Weekend Opens (11/30-12/1)

By Dave Fratello | November 30th, 2013

You know how for days after Thanksgiving, you're asked to continue with a steady diet of turkey, stuffing, and whatever else remains in the fridge?

Try not to think of those meals as leftovers. They're "Greatest Hits."

Speaking of which, with no new listings debuting this weekend, the few open houses that will be out there call for MBC here to run a little "greatest hits" segment as well. To show our commitment to recycling, we're re-running a few listing reviews for homes still out there on the market.

Inventory update: 33 active listings as of Saturday morning. (Click here to see the search results.)

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

Tree Section

711 18th (5br/4ba, 2540 sq. ft.) is now starting its fourth week on the market, which may be surprising given the must-have location in the Martyrs neighborhood.

The home itself is odd and dated, a rare 3-level home owing to additions over the years. Entry is along the side of the house, coming into living spaces built around a patio toward the back that's enclosed on 3 sides.

Of the bedrooms, you've got 3 on a middle level steps up from the entry, the master another level above those, and one in a full guest suite way in back in an addition on the first floor.

Stairs up to the the main bedrooms are concrete, reflecting construction of an earlier time. The 3 br together on that middle level share a hallway bath. (Though there's also a half along with the laundry room.)

It's impressive to see what a little fresh carpet and staging can do to remove the overwhelming sense of the home being tired and needing updates. We've seen plenty of homes with similar bones and vintage that were shown empty and with old, rental-caliber carpeting, and they were dreary. Not here. But the fresh feel won't take away from the fact that the home wants a thoroughgoing modernization, and it could be a pricey project.

711 18th is priced at $1.865M and is open Sat. only 1-4pm.

3516 Blanche (3br/3ba, 3000 sq. ft.) sports a recently completed remodel that brought new baths and other fixes to a home that looked pretty decent when it last traded in 2010 (for $1.337M).

The layout sprawls along the length of the lot, with both garages and the entry near the back and coming off of busy Blanche, and two of the bedrooms at the very front of the lot facing out to a garden on 36th St. The big master suite with its terrific bath takes up the 2nd floor.

With 3000 sq. ft. and so much of that spread along the first floor, you'd be tempted to look for a place to add a 4th bedroom, but no. As a result of the way this home's been built and added onto over the years, there's really no place to get that 4th.

The kitchen here is newer, the hardwood flooring in good shape, and the living spaces fairly bright.

There's no getting around the noise factor from Blanche. It's a busy street for this area of the Tree Section, and the home's close to Rosecrans, to boot. And while you'll see a nice outside patio in the listing photos, be aware that it's accessed through the garages at the very southern end of the lot – not directly off any living areas.

3516 Blanche starts at $1.884M and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

3603 Manhattan Ave. (3br/4ba, 1900 sq. ft.) is a mid-90s Spanish style TH fairly near Rosecrans offering what are described as "Fully Executive Ocean Views." Lower down the corporate ladder, then, we assume you'd see less.

Since the views are a major selling point, it's necessary for a buyer to take note of the little 1-story cottage just to the west. If/when that gets built up, what will you have then? Something, of course, but not all of this Executive panorama will survive.

The home itself does not feel like many TH's we've been in, and that's a clear plus. We like variety. The builder brought a slightly different style to this set, some good Spanish accents and limiting the common walls of the 2 units to the backs of the kitchen cabinets upstairs. There's a little open hallway/atrium between the units. Nice touch.

Inside, the flooring is a mix of the expected saltillo tile and (restained) dark hardwood, the exception being the first-floor bedroom (with separate entry), which has gotten some kind of tile flooring in more recent years.

The kitchen, upstairs with major views, also hosts a little booth for casual dining that gets such awesome views, you might not want to go far after breakfast. Newer appliances and counters point to a fairly recent update here. Among the baths, the master bath has gotten the most substantial update, though the white marble plus dark wood – while very now – does not seem very "Spanish."

It seemed to us that the wall of windows upstairs had been recently replaced, a plus, although they seem to have used vinyl replacement windows. 

They're shooting for something special here, pricewise, at $2.499M, or $1,300/PSF.

Among the comps we see, 3312 Manhattan Ave. is comparable in size and location but sold for less ($2.299M, off market); 2417 Crest ($2.575M) was bigger by 400 sq. ft. and a knockout, style-wise (slick modern), and we believe its views are permanent/unblockable. Several other recent sales seem to be bigger and/or to have sold for much less. Browse this list of THs sold in the last 6 months to make your own judgment.

3603 Manhattan Ave. starts at $2.499M and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

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.

As we recently noted in "Another Big Reach," this one traded back in May 2012 for $1.925M, and is back now offered to the public at $2.650M. That's a markup of $725K and 38% over the acquisition price about 18 months ago.

To fit 3br on the middle level, as this TH does, each with their own baths, 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

Then came that off-market sale last year at $1.925M, the first dip in the property's sold prices over time, but now they're looking to fix that.

Did you notice the $250K bump over just 18 months from '06-'07?

Today, 18 months after the most recent trade, the question is whether the sellers can get over the 2007 number.

88 Manhattan Ave. is at $2.650M and is open Sun. 3-5pm.

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