Weekend Opens (12/7-12/8)

By Dave Fratello | December 7th, 2013

With rain Saturday, there's more pressure on Sunday – for the Sandpipers Holiday Home Tours as well as for open houses, the few that are new this weekend.

But that's all for the good, as the rain should clean our skies and make the fireworks Sunday all the more spectacular.

The MB Holiday Fireworks show at the pier starts with a bang at 7:00PM on Sunday. The snow park, bouncy park and music down by the pier begin at 3:30PM.

As we noted earlier this week, the MB fireworks are also on TV. In this case, the 2012 show is featured in a "competition" against Niagara Falls, NY, staged for a show called "Jingle Brawls" on the Travel Channel. If you'll be out, set your DVR.

And we'll tell you again here, local broadcast time is 4:00PM Sunday in HD, not the 7:00 you'll find in other media and even the official MB fireworks page. (We'll blame East Coast bias for the confusion, but it's 4:00!) HD channels: Verizon FiOS (670), Time Warner (869) and DirecTV (277).

This is a competition, folks. You can vote online for MB right here, right now at the Travel Channel's website. (Link goes direct to the voting page.)

We don't know how the people in Niagara Falls are approaching this, but you can vote now, even before the show airs. When MBC voted to test the system, it was fully operational. So, maybe you should do as they say in Chicago: Vote early, and vote often.

Do you really want to let MB lose to a waterfall that's basically in Canada? Vote now!

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

2518 Laurel (5br/4ba, 3400 sq. ft.) is a big, newer (2005) family home with echoes of what we'd now call a "plantation" style – but it's simply called "traditional" in the listing.

It's got the modern layout with a huge kitchen/great room in back, opening to the very private backyard. Flooring throughout most of the home is an attractive, dark-stained, quarter-sawn oak. The kitchen boasts a built-in seating area by the window, and cabinets given something of an antiqued look.

The downsloping lot does affect the layout some, as you step down and down going toward the rear of the home, and you need to descend another set of stairs to get to the yard – a slight interruption of the flow for entertaining.

The great room and yard are also on the eastern side of the house and sunken down a bit, which means that after the morning light passes by, these rooms really need artificial light to feel as warm and bright as you might want.

The formal living room at the entry is bright but quite small – a plus if you view such a space as a lightly used display area, rather than a room to linger in much. There's a bit of a squeeze as the living room steps down a narrow hall toward the formal dining area and to the great room. There's also a smallish spare bedroom on the first floor, which would access a full bath in the hallway.

The curved stairway up is a different feature for this style of home, and a rounded "catwalk" style hallway that gets you to the frontmost bedroom on the 2nd floor is unique. That front bedroom and another share a jack-and-jill bath that's tucked away off the corners of those rooms – a nice layout – and both of those rooms get lots of light, being on the southwestern side. A third kids' bedroom upstairs is a suite.

The master is pretty spacious, feeling all the more so as you go back toward the bath and closet, where the ceiling rises high. You'll (happily) need a ladder to get to some of the spaces in the master closet. Lots of space. From the back, the master looks out only at trees and rooftops, feeling very private.

Disclosure: Dave has toured this property with clients.

2518 Laurel starts at $2.595M and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

3521 Oak (3br/2ba, 1915 sq. ft.) is a symptom – or a sign, anyway – of the market we're in.

Just a few months ago, this one languished due to an awkward design and subpar location. (Here's the old listing.)

At 1900+ sq. ft., it was a lot of house for $1.200M, but the sellers couldn't even get that. They settled for $1.025M from a flipper.

Here we are back now, just 2 months after the prior sale closed, and a completely redone version of the home is back, at a steep markup ($1.599M).

The market indicator we're seeing here is that a flipper saw the opportunity, even given the location, to push the revamped home out profitably. We'd guess it's worth the investment selling now between $1.450M up to the list price of $1.6M. A rising market with low inventory seems to present such opportunities. (When this one listed, it became only the 35th active listing on the market.)

We haven't seen the home yet, as it has just posted. You'll quickly see in the listing pics that they've run with a pretty modern theme, not paying much heed to the southwestern type exterior.

What can they get for a remodeled 3br across from the hotel parking lot? And when?

The listing boldly proclaims: "Properties like this do not last long."

3521 Oak starts now at $1.599M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

East MB

1409 Wendy (3br/1ba, 1100 sq. ft.) is a blank slate of an original 50s cottage in Liberty Village.

On the positive side, the original hardwood floors have been covered protected by some carpeting for some number of years, so if you want to use them in the future version of this house, you'll have that to work with.

There are plenty of buyers who would take the chance to grab a cottage in the LV for about $900K like this and do what's often done in the area – expand back, out and/or up while keeping some of the original footprint. So many of the homes in Liberty Village are recognizable even today, 60 years after they were first built, even after generations of remodeling and modernizations. Scrapes are comparatively rare.

The various waves of modernization passed this home by – until now.

Location is going to be the factor that gives buyers pause. Wendy is – like Oak in the Tree Section – the last street in the LV before a major highway, Aviation in this case. The east side of Wendy suffers notably from the noise there, but here on the west side, it's what you might call the "right" side of Wendy. Also this side gives you a sunny backyard.

At 1409, the home is the 7th down off of 12th St., which is, itself, a bit of an artery in and out of Liberty Village and gets some traffic from the Trader Joe's parking lot. On balance, we saw this one as less impacted by location than we expected. But we can still read a map.

Probably the major reason to attend the open house is to gauge the feel of the location for yourself. Beyond that, it's all numbers as to acquisition and remodeling.

One comp to look back at was the very original, degraded 1304 Lynngrove, which sold in March at $932K (way over the $799K asking price). That one had an attached garage and superior location, but March was a long time ago. Also way, way back (in February) there was nearby 1412 Faymont, same square footage but upgraded, selling for $910K. Much more recently, a somewhat comparable house along busy Redondo Ave. at 1650 22nd sold for $929K.

Looking ahead to the possible value of an expanded/upgraded version of this home, you have 1812 23rd (3br/2ba, 1760 sq. ft., $1.356M), 1909 Faymont (3br/2ba, 1820 sq. ft., $1.350M in March) and a spiffed up 3br/1ba house at 1825 23rd at $1.049M.

1409 Wendy starts at $899K and is open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.

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