Weekend Opens (4/16-4/17)

By Dave Fratello | April 16th, 2011
Remember all those weeks earlier this year with no new Sand Section listings?

As the air has warmed, the sky has cleared and thoughts of vacation homes have begun to enter the dreams of potential MB buyers, suddenly the beach-adjacent inventory is growing.

This weekend's a great time to reacquaint yourself with the beach and check out a few opens along the way. Also, enjoy a little weekend reading – this new South Bay Confidential column in the Daily Breeze is about listings with larger lots around the region.

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

748 11th (5br/5ba, 5700 sq. ft.) is back after a few weeks' hiatus, with a new agent and a slightly new price: $3.695m to restart.

The previously listing rolled up nearly 250 DOM and failed to find its market, starting at $4.495m last July and dropping to $3.75m before quitting in March.

The home is a puzzle. There's a lot of house in these 5700+ square feet – something around every corner, and the next corner, and the next corner and little hallway, and the next corner after that. It's practically 2 houses, with 4 bedrooms and a living room downstairs – one bedroom with a kitchenette and its own patio feels like it was intended as living quarters for the help.

The master, a great office and a big and modern kitchen dominate the bright upstairs spaces. Despite the big lot (7950 sq. ft.) there isn't much of a yard.

While some of the upstairs rooms are updated and nice, most of the home begs for updates from its early-90s vintage. This is probably why it's been hard to find buyers. As we said of a beach-adjacent walkstreet home that sold recently (132 20th), the number of buyers in the $3.5m range looking for a project is pretty limited.

Do the work at 11th, and you've got a very big home steps from Pacific School and a short walk to downtown and the beach.

748 11th restarts at $3.695m and is open Sun. 2-4pm. 

Sand Section

2412 Alma (3br/3ba, 2375 sq. ft.) is a supersharp, newer (2005) ocean-view TH done up in a Cape Cod style. The builder's one of those local names whose work often commands a premium.

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.

Of the 3br, there are 2 on the middle level and one on the ground floor serving more as an office. The layout and limit of 3br may be the biggest challenge for finding a new family to move in, but it would be less of a concern with a second home.

Bonus feature: The shower at the front entry leaves no doubt that this is a beach house.

2412 Alma starts quite near $1,000/PSF at $2.299m, and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

432 30th (4br/3ba, 2500 sq. ft.) up on the plateau is a remodeled family home on a full-size lot that compares favorably against the various townhomes in this week's new crop. Consider that the home starts at $1.695m, with a $675/PSF price.

Many homes in the area go up to 3 levels, but not 30th, where they've opted for a big, fun roofdeck instead. (Watch those spiral stairs, though, coming down after a long, beery afternoon up top.)

The layout may work OK for families, with 3br, including a first master suite downstairs. A second, more elaborate master is upstairs on the level with the kitchen/living/dining areas. The big kitchen area is modern and open wide to the living spaces.

432 30th starts at $1.695m and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

225 16th (4br/4ba, 3975 sq. ft.) is an early-90s walkstreet home that's being freshened up a bit for show, but clearly demands a fuller update to bring it to the 21st century.

Marble tile, glass block, round metal pipe-railings inside and out, laminated kitchen cabinetry – there's work to do.

A clear reference point for 16th is comparably sized 132 20th (there's the second mention today), which closed this week for $3.3m.

This new listing launches a bit higher at $3.750m – exactly the start price on 20th about 9 months ago. One difference: The home at 16th offers a 1br/1ba rental unit in back.

225 16th starts at $3.750m and is open Sun. 2-5pm.

2512 Manhattan Ave. (3br/4ba, 2275 sq. ft.) is surprisingly spacious TH near Bruce's Beach and offering big ocean views from the master and top-floor living spaces. The ground-level room with bath is outfitted now as a sizable 4th br, albeit one that connects to the spacious 3-car garage.

The listing calls this "one of the most irreplaceable locations in town," and while we expect the location to stay where it is and not be replaced, we'll take the point that it's good to be steps from a park, The Strand and so forth, with unblockable views to the north.

2512 Manhattan Ave. has been at $2.150m ($945/PSF) since its launch in January. It traded for $1.270m (before some updates) back in July 2003. It's open Sat. 2-4pm.

448 24th (3br/4ba, 2150 sq. ft.) is a freestanding TH directly across from Grand View elementary and literally at the start/finish line for the annual Gator Run (coming up June 4). So if you live there, you're all but obligated to participate.

The home truly has its own style. Think Vegas, baby. Glossy black marble floors, custom carpets – black with a woven-gold pattern – mirrored walls, all topped off with an elaborate, showy, marble-and-etched-glass master bath. Wow. Different.

If the look is not up your alley, the TH will take some re-imagining. The very modern kitchen is a good anchor, and the listing's boast of 5-car on-premises parking is a good asset for a home relatively close to the beach.

448 24th starts at $1.275m (<$600/PSF) and is open Sun. 2-5pm.

Tree Section

3005 Poinsettia (5br/4ba, 3250 sq. ft.) is a newer (2003) home on one of the Tree Section's cute-as-a-button blocks.

The short segment of Poinsettia between Valley and 31st is a block that, nearly 4 years ago, we called: "a little slice of storybook-perfect suburbia, a unique couple dozen homes sharing a tree canopy reminiscent of towns much farther east."

That mid-2007 story, "The Street Where Listings Don't Last," mentioned 3005 Poinsettia and 2 others on the block that sold quickly that year. This home traded for $2.525m – asking price – at the time, though the owners have had to rewind in seeking buyers this year, starting at $2.199m (-$326k/-13%).

The home itself has the familiar layout of newer construction, with a bright 2-story living room and separate office up front, kitchen/great room in back, and 4br upstairs. (One is now custom-painted and set up as a snazzy media room.)

Stairs to a lower level hint at a possible basement, but the room's fairly small – outfitted now as a wine cellar with room for a tasting table.

Everything from the entry courtyard to the custom stone work in the driveway and back patio benefits from a little extra attention to detail.

Worth noting: Though 3005 Poinsettia broke the $2.5m barrier in 2007, it didn't even break $1.9m in a Feb. 2004 sale when new ($1.889m).

3005 Poinsettia starts at $2.199m and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

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