Weekend Opens (1/15-1/16)

By Dave Fratello | January 15th, 2011
Three winter storms in 3 weeks back east, and meanwhile we're entering our traditional January warming with perfect beach days for a long, holiday weekend here in MB.

Shoveling has a whole different meaning here.

And some of those out-of-towners really think they've got it better. Well, it takes all kinds.

Speaking of all kinds, do you remember "Creepy Carrie?" (See "Creepie Carrie Hawks an HB Listing.")

Turns out, someone rather famous named Ellen thought Carrie more closely resembled the Bride of Chucky, and this, somehow, provided the opening for the newest South Bay Confidential column in the Daily Breeze. See the "Home Guide" in your print edition, or read it online here.

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.

Tree Section

Want to live in a large house in the Trees for less? That's where some new options have opened up this week.

1724 Oak (5br/4ba, 3325 sq. ft.) may lure you into thinking "new construction," though it's actually 10 years old. What's happened here in the past few months is a complete, head-to-toe remodel – virtually everything was removed and replaced. New floors, new kitchen, new baths – far more than a little tidying and fresh paint.

It seems the home's first decade was messy. When it was briefly on the market late last Summer, the listing warned that it needed "a MAJOR renovation" and that "items laying around ... could cause difficulty for some potential buyers to view." The 5-letter version: it was a wreck. An investor grabbed it for $1.060m.

So here it is again, now a well-rehabbed flip with the utterly familiar layout of a speckie from the last cycle. If you saw a pristine, newer home of this size anywhere but Oak, you'd call the start price of $1.595m a near-steal. 

But the home is on Oak, and the "wrong" side, at that – backing up to a commercial building's parking lot on Sepulveda. The trees out back shield the noise somewhat and obscure the view – even from the second floor – but it is where it is.

People have made the calculation before – get the biggest, nicest house you can in your ZIP code and don't be too fussy about location. What will buyers pay here?

1724 Oak starts at $1.595m, and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

While Oak's distress is now in its past and it mainly suffers over location, 2818 Ardmore (5br/5ba, 3500 sq. ft.) has a current distress situation plus a location issue.

And like Oak, it's offering a big, newer (2001) home for about $1.5m. The distress here is that it's a short sale, and the listing mentions NODs. The location along Ardmore is not going to work for everyone, but it probably has less of a stigma than the "wrong" side of Oak.

The home itself is different in some respects. The 5000 sq. ft. lot is oriented wide but shallow, meaning the first-floor great room seems qualitatively bigger than you may be accustomed to. The home's layout is a bit choppy, though, with a bedroom/office tucked away around a corner on the first floor and a small sitting/living room up front that seems out of the flow. The upstairs spaces are more than adequate and more of what you expect in a larger home born in the last decade.

Remember that note in the old Oak listing alluding to clutter that made the home hard to show? That's something of a current issue at 2818 Ardmore. Normally you'd empty the house and beige it up, but they haven't been able to do so here. You have to work a bit to imagine a big, clean slate that could work for you.

2818 Ardmore was purchased for $1.675m in Feb. 2005, begins now at $1.499m and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

2216 Ardmore (4br/3ba, 1850 sq. ft.) might have come out with the intention of being well-priced, but in size and condition it pales terribly in comparison to the other 2 new Tree Section listings. At least it's closer to downtown and the park.

The home looks to have had a remodel roughly in the 80s or early 90s, but now feels dated all around, and shows some obvious needs for maintenance here and there.

Because of the home's position on a little uphill slope, the entry's a peculiar, long, dark series of covered stairs. You enter into the living room, with the kitchen/eating area back toward the front of the home along Ardmore; an unusual layout. A very large patio is on this "main" level, reaching back to a little grassy yard. Bedrooms are split up and down.

With all that said, the home does photograph well, as the listing pics show. (A virtual tour adds music and larger-size pics.)

2216 Ardmore starts at $1.399m and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

We didn't see any new single-family inventory pop up this week in the Sand, but there are a few worth a look even if you're just trying to gauge the best ocean views of the weekend.

We'll repeat last week's recommendation to see 222 17th (pictured) a special modern in a great location. It's at $5.250m, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Big views are also on tap at 337 16th (4br/4ba, 4550 sq. ft.), priced at $2.999m, open Sat. only 1-4pm.

A modern TH with views is 2300 Alma (3br/3ba, 2525 sq. ft.), newly repriced at $2.249m, and open Sun. 1-3pm.

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