Weekend Opens (12/10-12/11)

By Dave Fratello | December 10th, 2011
Santa, this year, will you please keep blowing things up in Manhattan Beach?

You will? Oh, thanks!

MB's downtown fireworks, shot off the pier, visible for miles – presumably – will go skyward this Sunday night at 7pm.

(For more on MB's and other regional holiday fireworks shows – including Marina Del Rey's on Saturday night – see this post from CBS-LA by Mrs. MBC.)

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 usual, we appreciate it when readers share views on this week's featured properties.

Sand Section

2909 Bayview (3br/4ba, 2450 sq. ft.) is a remodeled, mid-80s SFR that doesn't look like much from the outside, but that is not where it's meant to shine.

The unusual, but pleasant, interior holds a series of nice surprises. Yet the spectacle – the huge payoff – is the world-class ocean panoramas from the second and top floors, which appear to be unblockable. Really.

The hill's steep here, and the dropoff favors 2909 Bayview a lot. A new construction project to the southwest seems to define the max height for neighbors, and it would not impinge much. Even if/when the neighbor to the west goes up to maximum height, it should be no problem.

To see those views, which invite you to consider Summer here as Winter nears – go.

The home surprises upon walking in, with its curious, semicircular staircase taking center stage, and the bedrooms on the bottom and midlevels all featuring strange corners and hideaway spaces. You can tell that it was an 80s original that folks have updated – particularly with the new, dark flooring and 21st-century baths.

Speaking of baths, the master gets one of the more amazing features we've seen – a dual shower with a truly panoramic ocean view of its own. Here and there around the South Bay, including homes up at the highest points on the PV peninsula, we've encountered master bath showers that offer such wow-wow-wow views, and this one is in the top tier.

The caveat: To fully drink it in of an average morn, you might also need to be a bit of an exhibitionist. (Hey, who's looking at 7am?)

The top-floor living space is well planned to draw in those views, with a conversational space, dining space and deck capitalizing on this asset, and even the step-up kitchen area benefiting. That kitchen, which seems to have been fully modernized within the past few years, is strangely absent from the listing pics, but it's slick. In fact, the high-end appliances, rather than being stainless steel, seem to have an unusual – but great – flat-black metal finish. The next wave?

We stepped into Bayview fresh, with no information or assumptions, and began thinking, "Could this get 1.9?" We picked up a flyer and got the list price: $2.299m. That was a little shock.

2909 Bayview was last sold in Feb. 2006 for $2.150m, and for $1.440m just 3 years earlier. Obviously some remodeling has been done along the way – from a glance at the history, it looks like most of that was before 2006. This will be an interesting one to watch as they find their level.

2909 Bayview starts at $2.299m and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

228 33rd (3br/3ba, 1825 sq. ft.) is a remodeled, custom SFR that really looks nothing like this official listing photo. The snapshot is so heavily glazed and treated it reminds you of the awkward, impolite thoughts you may have upon seeing someone who's had "some work done" and it just doesn't look right.

Fortunately, the home is more real.

As with 2909 Bayview, the chief asset of this offering is its spectacular ocean panoramas. You can actually see the surf breaking and some sand from the top level, in addition to the great sweep of PV-to-Malibu.

This is terrific, but don't buy the views, because they're temporary. Some day, 3 or 30 years from now, when the neighbor gets built up, most of those views just won't be there – though views to the north will remain. It's a stark contrast to the listing we discussed just above.

This one also has much more of a typical TH layout (though it is an SFR), with a smallish bedroom on the lower (garage) level, 2br on the midfloor and a goodly size, not huge, top level with the kitchen and living spaces. Flooring for the top level is all tile, not the hardwood you might expect these days.

We must mention that, if you go by the legal definition of a bedroom – a room with a closet – this one is not a 3br really, but a 2 bedroom. One "bedroom" is now outfitted as an office with significant built-ins, and has no closet.

Location here is immediately west of Highland, with a commercial building on Highland shielding the home from some traffic noise and the westward orientation helping further to mitigate noise. Here, you are as much in the thick of MB's "second downtown" up north as you can possibly get, a nice bonus. 

228 33rd was last purchased in June 2005 for $1.630m, and starts now at $1.750m. It is open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.

Tree Section

3405 Pacific (4br/4ba, 3200 sq. ft.) is aiming for the "sweet spot" we've discussed here, in some way, for several months.

Newer construction, 4-5br, 3000+ square feet, and a Cape Cod-style build, to boot – this is roughly where the market is thin, and demand strong.

Pacific doesn't have a yard (a small, paved rear patio meets the legal requirement for outdoor space) and the location is going to be a no-go for lots of potential buyers. (Like our frustrated clients in this range.)

But once you account for those factors, 3405 Pacific has a lot of what folks want. It's a nicely executed Cape Cod, bright and white and featuring a nice kitchen (Carrara marble!). It has a substantial first-floor guest suite plus 3 big bedrooms upstairs, and a bright landing/play area/homework area/2nd living room just off the bedrooms that can continue to serve that role, or can be converted to a 5th bedroom with some studs and wallboard.

The first-floor layout is a bit different – you enter into a separate formal living room (now used as an office by the current tenants) and step up to a formal dining area and then back to the great room. There's a little patio off the living/dining rooms up front, mainly a walkway from the garage (semi-attached). Peek inside that garage – a high ceiling makes way for a huge storage platform built in up above.

3405 Pacific won't be around long, we're told – it's up now to alert buyers in this range that there's an option out there they may not be aware of.

Because it's a Pacific address, this one draws a natural comparison to 2 very recent sales along that street: 2610 Pacific (5br/5ba, 3225 sq. ft.) at $1.499m and 800 19th (5br/4ba, 3650 sq. ft.) at $1.952m. It's somewhat newer than 2610 and that Cape Cod style probably gives it extra points, while it's smaller and very difficult to compare to the delightful 800 19th, south of Valley.

Another comparable sale among homes with a location issue would be 3525 Walnut (4br/4ba, 3500 sq. ft.), a newer Caliterranean given away last month for $1.340m. Say what you will about Pacific near the refinery – 3405 is in a notably better location than that one.

3405 Pacific starts at $1.639m and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

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