Weekend Opens (5/14-5/15)

By Dave Fratello | May 14th, 2011
Thanks for hanging with us this week as the world of Google-hosted blogs – of which MBC is but one – experienced a huge burp. For a couple of days we could not log in to the system's "back end" to post or edit, and a recent post vanished, returned, and vanished again. (It's back).

That was annoying, but not quite as scary as the day back in March when MBC literally disappeared for almost an hour after the site was hacked. (We're looking at you, Mr. Bulgarian bad guy.) Fortunately, most readers didn't see any disruption from that previous problem.

It's good to be back, and humbling to be reminded that every single one of us is subject to the whims of The Google – unless we unplug. (Time for a camping trip?)

To plan out your tours, try this Redfin map list of open houses – you can sort by price or sub-region of MB by clicking the title on a column. Or click here for the more traditional Beach Reporter list of opens.

Sand Section

305 Homer (3br/4ba, 2150 sq. ft.) is a standalone TH way down south – so far south for MB that the street is literally half MB and half Hermosa. (MB seems to favor asphalt, while Hermosa likes concrete.)

It's a plus that this one is the second home off of Highland, which, after all, isn't that busy near HB.

The custom layout is a bit startling. The first floor offers only the garage and a smallish, tiled media room. The midlevel hosts all 3 bedrooms, and nothing's big or particularly ornate.

It's a Sand TH, so of course the top level hosts the modern kitchen (it's a 2005 build) and the main living/dining spaces. Views, though – they're sparse. There is a spacious balcony off the living room.

MLS records tell us that this TH started at $2.165m new in 2005, selling after about 2 months for $1.950m in Nov. 2005.

305 Homer starts now at $1.8m, rewinding about 8% back from 2005, and is open Sat. & Sun. 2-5pm.

473 34th (3br/4ba, 3175 sq. ft.) has made a few runs now in the public market, starting new this week with a new agent.

As we've noted before, the custom Mediterranean has a very familiar look and feel if you know the local architect's work, but the layout's quite different, and the choice for 3br, instead of more, will limit its appeal to families. With 2br on separate floors being accessed off their own private step-up staircases (they're over the garage), the layout simply takes some getting used to.

We're told that the home's newly staged in a more comfortable, less formal style. Though we haven't seen it yet as such, if you've had this one on your radar, it may be worth another look at the reimagined version. 

473 34th is still asking $1.995m. One way to think about this price point is to look at what you can get in a townhome in other areas for about the same price – you'd expect a smaller home and much more cramped layout, putting 34th in a somewhat better light. It is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Tree Section

3008 Ardmore (3br/2ba, 1900 sq. ft.) is a wonderful blend of old and new, a nicely maintained 1950s rancher with a fully modern kitchen and a nearly double-sized lot (7490 sq. ft.).

The extra land affords an ample and cute front yard, with bushes blocking off the view and some noise off of Ardmore, plus a more than adequate and nicely landscaped back yard.

All the bedrooms are of a decent size, but you won't find a true master. The largest bedroom attaches to a hallway bath that is also needed for the other 2 bedrooms. The bath has got more original features than modern details and could use an update.

The kitchen is almost too modern for the traditional, Craftsmanesque style that pervades the home (enhanced by current furnishings) – not that anyone will complain about a sharp, gourmet kitchen. Two living rooms, including one that opens with big sliding glass doors to the back yard, make for plenty of shared space.

You wouldn't be surprised to see a home like this start somewhat higher than $1.189m, but that's where 3008 Ardmore starts. It's open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.

The listing for 2418 Ardmore (5br/3ba, 3450 sq. ft.) says, somewhat defensively, "don't be fooled by address." We'll take that as an inartful way of saying, "sure it's on Ardmore at Pacific, but you should give it a chance."

If you do come through, you probably will be pleasantly surprised. There's a lot of house here, with 5 full bedrooms (one now set up as a playroom) – all upstairs – and plenty of living space spread around downstairs. Though the home sports a mid-80s build date, it's obviously been updated a great deal recently. (A 2007 listing seems to show all the updates present now.)

2418 Ardmore starts at $1.649m, a modest markup from the Aug. 2007 acquisition price ($1.555m). A markup over 2007 – that'll be one to watch.

When we think of big homes with location issues (don't be fooled!), there's one recent sale the comes immediately to mind: 1724 Oak (5br/4ba, 3325 sq. ft.), a newer (2000) home that had just been given the complete treatment and felt brand new – it sold for $1.575m in March, providing an interesting comparison.

2418 Ardmore is open Sun. 2-4pm.

1900 Palm (3br/1ba, 1200 sq. ft.) is going to be viewed by plenty of folks as a lot sale, but there's no doubt that the existing home could make for a decent longer-term investment or a starter home for a family that can handle a little squishing.

Maybe the fresh paint job and the tidying up of the property are meant to draw in the buyers who can almost imagine making the home work as it stands. But there's this blinking light: One small, original bathroom.

The listing further describes the sale as an "as-is" offering, so caveat emptor.

1900 Palm starts at $1.049m, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

1808 Pine (3br/3ba, 1725 sq. ft.) has location going for it, but the home needs a lot of help. The "one-of-a-kind design" (per the listing) is not very attractive. The separate garage out front is connected to the main home through a small passageway; meantime, owners and visitors will typically approach the home along what feels like a narrow bridge. (Pictured.) All that's missing is the moat.

Inside, the home's 3 original bedrooms include 2 that are quite small. The master features nice, woodsy builtins and divided windows looking out over the treetops, but the bath is – maybe predictably – dated.

The kitchen features dark wood cabinets and needs an update, pretty much the story for the whole house. Even the back yard will need attention, as it feels cluttered and overgrown.

1808 Pine starts at $1.130m, and is open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.

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