Weekend Opens (5/7-5/8)

By Dave Fratello | May 7th, 2011
It's a weekend for moms, horses and... soccer?

Maybe you should know about the Jeff Goodrich Parents' Soccer Classic, a newly renamed event in which – get this – the dads of local schoolkids hit the pitch in a daylong series of grudge matches to help raise money. (For the MB Athletic Foundation as well as the family of recently deceased MB police officer Jeff Goodrich.)

Come see how short fields, lax rules and school pride combine to drive a bunch of weekend warriors to battle fiercely over a little rawhide orb. The tournament is at Mira Costa's Waller (football) Stadium from 8:30am-4pm Saturday, with plenty of fun, food & drink for all. (Your blog author will purport to play in a few morning games.)

Soccer or no, of course we wish all the moms a great day Sunday.

Please note that most open houses are Saturday due to the holiday.

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

Hill Section

One of the great areas of the Hill Section is Pacific from roughly 6th to 9th Ave.

So, was it exciting to see 704 Pacific (5br/7ba, 4975 sq. ft.) pop up on the MLS? Why, yes.

The home doesn't disappoint. It's a classically styled, 1997 custom build that takes its views, and its living spaces, seriously.

You hope for, and get, the blue panoramas. You hope for, and find, that the late-90s build avoided fads and went for mostly timeless details that stand up well even 15 years later.

Both a living room and dining room on the main floor open up to those big views, while the large kitchen has its own eating area that opens out to a big and delightfully adorned back yard. Upstairs, the master suite is big and quite useful as a secondary living space, drinking in those huge views. It's one of those spaces like we've seen before and said, "Hey, why would you leave this room, ever?"

The big, unexpected treat, the icing on the cake, is the office. If you work at a desk – and come on, 90% of MBC readers do – you'll quickly fall into fantasy over the idea of taking this home's completely separate home office for your own. It's in the back yard, accessed off a steep, separate staircase from the back yard. Climb, climb and climb, and soon you're at the highest point on the lot, looking over the rest of the Hill Section (no utility poles!), with clear, 180-degree panoramas centered on PV and Catalina. Two walls of windows feature the views. You see this, and you think, "This is good."

In fact, it's all good, for those who are looking for something to do with their $5m or so.

704 Pacific starts at $5.249m, and is open Sat. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

508 5th (3br/2ba, 1375 sq. ft.) begs you to come look: Ooooh, a flat walkstreet home! 

At $1.750m to start, you might think that inside, you'd find one of those charmingly redone beach cottages, looking like it had just leaped off the pages of Sunset magazine.

But no, it's probably a scraper. The home's livable with a little work, we suppose, but maybe more as a rental than by an owner-user who's just paid almost $1.8m.

Someone's likely to radically renovate 508 5th or take it down and start fresh. Tour the home to get the neighborhood flavor, but bring your contractor.

508 5th starts at $1.750m and is open Sat. 2-4pm.

Tree Section

3403 Laurel (6br/4ba, 3600 sq. ft.) graces a nearly double-size, non-splittable lot (8640 sq. ft.) on a rare flat part of Laurel.

The home feels like it sprawls out over grounds (everything's relative in the Trees), with a play-friendly front yard plus more grass and a great pool in back.

The home itself is a 1939 original that has been added onto here and there over the decades, though it seems the work has been done with care. Of those 6 listed bedrooms, 5 are upstairs, but one feels like the living room it used to be.

The vast, high-end kitchen got the most recent, thoughtful updating and offers all you could ask, including separate, full-size freezer and fridge and a brick indoor barbecue that dates back to the original home – when the bbq itself was actually outside. (Points for preservation there.)

The layout is a bit unusual, and some buyers will want to bring an attack plan for the home's next round of updates. But this is a lot of land and a lot of home for the family that's ready to take it to the next level.

3403 Laurel starts at $1.749m, and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

533 15th (6br/6ba, 5300 sq. ft.) is open again this Saturday – last Sat. it was the sole subject of one MBC open-house post.

It's a giant, crisp, ocean-view beach house benefiting from a huge (7700 sq. ft.) lot on Martyrs Hill.

A few years back we literally paid to see this home on the Sophisticated Snoops tour, but now this showpiece of local RE is up free for John Q. Public to enjoy. Don't miss the chance.

533 15th is up at $5.350m, and is open Sat. 1-4pm.

2322 Laurel Bluff (4br/4ba, 3300 sq. ft.) is one of several homes built out along a private drive off Laurel, just above Ardmore. The home features a 1995 build date, and that won't be a surprise, as the home has several features, like the kitchen and baths, that show their vintage and could use a refresher.

Because it's built onto a slope, the layout is a little jarring. You enter onto a level featuring mainly one sitting room and the garage. You have to go up for most bedrooms or down for the other living spaces.

That downstairs space is fairly tranquil and also wide-open, boasting a dramatic 2-story ceiling with exposed beams. The kitchen's quite large, and the dining area opens to an ample, private patio that will allow for outdoor dining much of the year. Upstairs, the master gets pretty nice treetop views.

There's plenty to recommend the home, but as we noted, it will need some attention to bring it into the 21st century.

Neighbor 2326 Laurel Bluff (4br/4ba, 3175 sq. ft.) had a more straightforward layout and was much more intricately tricked out with recent updates, even qualifying for a past Snoops tour. It sold in August last year for $1.785m, just $75k more than 2322 is asking now. (Curiously, 2326 was marketed last year as "Villa Romanza," and now that same marketing label is applied by the same agent to 2322. Is every Laurel Bluff home "Villa Romanza?")

This home traded a couple of times quickly, early last decade – $1.675m in Dec. 2002 and $1.770m in Dec. 2003. This year's price is, thus, right between 2002-2003.

2322 Laurel Bluff starts at $1.710m and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

3524 Walnut (3br/2ba, 2100 sq. ft.) has just gotten a reboot, with a new agent and somewhat lower price. It's been offered on and off since July 2010, at prices alternating between $1.099m-$1.199m. The new listing starts at $1.125m.

The home could use a reboot, too. It's a 60s original with not much updated. Think formica countertops, older faux-stone tile, etc. There is newer carpeting in the front living room and newer faux-wood (Pergo-type) flooring in the back family room opening to the hardscape patio.

Location will also challenge some buyers. Not only is the home near Rosecrans and the refinery, it actually has spectacular views of the refinery, given that the hill rises quite a bit on its side of Walnut. Position yourself just right, and you see treetops out over the Tree Section, but the refinery looms large.

This is a home that has to make up for its issues with price, but so far hasn't been flexible enough. We happened to see it after touring a larger, better-located home with an extra bedroom and some real charm, 2607 Valley (4br/3ba, 2560 sq. ft.). That's a short sale up at $1.150m, and though it's not publicly open this weekend, it's underscoring the fact that you can get more at Walnut's price point.

3524 Walnut re-starts at $1.125m and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

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