Weekend Opens (2/12-2/13)

By Dave Fratello | February 12th, 2011
The dam has burst. Spring has sprung. Here comes the inventory.

There are some pleasant surprises this week, even in homes with location challenges to overcome. Good omens for those who are looking for greater choices this year.

And here comes another video, too. Thanks for the positive reactions last week!

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

Sand Section

424 3rd (3br/2ba, 2200 sq. ft.) is a South End option that hides an intriguing, warm contemporary home behind an artsy façade.

You're not on a walkstreet here, but you're not far, either, and the local school and ultra-quiet beach are just a few minutes' walk away.

A 2003 architectural remodel gave the home a modern kitchen, lower living room bordered by a showpiece staircase on one side and a spacious patio (with spa) on the other, plus a big, modern master upstairs. (The master bath is something to write home about.)

The two other bedrooms are downstairs (one now set up as an office), well away from the master, which will be an issue for some. (The current residents seem to have put smaller children in a quasi-patio space right off the master upstairs, treating it as a bedroom, though it's big enough only for the small beds.)

It's a snazzy home that displays a love of wood, modern style and a clean feel. Skylights abound, brightening the corners.

424 3rd last sold for $2.060m in Aug. 2006, and is offered now for $1.795m.

It's open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.

Tree Section

We begin looking at new Tree Section inventory by asking: What can you get for exactly $1.700m? The first 2 listings here are a study in contrasts.

642 14th (4br/4ba, 2500 sq. ft.) offers a somewhat updated 50s original with additions and a nice Martyrs Hill location, even ocean views (ocean views in the Trees!). It starts at $1.7m.

That's a pretty big 6000 sq. ft. lot, a quarter-size bigger than you'll find in most parts of the Trees, and quite good for this coveted segment of the sub-region from 14th-18th, where lot sizes – and views – vary.

Come tour 14th with MBC in the video below, or use the link here, which may give you higher quality.

As you'll see in the tour, most of the updating has been in the kitchen, which is spacious and fairly modern. One living room below the kitchen seems like an addition; the garage and master above it were added roughly in the 70s. The 3 remaining bedrooms are downstairs and in the back of the house, all on the smaller side. One bath still has the original tiles on the counter and shower.

In all, it's a very decent family home with location going for it, but one of these days someone's going to need to either modernize it across the board or rebuild. Bet on the owner-user taking it this time.

642 14th starts at $1.7m and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

3617 Pacific (4-6br/5ba, 2800 sq. ft.) has a double-whammy of a location issue, bordering both Rosecrans and Pacific. Maybe it's a triple-whammy, given how the refinery looms, as does an electrical substation right across Rosecrans.

Location will make this one a nonstarter for many, but the home itself is a very different custom build. It's got a classy Spanish+modern vibe, with enough great touches to get those wheels turning – is this place cool enough that you could suck it up and accept it where it is?

The (currently) spare photos in the listing do not do the home justice. The modern kitchen opens right out to both indoor and outdoor dining areas, the latter accessed through disappearing walls. Another disappearing wall off the adjoining living rooms (yes, 2) opens out to a nice patio, which unfortunately abuts Rosecrans, but is tucked behind trees.

There are officially 4 bedrooms, plus one no-closet baby room and the separate guest house ("casita") that has 2 rooms plus a bath but no closets, either. Do the math right, and you could see 6br if you need them. One of the real bedrooms is upstairs in separate mother-in-law/nanny quarters with a private entry. (Did we mention this was a custom build?)

So, were we surprised to find the home so compelling? Yes.

Were we surprised that they priced a 2800 sq. ft. home on Rosecrans at $1.7m to start? Double yes. This one's got a long adventure ahead if they stick near that asking price, but once the sellers find a better level, don't be surprised to see someone choose this home over other "superior" options.

3617 Pacific is open Sat. 1-4pm, Sun. 2-4pm.

2416 Walnut (3br/3ba, 2375 sq. ft.) also has a location issue, being right along Marine at the corner with Walnut, a stop sign there to boot. But the location fades once you're inside and the dreamy, classic Americana kicks in.

The flyer boasts that the home's been featured on both the Sophisticated Snoops and MB Home Garden Tour, and both make sense. There's a lot of style to the home that's enchanting.

There are 2 living rooms downstairs, plus a goodly amount of outdoor space for lounging or entertaining. The big, woodsy kitchen (knotty pine cabinets, plank floors) is a terrific centerpiece, opening out to a comfy dining room that adjoins the outdoor spaces.

All 3 bedrooms are upstairs, 2 with dormers. The master is cute, but the bath could use some updating.

2416 Walnut starts at $1.349m, and is open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.

2304 Poinsettia (5br/5ba, 3350 sq. ft.) isn't quite 10 years old yet, and while it shares a layout and key features with most of the past decade's speckies, it packs a couple of surprises.

The downslope of the lot means all kinds of peculiar step-ups and step-downs around the home, but the best step-down is the basement media room plus bed/bath.

Among the upstairs bedrooms, the standout may be the kid bedroom in the middle of the home, with steps up to the double doors, big space and windows on 3 sides. Suitable for a prince or princess.

The paved back yard seems tinier than most, though it offers an in-ground spa.

Here in 2011, the sale is a shortie. The history in brief – new (2002): $1.679m, resale (Feb. 2005): $2.3m, now: $1.988m to start.

2304 Poinsettia is open Sun. 1-4p.

3400 Bell (3br/2ba, 1625 sq. ft.) is quite easy to call "cute."

Inside, there's adequate living space with updated flooring, kitchen and windows that give the home a sweet and fresh flavor. There's bonus space off the little patio that could serve as a media/play room or office.

The location challenge here is that the home's front along Bell looks up at the walls of the National Guard Armory. It's also very close to Sand Dune Park, though with the way they've choked park access, it's not clear how much of a liability the Dune is now.

At this writing, the few pics online don't offer enough of a sense of the home, so it's worth a drop-by.

3400 Bell starts at $1.099m, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.


If you're interested in any of these properties, or something else, and need help finding a good agent, please consider asking MBC. For more, please see our Agent Referrals page.

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