Weekend Opens (4/14-4/15)

By Dave Fratello | April 14th, 2012
Spring Break is over and you may be spending the weekend holed up, cobbling together your taxes at the last minute, but do take the chance to venture out if you can. We're getting a few new good listings to see, the reins on inventory having been unleashed just a bit.

Major rains on Friday got in the way of our efforts to go see all the new listings we hoped to see. (Your blog author here ran the L.A. Marathon in 2011 in torrential rains, but for some reason driving around to open houses was a major hassle; go figure.)

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

Hill Section 

947 10th (5br/3ba, 3620 sq. ft.) feels a little like a piece of East MB that they picked up and moved, dressed up and put in a reasonably walkable suburban location west of the highway. It's really quite nice, but the home and layout are recognizable from a few similar iterations that were built on the east side in the late 1980s. (A recent sale with the same floorplan: 1451 5th ($1.589m).)

You have not seen one of these late-80s homes decked out this opulently, though. The first floor is mostly done up with travertine flooring, with little tile flourishes and accents. The formal dining area gets a diamond checkerboard pattern of alternating light and dark tile. The upgraded kitchen and great room have even more tile. This adds a weighty, serious feel to the living areas, though many remodels now would get hardwood floors in most of these living spaces.

All the baths are redone with a similar style of tile and stone work, none more upgraded than the master bath, with custom stone bowl sinks and extra decorative tile adornments all around. Another plus for the master – his and hers walk-in closets. Both are big, but she gets the bigger one.

Of the 5br, one is downstairs and 4 are up. One of the upstairs rooms, pictured as an office with built-ins, is positively huge and probably does serve better as a kids' rumpus room or multi-person office, but it could host 2-3 kids as a bedroom comfortably if needed.

Back yard at 947 10th
A big draw for this home, besides the Hill Section address, is the lot size of greater than 8200 sq. ft. You find that west of Sepulveda very rarely. Heck, it's rare east of Sepulveda. There's a big, grassy yard ringed by trees from this property and neighbors' yards.

It may seem hard to find comparables west of Sepulveda for this one, but there are 2 recent sales on 10th fairly nearby: 849 10th ($2.4m) and 861 10th ($2.269m). Both were substantially newer and larger homes, but on 6000 sq. ft. lots. With land such an important part of any sale price, plus the fact that 947 10th is nicely updated, the start price of $2.2m looks serious.

947 10th starts at $2.2m and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

121 25th (4br/4ba, 3000 sq. ft.) is starting out at $3.5m. Hm.

This is a smallish, 2-story, largely original 1960s beach cottage with scattered updates. We really counted 2br downstairs with a chill room off the walkstreet downstairs, plus the master upstairs. If you want the 4th br mentioned in the listing, you need to use that chill room and drop down the built-in Murphy bed.

We generally liked the period feel of this place, and of course the location just steps from The Strand and the beach. The kitchen is the most updated space in the house; lots of the house lags. There are several common rooms to spread into; that's nice. But there is work to do to bring the whole house into this century, and the optimal use of a lot like this is a more modern, 3-story home.

Recently we saw a huge, distinctive and newer ocean-view house make a quick deal at $3.4m. That was 221 30th (5br/5ba, 4550 sq. ft.), a "wow" accomplishment of a house.

Now 121 25th wants the same kind of money – more, actually. It's 5 blocks closer to downtown and that 100 block puts it just a few doors off The Strand.

This one did trade a few of times in the last decade. In June 2003, someone got what looks like a rock-bottom deal at $1.9m. In the mania of 2007, it sold for $3.250m. (Oh, to have bought in '03!) Less than 2 years later, it resold to the current owner for $3.050m. 

121 25th starts at $3.5m and is open Sat. 2-5pm.

2411 Vista (3br/4ba, 2500 sq. ft.) is a high-end, Cape Cod TH with treetop/mountain views to the east and some nice ocean peeks to the west. It's a pleasant and compelling surprise.

Well, maybe not such a huge surprise. The TH's twin/attached unit, 2412 Alma, hit the market last April and sold in October for $2.010m. You may have seen that one. We reviewed it exactly a year ago, and said, in part:

The home's many assets include the gleaming, dark-stained plank floors, extra-high ceilings in each room, elaborately framed windows, and a master bath dripping with extra details. The overall effect of all the extras is to underscore how much more you can do with a similar layout or amount of space – rarely do all the notes get hit so well.
This townhome is really the same, just pointed east instead of west. To account for that, the price is substantially lower: $1.799m.

This is a traditional TH layout, with a small BR on the bottom floor (along with laundry), 2br on the middle floor and big living spaces up top. Interestingly these owners have settled on using the first floor for a kid's room and the midfloor for master plus office.

2411 Vista starts at $1.799m and is open Sat. 1-4pm.

521 2nd (3br/2ba, 1425 sq. ft.) is a dated house on a standard size, street-to-alley South End lot (2700 sq. ft.).

As much as we wished to, we didn't get to tour 2nd yet.

The listing calls this one you can easily remodel or choose the lot as site for a new build. Janie Sue Nagy calls it "the deal of the week."

521 2nd starts at $1.329m and is open Sun. 12-2pm.

Tree Section

641 35th (4br/4ba, 3725 sq. ft.) is another nice Tree Section home to come out under $2m and draw a ton of quick interest. It's a 1997 original with updates, most notably the replacement of the former saltillo tile throughout the first floor with an attractive, cocoa-colored hardwood.

Of the 4 legal bedrooms, one is a delightful, cozy-if-not-small room at the front of the house on the first floor, with french doors opening to the front garden. Another optional bedroom is downstairs, currently outfitted as a library (the closet would make it a legal bedroom but they're not claiming it as such now). Those 2 bonus bedrooms share their own bath with 2 sinks and a shower. A separate 1/2 bath serves the downstairs living spaces.

A big, bright formal living room dominates off the entry; a segment of the room is intended as formal dining. The kitchen has been upgraded from its 1997 condition quite a bit with new appliances and counters. A big, comfy great room unfolds off the kitchen and has its own set of french doors to the back yard.

Back patio/yard at 641 35th  
That yard, on this 5400 sq. ft. street-to-alley lot, isn't set up well currently for a family, with a hardscape patio and ornamental plants in the non-paved areas. A small amount of work would give you a nice grassy patch to run around in. That 3-car garage has tons of storage, including built-in cabinets and space in the rafters.

Upstairs, the 2 kids' rooms are notably large. One has interior windows looking down to the living room. Currently the rooms have a cutout between them, a mini hallway that former residents wanted. These rooms use a large hallway bath.

The master is moderately large and has a nice bonus space – seen in pics as a home gym, but it would make a delightful, small office, too. But the flooring for the master is still the saltillo tile and the bath really wants an update, though it's not super urgent.

641 35th came out this week at $1.899m and will sell quickly. (Disclosure: We have toured clients through this listing.) It is open to the public Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

In the Trees, there are 2 others we did not get to preview:

747 33rd (5br/5ba, 3800 sq. ft.), a late-90s Spanish that Janie Nagy calls "beautiful." It's got a courtyard rather than yard. Starts at $2.299m and open Sun. 1-4pm.

The other is 2305 Oak (3br/1ba, 1025 sq. ft.), a home Janie Nagy repeatedly calls "small," but then, so is the price (for MB) at $849k. It's open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

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