Weekend Opens (5/19-5/20)

By Dave Fratello | May 19th, 2012
On a landmark weekend for MB, new listings are not the big draw. Sorry to say.

The true real estate must-sees are all on the Sophisticated Snoop tour, including some nice MB properties.

The tour includes this little "Monterey Colonial" beauty at 2523 Valley, which we've raved about here in the past. (Including the nice deal the current owners got in 2010.) 

The other MB homes:

1148 Fisher, a standout architectural modern with ocean and PV views near downtown; and

652 31st, a "Coastal Carolinas" (don't say Cape Cod) inspired home on one of the prestige blocks of MB's Tree Section.

And there are 3 pretty nifty Hermosa homes on the tour as well. Hours are 10am-4pm Sat/Sun, $30 at the door if you did not pre-buy your tour tix. Here's the flyer.

Of course, this weekend will stand out for many current residents for the MB Centennial Parade and Picnic, and all the rest. (Picnic @ Polliwog park facts: Food trucks 12-3pm, giant birthday cake, 1:45pm.)

We heard someone say this parade and picnic happen only once every 100 years. We're pretty sure they didn't think to do it in 1912, so this is a true MB first – get out there and enjoy!

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

Tree Section

650 18th (4br/4ba, 4350 sq. ft.) is a difficult home in a terrific location. It's hard to overstate either descriptor.

The home sports a 1952 build date but, according to the listing: "was totally re-built in 1976 and re-modeled again over the last 15 years." There are more opportunities to remodel now.

The layout puts most living spaces and a bedroom downstairs – a sunken living room being the style of the time, it's got one of those. Everything opens out to the back yard with half hardscape, half deck (with hot tub). It is hard to appreciate the space as-is with lots of furniture and clutter.

Upstairs there's an extra, large family room with wet bar. (This is the room with the pondstone fireplace in the photos; it's at the front of the house.) The master suite is complex, with a sunken living area, big walk-in closet and large bath – the highly stylized marble being a standout feature, but also a challenge.

Truthfully the home needs help, and it may be hard to work with the existing layout. Its start at $2.6m reflects the interior size and great location (lot size is 6240 sq. ft. – also a big factor).

In a sense, this one is comparable to neighbor 635 18th, a smaller home (4br/4ba, 2900 sq. ft.) that also has some layout challenges and could use some work. That one's priced higher at $2.695m in part due to the ocean peeks it gets.

We're very curious to see how both of these 18th St. listings pan out over time. And they could take time.

650 18th St. starts at $2.6m and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

3521 Elm (3br/2ba, 1225 sq. ft.) is an interesting way to get into MB west of Sepulveda under $1m.

You have to accept the location, just about as far north and east as you can get and still be in MB west of Sepulveda, and the home won't give you much in the way of space to spread out. And it could use some updates.

But you do get a cozy home with a real yard – both a charming trellis-covered side yard and a half hardscape/half grass, private back yard framed by nice trees.

Common space is limited and does not show well with the way the current residents have laid out their furniture. (The family room would seem larger without a dining table taking up a big portion.) But this is what you expect in a 1000-ish square foot house. The master is not huge but does have its own small shower. Baths and kitchen are fine as-is, but everything could benefit from a 21st-century update.

The home was offered off and on in 2007-08 as a "remodeling opportunity," priced at $1.225m, but did not sell. (They were even offering plans for a 3300 sq. ft. "Tuscan" on the site.) Before those listings, it was acquired in mid-2007 for $1.150m.

3521 Elm is back now at $999k and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

726 Rosecrans (2br/1ba, 875 sq. ft.) tried to sell for parts of 2010 and 2011, and is returning now for another go.

Way-back-when when this typical little bungalow began at $820k, MBC said, "it's supposed to be priced to account for all of its issues. They'll likely need to work down from there." The listing came into the high 700s last year along with pleas for offers and notes that the sellers were "extremely motivated." But no sale.

So the new price at $699k is meant to do the trick.

The main 2br home has some of the charm of a standard 50s cottage, with a small, makeshift great room, albeit with a post and partial walls breaking up the kitchen/living room space, and the fridge outside the main kitchen area. (A small third bedroom up front was removed to claim the space for the common area, creating the unusual space.)

The one bath in the main house is clean but small, and hardly up to date. Washer/dryer combo is actually outdoors, in a covered back patio area.

The garage was converted a long time ago to a one-room living space, of sorts, with another bath. (The listing describes the space as "unpermitted.")

726 Rosecrans is priced at $699k ("priced to sell") and is open Sat. 11am-3pm.

1705 Oak (3br/2ba, 1250 sq. ft.) poses that question that comes up with new films that don't allow critics' previews: Are they trying to hide something by going straight to the public? That question arises with no brokers' opens Friday and no private showings before the Saturday/Sunday open houses (2-5pm). Guess the reviews have to come later.

But we're just ribbing them here, no reason to doubt that the home's a little charmer. If prior marketability is any measure, we'll note that this one lasted just 3 weeks in 2010.

The 1950s original shows some recent updates, it's on the right (west) side of Oak, pretty close to school and town as Oak locations go, and even boasts a decent yard.

Beyond that, we don't know much – yet.

1705 Oak starts at $1.029m and is open Sat. & Sun. 2-5pm.

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