Weekend Opens (4/6-4/7)

By Dave Fratello | April 6th, 2013

With Spring Break this week, we didn't exactly have a "moratorium" on new listings (har, har), but out of the 11 new listings for the week, compared with 21 new listings the prior week. Only 3 are actually opening their doors to John Q. Public this weekend for the first time.

There's this hypothesis that you want to avoid listing or having your opens during Spring Break because "everyone's gone." Kind of like how you should avoid listing during "Ski Week" in February – because everyone looking to buy in Manhattan Beach already lives here and has kids in school and is tracking the school schedule. Mmmm hmmmm.

Here's hoping for more next week.

This time, you have a good mix, including a very different kind of place in East MB, 1500 1st, the first listing we've reviewed below. Check that one out for sure.

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

East MB

1500 1st (4br/6ba, 2400 sq. ft.) easily wins our "most unique" award for the week, and that's the second week running for East MB.

What's special here is the 1 1/2-size lot, nearly 11,650 sq. ft. in all, combined with a pleasant, reserved, one-level home and tons of outdoor living options.

The home is a U-shape around a courtyard, with a vast and flat grassy yard area beyond it all. The grassy area is set up now as a volleyball court, more than full size. There's great landscaping around the perimeter and a large, waterfall/water feature along the back wall.

Also outdoors: A sunken hot tub, an outdoor room with heaters overhead and a TV on the wall, a built-in barbeque and a separate outdoor bar with beer tap.

This is a place to have fun outside.

The inside's not bad, either. The main, central living room, opening to the courtyard in back, has high ceilings, lots of light and nice, newer wood flooring. Three bedrooms are off in one wing, while the other side of the house hosts the large, tastefully updated kitchen and dining area. A smaller fourth bedroom suite is tucked away.

A simple, lovely one-level house with a big yard isn't so uncommon in various parts of the country, but in MB this one qualifies as a rarity – and a gem in this case.

This one is right across the street from Pennekamp elementary, but we'll bet you've never taken note of it, and we're certain that anyone who hasn't been invited over has no clue what's behind the gates. We'd note that Peck Ave., just to the west, can be a busy neighborhood street, but the backyard is buffered against Peck by a very high wall to block out sound.

1500 1st starts at $2.100M, reflecting the elevated land value with the 1 1/2 size plot, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

2905 Crest (4br/3ba, 3000 sq. ft.) is a large ocean-view TH built in 2007.

The quality and finish details inside help sell the place – the views and covered patio off the living room could make it a "must have."

We were surprised by the layout at first – the lower level has 2br sharing a hallway bath and another huge room downstairs was set up like the master. Huge room, ample closets... but, alas, no bath. That room shares the hallway bath with the others.

Turns out, you do get a quality master suite on the middle level, with 2 walk-in closets and plenty of light. That first floor room that posed as a master is converted from a media room. So count this as 3br plus media room, or 4br with that new quasi master.

It's the top floor where the best is to be found. Top-quality wood flooring, a huge and open great room, high ceilings (12 feet in the front portion), a fully modern kitchen. This is a great living space.

This is the rear unit of a 2-TH complex, so your views are over the roof of the neighbor to the west. Maybe you could say the roof is "visible" but, more importantly, the views are unblockable, as the hill drops down steeply from Crest.

Note: The MLS entry for this property doesn't seem to be proliferating properly on the internet. Most sites don't display it, so we're linking to Zillow in this case.

2905 Crest first sold new near (or at) the peak of the local market for $2.625M. Much like the 2007 sales we referenced in our recent post, it's shooting for its 2007 price now, and seemingly doesn't look crazy doing so.

The most comparable TH has to be 311 32nd (3br/3ba, 3075 sq. ft.), which sold twice last year (!), first for $2.6M (in April), then $2.8M (in December).

2905 Crest starts at $2.700M and is open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.

Tree Section

1301 Pine (5br/4ba, 3150 sq. ft.) becomes the third "right down the middle" listing of a Tree Section family home to hit in the last couple of weeks. By that we mean relatively newer construction (2000) with a decent location, the "it" floorplan of the past 15 years (big great room in back) and just the right amount of bedrooms and common space, all under $2M.

This being the Trees, there's not much yard, more of a glorified patio in back. (The outdoor fireplace does glorify it; the pebbles in lieu of grass help make it classy, too, but a "yard?" – no.)

What separates 1301 Pine from recent offerings like 2009 Elm and 1409 Pine is that this one is no Caliterranean, it's a "California Craftsman" (per the listing), a nice place with shingles instead of stucco, if we can get past the label.

You've seen this house. Enter into the 2-story living room, there's one guest bedroom tucked away up front, a formal dining room off to one side as you walk back, and a nice great room toward the backyard. Here the formal living room is sunken by a step (not everyone's favorite) and the wood flooring is a very light maple – perhaps the one aspect that dates the house as a 90s creation rather than a "now" sort of place. (Cherry wood stained cabinetry in the kitchen, by contrast, does feel more current.)

Upstairs, the master in back has high ceilings and a tranquil, treetop view. There are 2 bedrooms sharing jack-and-jill bath, and another suite up at the front. (We told you you've seen this house.) A bonus: There's also a separate, dedicated office upstairs.

We've seen plenty of 5br homes of recent vintage that were forced to 3100 or so square feet like this one (due to the 4480 sq. ft. lot size) where some rooms got squished. Secondary kids' bedrooms seem to bear the brunt of space compromises in other homes. But here, we don't see the loss anywhere upstairs; the kids' rooms are fine. Only the 1st floor guest room is on the smaller side.

Another bonus: Epoxy-covered garage floor plus built-ins.

1301 Pine starts at $1.949M, and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

Please see our blog disclaimer.

Latest Listings Among
Manhattan Beach Homes For Sale