Weekend Opens (5/26-5/27)

By Dave Fratello | May 26th, 2012
Funny how temps these days in the low now 60s feel a little warm. Same temp in March – you might be reaching for a sweater.

This must be how Summer begins, when your body's ready for it.

And this is the weekend when, ceremonially, Summer begins.

It's also a weekend that new listings generally avoid. Why debut when "everyone" is away?

But fear not, there's one great MB destination home for the weekend looking for your attention Sunday, over at 625 31st, near where all the Snoopers were crawling just last week. It's worth your time if you're here in town Sunday.

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

As usual, we appreciate it when readers share views on this week's featured properties. Let us know what you like, don't like or must have.

And if you're thinking about getting into the market as a buyer or seller, please consider asking MBC for help identifying the right agent for you.

Blog author Dave Fratello works directly with buyer clients on a case-by-case basis, but our priority here is to make sure that anyone who wants help gets the best service possible. For more, see our referrals page.

Tree Section

625 31st  
625 31st (4br/4ba, 3375 sq. ft.) is a 9-year-old custom build on one of the Great Streets in the Trees, with surprising views to the south as a bonus.

They don't name the style here – it's not "Cape Cod," it might be "Coastal Carolinas" (like the neighbor from the Snoop), or you could just call it traditional American with a major Southern note, given the very big front porch.

But you don't need to name it to enjoy a fairly big, custom house with lots of indoor/outdoor living spaces spread throughout the first level.

Outdoor living room at 625 31st    
There's that big porch, plus a big formal living room and 2 dining areas, a big, open kitchen, and almost 2 separate backyard outdoor living spaces. Out back, there's al fresco dining plus a little outdoor family room with a flatscreen built into a hutch outside. Can you see the outdoor firepit in our pic? This one's a first for us – watching the sporting event or film of our choice out of doors with a warming fire between the viewers and the video entertainment... wow. Just be careful where you set down the popcorn.

Someone's got to sleep some time here, and they'll all be doing that upstairs. (One of the home's shortcomings is the absence of an office or guest suite on the first level.) The master is a delight, up front to get the morning's first light, and also enjoying notable views to the south over neighboring homes, bringing in a very nice panorama which, they say, sometimes includes "unheard of views all the way to PV." Others can enjoy the same view from a hallway door that opens to a little balcony at the front of the home.

The remaining 3br include one with its own bath and 2 sharing a bath. None of these kids' rooms is especially large, but they're fine.

Overall this is a fairly big, bright house built for entertaining.

The start price of $2.750m is going to raise eyebrows. The newest comparable sale on prestigious 31st St. was 763 31st, a storybook beauty with classic old-European styling, but modern and fresh. That home was also bigger by over 600 sq. ft. and had a bigger lot by 300 sq. ft. But it sold for $2.450m in something of a surprise. (See "Close the Books on 763 31st.")

At 625 31st you have a more conventional home with seemingly lots more common space, including better use of the outside space, plus those views. So the price needs to weigh those plus factors.

Check it out, let us know how you see it.

625 31st starts at $2.750m and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

In the furthest north regions of MB near Rosecrans, you find a series of odd homes like 3608 Crest (3br/4ba, 2130 sq. ft.) taking advantage of ocean views over rooftops.

For a fairly modest price ($1.299m) you get those views, plus walkability to the beach and our second downtown, on a small lot on an alley with power lines imposing.

The home screams "70s" with its Tudor-inspired details and dated baths, and could really use a head-to-toe refresher. Layout is perhaps typical of half-lot homes in the Sand, with one of each of the legal bedrooms on its own level – one off the mid (entry) level, another downstairs and a third up top. On that top level, obviously enjoying the best views, a "den" was created by removing walls from a former bedroom – good move to share the views like that.

3608 Crest starts at $1.299m and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

Hill Section

1027 Boundary Place (4br/4ba, 3250 sq. ft.) is different, surprising, a head-scratcher at points. But charming somehow... its Old World inspiration may grow on you.

Boundary has hung around a while (72 days as we write), having some difficulty getting traction at a $1.6ish price. So it's not really debuting this week, but they've now staged the house and proclaimed that it looks much different now – easier to imagine how the unusual split-level living spaces will actually work. We haven't seen it yet staged, but hope to.

There are interesting faraway ocean view panoramas from some of the living spaces and the master. This home's positioned high up the hill just before Sepulveda, so you see the whole Hill Section unfold below. For more, see our initial review from March.

1027 Boundary Place began at $1.649m and is now at $1.599m, a tiny PPSF for the Hills – and is open Sat. & Sun. 12-4pm.

East MB

1717 9th (4br/3ba, 3225 sq. ft.) is a slightly confused home showing much of its 1980s vintage, but with some notable updates (like the kitchen) and a big surprise asset.

Would you like a big outdoor room, complete with fireplace, TV and bar? Fully enclosable but fully outdoors? Check that box. That's a cool feature here, newly added.

There's also a good amount of extra yard space, grass on 2 sides of a sort of L-shaped yard. A sandbox with large play structure is off to one corner. Kid heaven.

There's a lot of first-floor living space, counting both indoors and out – almost too much, frankly. The "formal" living room with 2-story ceilings is used by the current folks as a real living room, rendering the huge family room almost excessive, more so if you really use the outdoor room (as you had better do). All this extra space on the first floor might make you miss the extra bedroom or study that could have been put into the footprint, but wasn't.

Upstairs you find all 4 br, of which 2 are at the end of the hall and one is right next to the master. The kids' rooms share a hallway bath, while the master bath... shows all of its age, and wants an update.

A moderately big 4br house in (pretty far) East MB, full 7500 sq. ft. lot, needing some work but fine as is – what's that worth? In Sept. 2007, the market said: $1.689m. That was before the outdoor room. Now, the sellers are saying: $1.599m.

1717 9th starts at $1.599m, and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

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