Weekend Opens (12/15-12/16)

By Dave Fratello | December 15th, 2012
What do you think, 2012, do you have one last bidding war in you?

We've got a notion of where that might come.

There are 3 new listings competing for your attention in East MB this weekend, and another smallish SFR on a half lot in the Sand. Slim pickings if you're looking west of the highway, but what can you expect a week before Santa?

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

If you're thinking about getting into the market as a buyer or seller, please consider asking MB Confidential author Dave Fratello for help. For more, see MBC's Need an Agent?" page.

East MB

1201 Lynngrove (3br/2ba, 1975 sq. ft.) is bound to be a sensation, maybe the last great bidding war of 2012. We'll see (about this one and the balance of the year).

This Liberty Village beaut sports a 1950 build date (as does pretty much all of the LV), but it was taken down to studs 10 years ago, with more work to add space in 2008.

The effort shows in a sparkling, warm, open home with a sensible layout. It takes advantage of the favorable street-to-street lot, which carves out the garage on a lower level along Redondo Ave. in back. No "garage face" here.

We even found the views right across Redondo Ave. to Polliwog Park through the living room and master to be a cute plus – the park feels almost like the expansive yard of this home, at a glance.

The bedrooms and a dedicated office are all their own "wing" of the house along the north side, with a reasonably spacious master in back. Every room has bright hardwood floors; where additions were made, they did a good job closely matching the wood to the original.

Our overall enthusiasm faced a little hiccup when we reconsidered the common spaces. Big, open kitchen? Check. Dedicated dining area? Check. Family room? Well, yes. But that space felt smallish. The listing pic does not convey any reason for concern, but check it out in person.

On the plus side, there's a "playable," grassy front yard and more grass and hangout space in back. Redondo Ave. does run right along the rear of the house, though it's down several feet from the living areas – even outdoor living areas – and it's not clear how much of a factor it will be day to day. As we noted, Redondo Ave. has its upside, in that the views right across to Polliwog are a surprise bonus.

1201 Lynngrove starts at $1.250m, which might well be a perfect price, but it's going to scream "must have" this weekend and could get run up. It's open Sun. 1-4pm, and if you're interested, you'll need to rush in with an offer.

1751 Mathews
1751 Mathews (5br/4ba, 3650 sq. ft.) delivers a ton of house and extra, extra lot square footage for not much more than you'd pay for a similar home on a much smaller (conventional) lot in East MB. The start price: $2.125m.

The reason you get so much bang for the buck: Location.

If you drive along Aviation from time to time, you know this faux palace as the house at the end of the street (Mathews) right along Aviation with the soaring columns and large stone lion statues. It's a distinctive exterior.

We worried some that the home might be a little too faux opulent inside, carrying the "palace" theme a little too far. But after we passed the carved lions, we found a pretty conventional Caliterranean with a nice, unusual layout, but no excessive style or frills.

The first floor is free-flowing and wide-open, with a large, bright, 2-story ceiling over the formal living room, a long, wide kitchen with dining areas at either end (casual and formal).

Central to the first floor is a large family room. There's also a spare bedroom and access to the garage, which is positioned such that you'd never expect to park a car in it, and is currently set up as yet more bonus space. (A driveway along the side of the house seems to supply most on-site parking; turning sharply into the garage on a daily basis seems unlikely.)

While tile flooring dominates downstairs, attractive wood flooring is in most of the upstairs rooms, including a large landing area that could be an informal office space. The ancillary bedrooms probably suffer the most from traffic noise, being along the Aviation side of the house, with the master somewhat more protected.

Overhead view of the grounds at 1751 Mathews
Outside you have a positively huge space, or series of spaces. Plenty of grass in back and along one side of the house, plus plenty of paved area for entertaining, sports, etc. You say you want the yard? This is one of the largest we've seen in MB.

Aviation provides a constant buzz of traffic noise. But it's Aviation's diagonal orientation against this property that opens up the lot to be so huge – 12,200 sq. ft., or 60% bigger than a "standard" East MB full lot. Con, pro.

This one poses the location/value question as straightfowardly as we've seen in a while. Do you want a lot more of what you say you want for a low(er) price, in exchange for a major location liability?

This one shows a past sale in 2005 at $1.495m.

1751 Mathews starts at $2.125m, and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

We have found 1350 Gates (6br/6ba, 3500 sq. ft.) compelling in the past, but it's got a gaping flaw: Zero yard. That kept clients from moving on it.

This is not your typical Caliterranean. It's got modernistic aspirations. A huge, bright great room, and a very open feel. There is a terrific sense of open space from those rooms in back, owing to the way the hill drops off down from Gates toward the south. A rear patio takes some good advantage of that.

Upstairs, the spaces are conventional for a newer build (2008), but nice. More views from the master in back.

This one came out new as a spec home in 2008 at $2.249m, tried again in 2009 at prices ranging down to $1.849m, cascaded down to $1.779m in 2010-2011 (last listed June 2011), but kept renting out instead of selling.

Will the winds of change blow to Gates, too? They're back up at a 2008-type price, starting at $2.080m this year. It is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

441 28th Place (2br/2ba, 1075 sq. ft.) is a small, quirky 2br SFR, with a location that has its questions and its pluses. (Hey, the Plateau!)

Unfortunately, we didn't get to the brokers' open house in time, so we're all going on the listing pics here till the home opens up for public tours.

What do we know? It's a mid-80s build on a half lot on the alley. They claim 2 large bedrooms with their own baths, open living areas and new carpet.

This one is not to be confused with the nearly identically numbered 441 28th Street, a full-size lot sale that's in escrow now – and has been for quite a while – at $999k, but will go 20% higher.

441 28th Place starts at $985k, and as a guide, we assume they're looking at that semi-controversial half-lot property on the "right" (non-alley) side of 30th St. at 424 30th, which closed recently at $1.169m.

441 28th Place is open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.

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