-in cabinets (you don't see that in speckies) and the hallway bath is tricked out with attractive tiles. The kitchen ceiling boasts top-quality cabinets, marble counters (sorry, granite lovers) and 100-year-old beams in the ceiling for an added, classic touch.

Indeed, you can say this about the whole house: It's a got a lot of what you're used to finding in higher-end, newer homes, but there's something extra and snazzy in every detail, as befits a custom dream home.

One custom design element we liked a lot – the high ceilings in the kitchen with skylights on the south side of the home. Most new construction would have some kind of second-floor living space above the kitchen, but here you get added height and light, and don't really seem to miss much upstairs as a result.

The lot was acquired for $1.4m in Aug. 2006 before ground was broken on the new home. The folks who built it for themselves needed to unload it shortly after completion, trying for as much as $2.425m before selling for $2.1m this past March. After a job change, the current owners also need to get out, and they're asking for slightly less than they paid: $1.995m.

2100 Pine is open Sun. 1-4pm.

3100 Laurel (4br/3ba, 2100 sq. ft.) is a major project that shows every bit of its mid-60s vintage, including thick, gold shag carpeting and a kitchen that seems original. The corner lot on which the home's built has a peculiar incline to it that puts the garage on the 2nd floor.

With its odd layout, the home's hard to imagine, even in a redone state, and the lot's less than ideal for building.

But the listing calls this a "diamond in the rough" and a "tropical paradise," suggesting that with "some TLC" you will find this "the home you have been waiting for." It'll take a visionary. We're actually eager to see what someone makes of this home down the road.

3100 Laurel ran a month at $1.399m in September, and returns now with a new agent – and somewhat more enthusiasm behind it – at $1.225m.

3100 Laurel is open Sun. 1-3pm.

2301 Oak (3br/2ba, 1150 sq. ft.) is a 50s cottage that's gotten a recent facelift – like several of the homes mentioned here this week.

The home didn't change hands recently, but was prepared for market with a serious overhaul that modernized kitchen & baths, refreshed the original hardwood flooring with a dark stain and extended hardwood into the kitchen. The home's still distinctly of its era but feels fresh and requires nothing of the family that moves in.

All 3 bedrooms share a bath, which will be a drawback, though a second half-bath is up near the kitchen off a laundry room. There's also a quirk by which the back yard and patio are accessed through one of the bedrooms or off the laundry room, rather than directly from a living space.

The closest comp would be 3005 Oak (3br/2ba, 1175 sq. ft.), which is in escrow now after a cut to $925k. That one was recently rebuilt inside with insurance money after a fire, though the re-do didn't have quite the style you find at 2301. We don't have a closed price there yet.

2301 Oak starts at $939k and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-3pm.

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