Weekend Opens (4/9-4/10)

By Dave Fratello | April 9th, 2011
Here's hoping you've enjoyed spring break – if you broke.

We didn't get to see most of the new offerings this week, but we'll provide you a quick overview of some, plus a new video tour of what might be one of the most intriguing Tree Section listings to hit the market this year. (See below.)

More than usual this week, we're looking for readers who view this week's opens to report back.

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

408 N. Dianthus (3br/3ba, 2100 sq. ft.) was remodeled several years ago, updating a late-40s cottage to give it a 21st-century kitchen, modern floors and windows, even a sweet pool with separate built-in spa.

The downsloping lot masks the fact that the home offers 2 stories, with living spaces in back opening to nice outdoor living areas.

Put the same home in the Trees at $1.599m (the start price), and you might have some trouble making the case – especially for 3br and sub-average square footage. (The lot's somewhat bigger than a normal Tree Section lot at 5520 sq. ft.)

In the Hills, people have paid something like this for 408 Dianthus in recent years. In fact, it's set to trade for its third time in 5 years. Previous sales:
  • $1.708m in March 2006
  • $1.590m in Dec. 2009 (-$118k/-7%)
In between those sales, there was a failed effort to unload for $1.799m.

The 3br limitation will be a constraint on the buyer pool, and the fact that the sale is listed as contingent on the current owners finding new home may also be an issue.

408 Dianthus starts at $1.599m and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

707 Anderson (5br/4ba, 3800 sq. ft.) is an extra-large custom home built in 1990. It boasts 2 master suites, a big kitchen and living rooms (upstairs in this upside-down layout) and 3 decks.

A tradeoff for the extra square footage is that there's comparably little exterior space – what you've got for a back yard now has a lap pool.

The 4940-sq.-ft. lot is more akin to a Tree Section lot, drawing this one into a somewhat natural comparison with a home in the Trees, just like Dianthus. However, a start at $2.199m for this much square footage in the Trees would probably be seen as low, even for a home many buyers would want to update.

707 Anderson starts at $2.199m and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

Tree Section

608 31st (4br/2ba, 2220 sq. ft.) is the listing we referenced above as one of the more intriguing in the Trees this year. Mainly that's because there's no doubt there will be buyers, given the attractive location, but there are 2 kinds of buyers who will be drawn to it – those with an eye to a big remodel, and those who will want to knock it down to build something new.

The location's on one of the nicer blocks in the northern part of the Tree Section – one labeled by MBC about 3 years ago as one of MB's "Great Streets."

The $1.199m start price seems a bit ambitious, but with enough interest that point could be reached.

So what will happen to the home? Depends who wins the buying "race."

Check out our video tour below for a 3-minute walkthru.

As you'll see in the video, at 31st, the 1950 original cottage has been added onto in the back, with a fairly big 4th br (now the master) on the 2nd floor and a big family room downstairs. Otherwise the 3 remaining bedrooms are of average size for the time of the original build, one quite small.

Though the home's dated and cramped in parts, it's not wrecked and could be fancied up with a little vision and some dollars. Economics and progress probably argue for a scraping and a new home on the site, but we often root for the underdogs.

608 31st is a trust sale – no court confirmation required. It starts at $1.199m, and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

3624 Bell (3br/2ba, 1225 sq. ft.) is a nicely remodeled starter on a big corner lot, with this caveat – the corner's at Rosecrans, and the home looks across Bell to the parking lot of the armory.

Using the slope of the lot to its advantage, though, the home features a big, stylish and private outdoor patio sunken off of Rosecrans. You wouldn't know what's there from a driveby on either street.

3624 Bell last sold in June 2006 for $1.235m, and starts now for $1.085m. It's open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

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