Weekend Opens (5/22-5/23)

By Dave Fratello | May 22nd, 2010
After some slow weeks, there's plenty new to see this weekend,  including a treasure on one of MBC's favorite streets, 31st in the Trees.

Plus a new flat walkstreet home.

With lower inventory overall, it's at least interesting to see some desirable new stuff coming on.

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

If you do get out & around this weekend, please report back here on what you've seen, what you liked, didn't like, etc.

Hill Section

219 N. Dianthus may surprise you. It's a lot of house (4br/4ba, 3300 sq. ft.) despite a skinny lot, and comes with amazing views for just $2.089m to start.

The layout may throw you off. Three bedrooms are more or less on the entry level. Downstairs in what feels like a basement, but is just the ground level, there's another bedroom plus gym (storage space that's been converted and is counted in the listed square footage). (The gym might make a good playroom or media room too.)

Head up the stairs again and the home splits into unequal halves. One set of stairs goes to a front living room with a balcony over the garage. Down and up a new set of stairs, you come to the great room with the big, big views. Add another patio/balcony out back to drink in that sea air.

The zig-zag layout is one concern; also, trudging up 2 (2 1/2?) sets of stairs from the garage will be a chore with groceries. The tiny grassy spot out back is not really a "yard." Finally, the fairly recent remodel is attractive, but some corners were cut – hollow doors and refaced old cabinets suggest a lower bar was set for the work.

If you can roll with the apparent issues, it's still a lot for the money in the Hills.

Worth noting: The current owners paid $2.0m in Oct. 2006. It was a $1.0m house 6 years earlier, though it was probably improved before the peak sale in '06.

This one's a Saturday-only open this weekend – 219 Dianthus is open Sat. 2-4pm.

From no yard we move to a gargantuan yard at 856 11th (4br/3ba, 2225 sq. ft.). The smallish house is all set up at the front of the 6,000 sq. ft. lot, affording a big, sunny, truly parklike yard. It's an extra bonus that the home's currently got a full kids' playset out back as well.

The mid-70s home tends to show its vintage in places, and the 2-up/2-down layout with the bedrooms is not going to suit every family well. The kitchen's nicely updated and the floors upstairs have a newer feel.

Try not to get wedded to the very nice eastward views from the top floor living spaces and deck – a new home is being readied for construction next door, and there's no telling exactly how 856 11th will be affected.

MBC mentioned this home a couple times in late 2008 when it was offered at $1.479m. (It was a sage green color then.) The home seems to have rented out in the interim. It starts now a tiny bit higher at $1.499m.

856 11th is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

If there's a new flat walkstreet listing, you can count on MBC to gush, right?

We'll try with 517 5th (3br/2ba, 1475 sq. ft.), which starts at $1.699m.

The draw of the flat walkstreets is the kid-friendly, neighborly lifestyle. For that, you pay extra. (The listing pics conclude with a collage of MB and walkstreet pics to pitch the walkstreet life: Pumpkin carving, bouncy houses, and – er – dolphins?)

This stretch of 5th is sufficiently long to be a block unto itself, but an east-of-Ingleside location may be a tiny demerit as walkstreets go.

You don't get a lot of house for your money here. The bedrooms are all smallish and no one gets a dedicated bath. The common space could be a crunch, so you'll be pushing the kids outside. That's OK, though: that's where they should be, playing with their friends and, perhaps, the dolphins.

517 5th is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

Tree Section

763 31st is a custom masterpiece that starts as high as it can at $3.295m.

The home's big, but not overly so at 5br/5ba, 3575 sq. ft. (If you want that 5th bedroom you'll have to dismantle the terrific office up at the front of the house off the entry)

The inspired, timeless European design puts to shame a thousand "Mediterraneans" that you've seen before. The home's 10 years old, but it could be 3 years or 310 years old and you could believe it either way. Open-beam ceilings lining the dramatic living/dining area are classy, with the same attractive, woodsy ceilings dressing up the master.

A spacious, modern kitchen has all the must-have features and  could accommodate a catering crew easily if you're entertaining.

Homes on the north side of 31st tend not to have yards or much open space, but the courtyard off the first level here is somewhat bigger than expected.

We mentioned the high price at the outset. The PPSF to start here is $921/PSF, outstandingly high for the Trees. You see a lot of closed sales in the $500-$700/PSF range, and even if that's an imperfect measure, it tells you that this 31st St. house is pushing the ceiling. (But oh, what a ceiling it has!)

Across the street, a new home that's much larger (5br/4ba, 5200 sq. ft.) at 768 31st and actually offers something of a yard is in escrow now, last priced at $3.599m, or $673/PSF. [UPDATE: Right after this story first posted, 768 31st closed for $3.2m – $616/PSF.]

763 31st is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

2317 Walnut (3br/3ba, 1980 sq. ft.) is plain vanilla, clean and bright, and aging somewhat gracefully since its 1975 construction.

They didn't have "great rooms" in the 70s, so the kitchen is walled off in back, away from the rest of the house. Two living rooms and a dining area give plenty of family space downstairs. The back yard, while adequate, isn't big, has a sunken hot tub taking up a chunk of space and, actually, may be shady in the afternoons despite a southwest exposure.

Bedrooms are unspectacular, and the master bath cries out the loudest for an update.

It's an adequate, clean home that doesn't absolutely need to be updated, but probably will be, over time, by the next residents. Starts at $1.175m.

2317 Walnut is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

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