Weekend Opens (1/7-1/8)

By Dave Fratello | January 7th, 2012
Did you catch all the excitement around the new year's first big storm-driven waves?

News choppers hovering at dawn? Do we really need this? Maybe once, by choice, we could sleep past 6:30? (Here's KTLA's photo from Friday morn of "big waves" in MB.)

What we got to see of the waves midday Friday was sloppy, mushy and devoid of humans, but here's hoping you had a chance to enjoy something better.

In a way, the first storm of the season is an apt metaphor. We see a first, mushy wave of RE listings rolling in already, each with an odd story to tell, timing hard to figure, something curious to see.

There are just 3 public opens new to MBC this weekend, all of which we got to see and share here. More holdovers are also looking for attention after a solid 2 weeks of near-zero open houses.

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 always, we appreciate it when readers see these homes and offer opinions here at MBC.

East MB

1305 8th (6br/4ba, 4100 sq. ft.) is a big home with  a good-size yard on one of those big East MB lots – in fact, the 7600 sq. ft. plot is a nudge over the "standard" large lot size of 7500.

The home looks and feels much like its late-1980s vintage but has been remodeled in notable ways since its 2006 acquisition. The first floor has bumpy/distressed hickory pecan hardwood flooring in most areas, the kitchen has modern countertops and appliances and a new wet bar was built into the family room/great room. (Cabinets in the kitchen are original but custom painted.)

Did we mention 6br and 4100 sq. ft.? This is a lot of space to spread out into, with 5 of those bedrooms upstairs (2 of those are set apart in a separate area up a few stairs in front over the garage). The kitchen/great room area is vast and the formal living spaces, while tucked away in their own part of the first floor, are substantial as well.

The back yard is not as huge as you might guess with this lot size, but there's more than enough space for a good-size patio (with built-in BBQ) right off the great room plus a lower level yard with grass and a large paved area down a few steps in back.

With all of this interior space, of course the master is huge. The walk-in closet with skylight could sleep a couple of people. And the master bath could host gym equipment – almost.

The house is very livable as-is, but there are rough and worn edges here and there, and lots of parts demand a 21st-century update some day, most notably the master bath. Exterior paint seems faded and the back yard a bit scrappy. It's pretty clear what needs to be done to improve and polish up the house, but the work needs not be terribly expensive.

For the size, it's compelling at $1.725m, a popular price point with little inventory. The home last traded in June 2006 at $1.850m, then there were remodeling expenses, so there's something of a rewind here reflecting the market's changes since then.

1305 8th starts at $1.725m and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

1512 Wendy Way (4br/2ba, 1650 sq. ft.) is a classic Liberty Village cottage with added-on space in back giving it 4 legit bedrooms. The home's main claim to fame is that it's nearly the cheapest listing in MB and certainly the most home for the money at the list price of $799k. People who consider MB to be outside their budget may give this one a look.

The listing notes the "[m]id-century charm throughout," which is a nice way of saying much of the house is original or nearly so – the kitchen boasts faux-marble formica counters, dated wallpaper abounds and all the cabinetry we noted throughout is plain and original.

To the positive, the living room at the entry is painted brightly and with some slick staging, it sets a great mood that makes you consider the potential for the whole place.

Sure, the layout's choppy, the 4th br upstairs doesn't have its own bath, the yard is smallish and everything needs to be updated at some point, but this is what you get for an entry-level home. Did we mention that it backs up to Aviation? Compromises, compromises. It'll work for someone.

1512 Wendy was offered last year for as much as $895k, but is up now at $799k and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

Hill Section

644 MBB #10 (2br/2ba, 850 sq. ft.) normally would not make the MBC roundup, but with little inventory in town and this unit's shrimpy $599k asking price, we decided to give it a look and a mention.

This 2-section, late-60s condo building with around 20 units seems not to get a lot of love in the form of upkeep.

Inside, the unit is a clean, but preserved original with dated kitchen and baths. The main living room – which must serve as common space and eating area – feels pretty large, while the alley kitchen offers the minimum. You have to love the rock fireplace and somewhat stylized woodwork. They give you that old-MB, throwback feeling.

The second bedroom with windows along MBB also seemed dark on a bright afternoon. Bonus: Laundry has been installed in the unit (in that 2nd br) – no trudging off to the shared laundry room.

The unit's up front, bordering MBB, and that means some traffic noise. We could not assess the traffic noise, though, because of the pounding rave music from the downstairs unit during our tour. Ah, communal living. Yellow flag.

A neighboring unit that seemed a bit more upgraded (#11) is in escrow now, last at $575k – that deal has been pending for 2 months, but it's one to watch.

644 MBB #10 starts at $599k and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

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