Weekend Opens (2/14 - 2/15/15)

By Dave Fratello | February 14th, 2015

The snow The heat, it's unbearable here in February, 80 degrees on Valentine's Day.

The blizzard Santa Ana winds – ruining our Winter.

It's enough to make you want to go shovel the walk again take a week off and ski.

Yes, the MB schools are off for the next week, and while that sometimes puts a damper on real estate activity, not so this weekend. Take a look at the new options. 

Oh, and enjoy Ski Week. It's our next-to-last here in MB. After 2016, the district is shelving Ski Week in favor of ending school sooner for Summer.

Summer, Winter... How can you tell the difference?

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

Don't forget, when previewing homes here on MB Confidential, you can click "Open All Images" right above the main listing photo to get immediate display of all the listing photos at once.

Sand Section

541 4th (4br/4ba, 3,600 sq. ft.) was built in 1990 in a Southwestern motif, clearly visible in features like the adobe-style, bulbous fireplaces and saltillo tile. But the home has gotten thorough upgrades and modernizations over recent years, pulling it away from a potentially dated feel and instead allowing you to focus more on the fun features and clean, updated aspects.

Talk about fun: Not one, but two, roof decks make for a big "wow" factor. Views of the surrounding Hill and Sand Sections give a great sense of place. One of the roof decks even features a hot tub. You can't build these anymore, folks, but you can upgrade what you've got that's grandfathered in. Great work here.

As to the layout here, you have a ground floor den opening to a patio that's fairly private despite fronting 4th St. (On this block, 4th St. is not a walkstreet.) Three of the bedrooms are downstairs, one being either the smallish room showing as an office, or that whole den.

On the middle level the big, open living spaces plus the master suite, with one of those adobe fireplaces. The open master bath is up some steps and is slickly modern, with an open step-down shower.

This one's unusual, for sure, but somehow easy to groove on. 

It's got to be the decks.

541 4th starts at $3.989M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

 Tree Section

1944 North Ardmore Avenue Manhattan Beach CA1944 Ardmore (3bd/2ba, 2,150 sq. ft.) is a modern remodel of a boxy 60s home with surprisingly nice views from 2 decks.

They really opened up the floorplan so that the main common area has a wide-open kitchen and family room getting good light and those views. There are 2br downstairs with an updated bath, then the master makes up the whole top floor. The bigger deck – the one where you might more readily entertain larger groups – is that top-level deck, right off the staircase.

Besides a side patio off the living room, there's also a yard area tucked behind. It's a mix of usable, sunny space and a chunk of hillside leading up to the neighboring property.

They did a good job with the remodel, but couldn't quite fix a couple of limitations of the original house. For instance, with greater ceiling height, the main great room could really impress. Good as is, but we'd wish for more. Also there was no dedicated laundry room in the floorplan, so a stackable unit has been (cleverly) tucked into cabinets in the kitchen. That's efficient, but that also means less cabinet/pantry space than you might expect at first glance.

There are thoughtful customizations, like the rain-glass window panel for the master shower that gives excellent light and total privacy. And the choices of materials at each stage of the remodel seemed very well done and are easy to appreciate now.

1944 Ardmore starts at $2.150M and is open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.

2412 John Street Manhattan Beach CA2412 John (3bd/3ba, 1,900 sq. ft.) is 100% new construction from the ground up, a point that has to be emphasized because the first reaction of many people is to assume it's a major remodel of a mid-century original.

No, this isn't a re-do, it's an homage to the architectural style, with modern updates. As we said in our post Thursday:

"With a "sustainable" and low-key sensibility, the home also sports solar electrical, radiant heating and a high-efficiency hot water system..."

2412 John Street Manhattan Beach CA"[Y]ou've got a big, wide-open great room, with disappearing doors opening back to a paved patio. Transom windows line most of the home, allowing plenty of light with privacy. Everything is sharp and modern, minimalist, never flashy or boastful."

"In a world where so much new & spec construction is all about maxing out – jamming in 5 or more bedrooms, no matter what, building out a basement/media room, etc. – this is a new home that simply takes a more modest approach. It's trying to be the type of home that you can be proud of, with its green aspirations and its knowing nods to some of what was best about the past."

2412 John starts at $2.799M and is open Sun. 2-5pm.

620 36th Street Manhattan Beach CA620 36th (4bd/4ba, 3,800 sq. ft.) is a somewhat oversized 2002-built Mediterranean with bright, open common rooms and a Spanish-style courtyard at the center.

You enter along what seems a giant front yard on this street-to-alley lot. If there's going to be kids' or dogs' play space, it's this front area.

Inside, the living room up front is one of those rare "formal" spaces that you somehow sense people might actually use – instead of merely displaying furniture. With high ceilings, good light, and enough space to be a family/media room in its own right, the space somehow struck us as more functional than the norm.

There's a large office up front opening to the yard, formal dining on the way back and very large kitchen/great room in back.

All 4br are upstairs, with 2 of the 3 secondary bedrooms being really huge for a recent MB build.

This one has a down-the-middle, crowd-pleasing design and feel to it, showing now with little in the way of notable upgrades or customizations, and really no big question marks. It's a straightforward example of the last cycle's new construction with plus-sizes built into many rooms, making it above average in that way.

Direct competition for this one on market now includes the opulent, highly custom 640 30th (5br/6ba, 3450 sq. ft.) at $2.675M and 633 26th (5br/5ba, 3400 sq. ft.) at $2.849M.

620 36th starts at $2.935M and is open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.

845 Marine Avenue Manhattan Beach CA845 Marine (3bd/3ba, 1,500 sq. ft.) invites you to overcome reservations about its location along a busy street by presenting a nicely remodeled interior, especially the modern, upgraded kitchen.

The family room off the kitchen opens nicely via double doors to the backyard, which itself is a pleasant surprise. We could not quite believe the amount of front and backyard space, which owes to the fact that the lot size is nearly 5400 sq. ft. (The rear part of the lot pushes back in a trapezoidal shape, running along Ardmore to that back side – that seems to be how you get the extra space.)

Maybe 1500-odd square feet seems a bit tight? No worries. The garage has been fully built out, with an epoxy floor and drywall covering the walls and ceiling, making for an inviting bonus room. (Does anyone park in garages anymore, anyway?)

So there are pleasant surprises in this refreshed, modest house. You just have to be willing to go look.

845 Marine starts at $1.799M and is open Sat. 2-4pm & Sun. 1-4pm

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