Weekend Opens (5/25-5/26)

By Dave Fratello | May 25th, 2013

First things first, we hope you enjoy your first (unofficial) weekend of Summer!

If you happen to be in MB looking for something unique to do, why not give the MB 5K a run on Monday morning?

Very early Monday (like 7am early), the tide will be very low, and the flat, wet sand will invite hundreds of folks out for a unique kind of run. It starts and finishes right under the MB pier.

No road race can hold a candle to a waterside run in your hometown, with waves crashing and cheering crowds at the finish. There are kids' races, too, a bit later.

To us, this annual run is a signature event for Manhattan Beach. So MBC is proudly sponsoring the race this year.

In terms of housing, we enter the holiday weekend with 59 active listings (SFRs and THs), the most in a while, perhaps the beginning of a Summertime accretion... but we'll see.

This 3-day weekend is not one listings would typically target for a launch. Too many folks away, too many visitors in town for kicks and not really shopping. But we did see several new listings hit the market this week, some of which are open.

Indeed, some listings will run Memorial Day open houses. Hey, people are walking around on Monday, why not?

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

East MB

1200 10th (5br/6ba, 4600 sq. ft.) is only hinted at in the current crop of listing photos. There's no good exterior shot, and interior photos are fairly dark.

But you will still get the sense from these of what you'll find upon actually visiting, and it's great.

It's a thoughtfully designed 21st-century Cape Cod (whoops, they call it "Plantation/Colonial"). The whole first floor boasts high ceilings, lots of white, lots of light, with attractive walnut flooring through most of the living areas, and a custom tile flooring in the kitchen/great room opening to the yard. (The room actually opens out on two sides, with a great breakfast nook/casual dining area getting its own special place in between.)

That great room, with its sunny southern-exposure yard and no neighbors to the west – thanks to the corner location – really sells that place. It's what everyone seems to say they want. And in this very "now" styling, to boot. What a look. 

Upstairs, the bedrooms are all suites, but none can touch the master – a huge room with vaulted ceilings, a separate seating area and a more-than-decent covered balcony, big closets and a terrific bath featuring white marble.

About our only quibble with the home is the use of tan-colored travertine in all of the baths except the master. It's pleasant enough, but seems to befit a Mediterranan style rather than running with the Cape Cod/Plantation/Colonial look.

1200 10th first launched in Aug. 2012 at $2.899M (while construction was just under way), quit for a bit, and re-launched in April at $3.199M. It is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

1801 3rd (4br/3ba, 2475 sq. ft.) is so far east, some people won't look, but that could be a mistake.

This pocket of 3rd is at the mouth of a cul-de-sac that has some pretty nice homes, despite its proximity to Aviation. And the street this corner-lot home runs along, Harkness, seems lightly traveled.

Inside you find a 50s cottage that's been expanded notably. The footprint of an original 3br/1ba home is evident up front, while additions to the back and upstairs brought the square footage deep into the 2400s. That includes a spacious family room with fireplace, a long and fairly big kitchen and pretty big and bright master upstairs.

The bonus enclosed porch/game room is a nice plus, as is the backyard.

Now, everything wants updating. There's no mistaking it: This is a project house. You'd like to see much of the work done at once, precisely because the current home bears the stamps of several different remodels – different flooring here or there, different tile, faux brick wall paneling here, wood paneling there, and so on. The home could stand some consistency in design.

Still, there's a lot to work with, and we felt upbeat about the prospects.

The start price of $1.299M is attractive given current land values for 7500 sq. ft. lots and the basic workability of the home. Add the costs of remodeling to your tastes, and ask: Is this worth the total investment? It might be.

1801 3rd starts at $1.299M and is open Sat., Sun. and Mon. 1-4pm.

1804 Faymont (4br/3ba, 3300 sq. ft.) reminded us instantly of 1324 Marine, a home with the same floorplan that failed to sell in two runs on the market in 2012.

It's unusual, otherwise, to find an upside-down layout, with 3br – including the master – downstairs, in a location without views. But that's what you got at Marine, and what you get here. 

There's a distinctly original late-80s vibe, with carpet almost everywhere and a kitchen and baths that all feel very much of that era. So it will want some refreshing.

What 1804 Faymont has going for it are size and price. There's a lot of room to spread out in the upstairs family areas. (A legal 4th bedroom upstairs probably serves as an office/playroom.) And there aren't many other big "entry-level" homes in MB under $1.6M.

Other Liberty Village sales this year include smaller, nearby 1909 Faymont (3br/2ba, 1820 sq. ft.) at $1.350M and similarly sized 2104 Harkness (4br/3ba, 3200 sq. ft.) at $1.580M. (Harkness was Dave's co-listing and sold $31K over asking.)

Based on those 2, the start at 1804 Faymont, $1.549M, seems a bit ambitious. Harkness was modernized and move-in ready, while this one will need some help. Then again, we're later into the season here, and buyers are realizing that there are fewer places in MB to find a big house at this price point.

1804 Faymont starts at $1.549M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

511 23rd (4br/3ba, 2150 sq. ft.) is an original cottage that's gotten an add-on in back and up top to perhaps double its original size.

It's bright and cute, and shows pretty well. And this 500-block street in the gaslamp area is nice, very walkable to school and the beach.

We felt a clash between the 50s beach cottage feel and a (roughly) 1980s vibe from the "upgraded" kitchen and master bath. One bath is clean but completely original. So there is work to be done to fulfill the promise of this little cutie, to give it the full "21st century beach cottage" feel that is all the rage now.

Common spaces around the first floor are decent, and include a spare bedroom with glass doors that probably really serves as an office or study.

Worth noting regarding the bedrooms: The 4th bedroom in the listing is that first-floor room, hard to see it as a sleeping space, and two of the upstairs bedrooms are just enough – beach-size bedrooms, not much room to spread out. That's as it should be, but may be a limitation for some families.

511 23rd starts at $1.650M and is open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.

Tree Section

14 Laurel Square (4br/3ba, 2145 sq. ft.) is part of a multi-unit planned development near Martyrs church. It's unusual for MB in general, even more rare west of the highway.

Here the common rooms are all upstairs and bedrooms down, with a flow that seems a bit chopped up. (We're not sure the 4th "bedroom" upstairs really is; there's a den upstairs where they staged with a giant stuffed bear "sleeping" on a mat, but without a closet, we don't see a bedroom.)

The kitchen is fairly modern, but remodeling work over the years – paint here, flooring there, tile there – has been inconsistent and may need to be redone to make it cohesive. (We said much the same above about 1801 3rd.) 

There's no denying the pluses, in general, of the location. Steps to school(s), walkable to town, etc. And if you might take advantage of the pool and/or sports court, the community areas could be a real plus. (A $325/mo. HOA fee covers your insurance, including earthquake, and covers all of the maintenance on the complex.) 

This home was listed for 6 months last year at $1.275M but failed to catch a buyer.

It's back now at $1.195M – cheaper, in a hotter year.

14 Laurel Square starts at $1.195M and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

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