Weekend Opens (5/23-5/24)

By Dave Fratello | May 23rd, 2009
It's a holiday weekend, and guess what – that means your blog author might just take Monday off, too.

But to keep it interesting we'll run an extended "Weekend Opens" feature, with a couple best-of retreads, some high-priced listings that are worth some discussion, and a couple surprises.

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

We ask MBC readers who visit these homes – or any open houses – to also report back in the comments here. Tell us what you see, what you like and what you don't like.

East MB

Here's your first surprise – we're teasing an East MB listing. A rarity.

We have had a few inquiries about 1602 5th, a 4br/4ba, 2725 sq. ft. remodel on a good street. We'll suggest readers take a look and comment back here.

Mostly the home was rebuilt 15 years ago, but there are updates since, particularly the kitchen. Space is more than adequate, and if you like inspired landscaping, that's an extra bonus here as well.

West of Sepulveda, $1.199m wouldn't get you this much. Open Sun. 1-4pm.

Hill Section

814 10th is a huge new home (5br/7ba and 9,000 sq. ft.) on a double lot. Great Cape Cod styling, a delightful pool and cabana, and so much entertaining space upstairs, you could lose half your guests.

Lots of other pluses, including a master closet that might be bigger than the home you grew up in. A must-see in the Hills. Priced at $6.995m. Open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

801 1st (4br/3ba, 2800 sq. ft.) got a mention here last week, too, and is already down $100k from last week's opening price. The location along sometimes-busy Ardmore is, no doubt, causing some second thoughts among would-be buyers, and the layout is not completely conventional.

Still, the traditional style, views, nice breezes, updates – they make a nice package. Now $1.999m. Open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

Speaking of quick adjustments, check out 221 3rd (4br/5ba, 4075 sq. ft.), a bold, newer Mediterranean that is beach-close with big ocean views.

This is what you want in a walkstreet in the South End.

The listing started at $4.790m earlier this month, now at $4.495m (-$295k/-6%), a zone where lots of west-of-Highland beauties are starting to cluster.

Open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

308 and 318 Gull are new THs, not SFRs, but they're intriguing, and since anything goes this weekend, why not give them a nod, too?

The location is what it is – El Norte, huddled up next to the refinery, but, hey, high up the hill means big ocean views.

The lot was purchased almost 4 years ago for $1.385m. Now each condo (4br/4ba, about 2400 sq. ft. each) is up at $1.595m.

There are some challenges to that price, but we'll see.

We're also wondering how the sale price on either or both of these THs might affect the new development nearby, starting at Highland and going up the hill (see "Coming Soon to El Norte"), whenever those come online.

308 and 318 Gull are open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

Tree Section

There have been several sales in the Tree Section in May, including new construction clearing out. The open houses we're featuring here are mostly fresh, but at least the last 3 of 4 here appear to be priced high. That doesn't mean they're not worth a look – now or later. The good ones will move.

Buy now or else: 636 29th is threatening to leave.

The sellers have given it an honest 3 months or so, even offering the home below acquisition ($1.890m, Sept. '05). The 4br/4ba, 3250 sq. ft. home with a great location is at $1.699m now.

Give it a week or so more, though, and, according to the new Beach Reporter ad:
Home Will Be Off the Market at the End of the Month and Rented For Years
Now you can't say you weren't warned. Open Sat. only, 1-4pm.

New kid on the same block: 649 29th offers no pics as of yet, so an in-person drop-by is necessary. The listed size (4br/3ba, 2000 sq. ft.) is, frankly, small for the price: $1.699m.

Hey, that's the same price, but 1250 sq. ft. less than the home a few doors down the block! Well, you see, per the listing:
We believe this one's going to be cute. But we can't help but read that all-caps hype as "we firmly believe that you should overpay." Let's see. Open Sun. 1-4pm.

3113 Maple (4br/4ba, 3200 sq. ft.) is a mid-90s build with some very cute touches, like the picket fence in the backyard with kids' playhouse and vine-covered back patio arbor.

The charms could trigger an emotional reaction and make it a "must-have." (Not unlike what 649 29th is going for.) We're compelled to note, though, that some new construction of comparable size is selling for less than the start price here of $1.849m. Open Sun. 2-4pm.

1812 Palm (5br/4ba, 3225 sq. ft.) is a late-90s build that has all the look of new construction, including familiar layout and updated kitchen. Location is a clear plus, a quiet little block that's nonetheless near the school, church and downtown.

If that start price of $1.899m seems to come from another time, consider this – back in 1999, after the mid-90s housing depression had been cured, but before the big runup of this decade, the owners paid $1.215m. In 1999, that was a lot of money for an average-sized house on a standard-size lot in the Trees.

The markup now (+$684k/+56%) is modest compared to the bubble-inflated median over the same period. Open Sat. & Sun., 2-4pm.

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