Weekend Opens (1/8-1/9)

By Dave Fratello | January 8th, 2011
After a couple of weeks off from open-house previews, we're back with a few interesting options at both the low and high ends of MB real estate.

Apart from that, for your weekend reading, check out the new South Bay Confidential column in the "Home Guide" of Saturday's Daily Breeze (print edition) or here online. There, we discuss median prices for 2006-2010 in Hermosa, Redondo and Manhattan Beach. Preview: MB's doing best of all.

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.

Sand Section

No doubt, 2011 will be an interesting year for The Strand in MB. One of the newer entries, now opening up for public viewing, is 3112 The Strand (duplex w/ two 3br units), which launched recently at $6.9m.

The late-60s build is nicely situated high above the walking & bike paths and beach, with stunning 2-story view windows in the main (top) unit that are featured from the main upstairs bedroom. It's very nice to be up there. The downstairs, rental unit, isn't bad, either, since there are only so many addresses literally on The Strand.

The building does suffer from a dated, plain-vanilla (i.e. rental) feeling overall, plus a quirky layout in the main unit, and as such is probably more valuable for the land and location than for the structure – at least as-is.

3112 The Strand begins ambitiously at $6.9m, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

222 17th (5br/4ba, 4275 sq. ft.) first hit the MBC radar back in November, when we said it "could be a bit of a sensation," because "it's got style, newness and location wrapped up in a tight package." (See "Coming Attraction in the Sand.")

These were our observations even before seeing the property, but in person, it doesn't disappoint at all. This weekend appears to be the first public open, and it's definitely worth a tour.

The home's the product of an ambitious 2-year renovation of an older building, making it practically new construction. Now it's a modern home with extensive use of attractive woods – eucalyptus flooring with a cherry-wood look, mahogany doors, plus various accents inside and out.

Living spaces are big and open; there's a high-style, ultramodern kitchen – of course. Just off the master is an enclosed balcony that's made out as a snazzy home gym.

The ads and flyers persist in using a pitch that falls flat, for your blog author, at least: "If Rolls Royce Built Homes... They Simply Could Not Surpass This Elegant, Custom Home."

The house is simply much cooler than that phrasing implies. Check it out.

222 17th is priced at $5.250m, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

209 Crest (3br/4ba, 2300 sq. ft.) is a South End TH that's going a bit further south – it's a shortie,  offered at $1.350m.

That said, it's a clean, newer (1999), detached TH that will probably strike most buyers as completely adequate, with a few nice touches.

It doesn't scratch at the heights reached by another, nearby Crest TH built in the same year – 617 Crest (3br/4ba, 2230 sq. ft.) – which has been radically redone and shows off a bunch of "wow" factors. But then, 617 is asking 35% more, nearly $2.1m.

At 209 Crest, the 3 levels of living space begin with what may be the biggest bedroom on the first level, plus 2 on the mid-level and good-size kitchen/great room on top. You'll get a peek of ocean from one corner. Though you may miss the views you would get on Highland, there's no traffic noise to speak of from the back unit here.

209 Crest starts at $1.350m and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

Tree Section

844 12th Ct. (4br/2ba, 1600 sq. ft.) is a 1940s cottage that looks largely original – if tidy – outside, with a good, recent (2007) interior re-do. You can still feel the 40s in the layout and in some elements, like the floor furnace that heats most of the house. The home's also been lived in since that remodeling work, and it shows here and there.

There are 4 bedrooms, a bit of a surprise in an older cottage, and the separate master with its own (modern) bath is an unexpected bonus. The 5000 sq. ft. lot, oddly, doesn't deliver a lot of useful exterior space, though there's a nice patio off the master and a usable bonus room attached to the garage.

Neighboring 840 12th Ct. (4br/2ba, 1550 sq. ft.), also recently remodeled, sold in July 2010 for $1.167m.

844 12th Ct. launched in early December last year, and is still at $1.275m. It's open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

East MB

1346 2nd (3br/2ba, 1450 sq. ft.) is a pleasant surprise east of the highway. It's a 50s cottage with some updates, more-than-expected space and greater quiet than you'd imagine from a home right along busy 2nd, the main east-west artery of East Manhattan.

Each of the 3 bedrooms is of decent size. Out back, beyond the paved patio, is a nicely decked-out bonus room, a great option for a media room or large office. (You might want to remove the wet bar in the latter case.)

The lot's 5,000 sq. ft., with a grassy patch out front, just the hardscape in back and garage access off the alley.

Last purchased in May 2004 for $940k, before some of the updates, 1346 2nd is now up at $979k, meaning it's one of only a few ready-to-go, livable sub-$1m homes east of Sepulveda.

1346 2nd is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

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