Weekend Opens (3/2-3/3)

By Dave Fratello | March 2nd, 2013

We're back to "normal" for Spring this week, with a good new crop of options. Check them out.

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

473 29th (5br/5ba, 4150 sq. ft.) hits the market at a time when its across-the-street neighbor, 472 29th, is in escrow at a big number (list: $2.899M).

This one comes out at a comparatively modest $2.699M (with 500 fewer square feet inside than the neighbor), a home of roughly the same vintage as the neighbor, with better views, and a much warmer feeling overall.

One question: Can this one finally just sell, after all the effort in years past just hasn't worked?

473 29th sold new in 2003 for the fairly modest price of $1.570M, but ran 6 months in 2009 at $2.699M, 5 months in 2010 at prices dipping to $2.499M, but just couldn't close it out. This year, the prospects are bright.

If the exterior architecture here is a bit unusual, you can get past that quickly with a home that's warm and fairly conventional inside. There are lots and lots of individual spaces inside – the home's chief asset, or liability, depending on who's looking at it.

You'll enter up an exterior stairway on the midfloor bedroom level, with a 4br there including the master. One bedroom really should remain as it is set up now: an office at the front of the home with spectacular Tree Section views out a picture window. It's a mesmerizing, and uniquely MB, vista.

Top level living spaces also get those views from the front. The lower level offers 2 additional bedrooms plus a small media room with wet bar.

The way the spaces are carved up on the top level seems to make each area – formal living, formal dining, casual dining, and family room – pretty modest in size, which is not to say cramped, but you need to outfit it all properly not to end up with tight spaces. (Hey, the folks here now have a pool table, that universal sign of "we have too much space," so it's obviously got plenty of room to work with.)

We've always loved the wood flooring throughout this home – it's got a unique, cinnamony stain that makes us keep saying "warm" when speaking of the house. And the epoxy flooring in the garage helps keep it superclean, and even available as yet more hangout space if you need it. (The garage is officially a 3-car space, but you can easily park 2 cars outside and use the garage for other stuff.) 

Thinking of that neighbor at 472 29th, the plateau is positively sizzling if it's going to get its number ($2.9M), and we hear you can bet on it. So, look out, plateau, as $3M-type numbers look to be on the horizon for the newest places.

473 29th starts at $2.699M, and might last until the open house – UPDATE: No, it didn't – open house canceled.

UPDATE: By 4:00pm Saturday, 473 29th was in escrow. It's in "backup offer" status.

461 36th Place (2br/2ba, 1050 sq. ft.) was on the market for a stretch around this time last year, but didn't sell. We said then:

"461 36th Place is a cute surprise, with the big ocean views the most unexpected feature of this little TH.

If you see 36th Place as the address, you may not be too excited, and the mid-1960s vintage of the building is readily apparent, but the HOA has kept things up nicely.

Inside, on the top level, the little kitchen is upgraded, the flooring fairly nice, and the bath is pretty sharp. Two smallish bedrooms share the middle floor and a small jack-and-jill bath that is more dated. The first "floor" is all garage.

Big ocean views to the west are surprising; you'll even catch Malibu up to the north. Unsurprising are the views of the refinery and enormous storage tanks right across Rosecrans. You just have to roll with that. For a little starter TH, it's got its pluses and minuses."

461 36th Place sold for $999K in June 2008, ran at $979K last year, and is back at $925K now. It is open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.

228 40th (3br/2ba, 1425 sq. ft.) was with us for 5 months last year at prices as low as $999K and didn't sell, but it re-launches bullishly now nearly 20% higher at $1.179M.

Last year, we said:

"The 1933 original isn't big, offers little parking and bears all the hallmarks of an older home that people have valiantly updated and added onto over the years, but it's still that Spanish original. It's cute, fairly fresh and offers a surprisingly large entertainment/hangout room in back and down a few stairs. Unfortunately, that's technically the 3rd bedroom, so, to enjoy this home as the current owners do means treating it as a 2br."

"To be west of Highland is, indeed, nice, but this one is just one door off Highland with a commercial building to its east."

We'd add to that some new impressions – the master, added on upstairs, is quite bright and actually gets an ocean peek. First-floor bedroom is definitely small. First-floor bath has a deeply sunken tub – quirky.

228 40th St. sold in Jan. 2005 for $939K, didn't sell last year at $999K, and starts now at $1.179M. It is open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.


East MB

1909 Faymont (3br/2ba, 1820 sq. ft.) began as one of the standard-issue 1950s Liberty Village cottages, but at some point – you'd guess the 1980s somewhere – it got a notable addition and lots of changes. (OK, the listing calls it a 1992 build, but that's not from scratch – it's got to be the date on the remodel and additions.)

The boxy exterior doesn't advertise much to get excited about, but the interior living space flows pretty well and has a very open, bright feel, with soaring ceilings and (circular) skylights. Talk about not judging a book by its cover.

The cute back yard and covered patio make the sale – it's a very pleasant little outdoor space on the sunny western side.

For the layout, you have two original bedrooms downstairs. One seemed larger than expected for an older cottage, and may have been expanded during the addition. The master is upstairs with a fairly modern-feeling bath (though there is some inconsistency to the style and feel of the updates in the master and all around). There's also a sunny loft/office/mini-living room upstairs just off the master.

And then it's the huge great room, with 2-story ceilings over the kitchen and most of the living areas that give it a we're-not-in-Liberty-Village-anymore kind of feeling.

Definitely worth a look, and one that will also get some heads to scratching. 

This one contrasts interestingly with last week's identically priced East MB debut at 1746 Nelson, a head-to-toe, very stylish remodel with a bigger, full-size lot (7500 sq. ft.) but more of a location issue. That one debuted at the same price ($1.299M) and made an immediate deal with multiple offers.

1909 Faymont starts at $1.299M and is open Sat. 2-4pm, and Sun. 1-3pm.

1304 Lynngrove (3br/1ba, 1085 sq. ft.) is, quite simply, an original 1950s Liberty Village cottage. The lot size is 5400.

Quite possibly, the carpet in the (fairly dark) back bedroom is not original. Some of the paint and curtains might be.

Call it a blank slate.

Though this one seems to have been well-kept these past 63 years, it suffers in some indefinite way from the neighbor immediately to the north, which is visibly in disrepair, and has been for as long as we can recall. The rest of the block is pretty nice.

1304 Lynngrove starts at $799K and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

1705 Rowell (3br/3ba, 2000 sq. ft ) is, like 473 29th, another neighbor of a home to recently make a deal on the public market. (That'd be 1351 17th, last at $1.499M.)

Like that one, this home is quite close to Meadows elementary, and runs along a fairly busy neighborhood street.

But this 1970s original is quite unlike the dated Caliterranean next door. It's actually built as a view home, with an upside-down layout meant to pick up the views toward the north – mountains, downtown, Hollywood sign... all are in sight.

Though many parts of the home keep the 1970s feel, just with fresh paint and carpet, the master bath seems very up-to-date and spacious. There's a cute little alcove off the master to use for an office.

There isn't much of a backyard. The would-be grassy strip out back is under the shade of a tree and may not grow much, so it's been replaced by rocks and gravel. There is a good-size side patio.

1705 Rowell starts at $1.229M and is open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.


Tree Section

660 17th (4br/3ba, 3020 sq. ft.) holds a lot of promise, with a Martyrs-area location on one of the very best blocks.

On 17th, you have a cul-de-sac that ends just above the playing fields at the Martyrs school. It has always felt like an exclusive block – one where we've suggested (lightheartedly) in the past that the neighbors might have to vote to approve new residents.

This 5000 sq. ft. lot is among the smallest in the area, but it's high up the hill, and the listing photos show vast, wide-open views.

We didn't get to tour this one, but we do see that Janie Sue Nagy offered a review on her site, noting 3br downstairs and one up, along with some other details.

660 17th starts at $2.795M, which is all about location, and is open Sun. 2-4pm.


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