Weekend Opens (6/1-6/2)

By Dave Fratello | June 1st, 2013

The kids go to school every day, but after Memorial Day, are they still working? The high school seniors have all but packed up for college; the lower grades seem to be largely coasting. Beach days seem more prevalent than late-night studying.

So, yes, Summer is truly coming.

We begin June with 64 active listings (SFRs and THs), a little creep upwards of 5 since last week.

We're giving you another chance to see 468 34th this week, so please come by Sunday and say "hi."

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

Tree Section

625 31st (4br/4ba, 3370 sq. ft.) is a 10-year-old custom build on one of the Great Streets in the Trees, with surprising views to the south as a bonus.

This one ran for about 6 weeks on the market at this exact time last year, always at $2.750M, but didn't sell. It's back now $245K higher, the working theory being: 2013 is hotter than 2012.

They don't name the style here – it's not "Cape Cod," it might be "Coastal Carolinas" (a style name that had a brief moment in the sun last year), or you could just call it traditional American with a major Southern note, given the very big front porch.

Either way, it's 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.

All the bedrooms are upstairs. 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 may sometimes include PV on the horizon.

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, pushing for a big premium based on the winds blowing today and the prestige block.

625 31st starts at $2.995M and is open Sun. 12-3pm.

622 Rosecrans (3br/2ba, 1500 sq. ft.) just adds to a series of interesting, remodeled offerings this year that has made Rosecrans seem positively happenin'.  

Among the highlights of the first half of 2013: 610 Rosecrans, an all but brand new, smashing house that will shortly smash records for the street when escrow closes (listed at $1.399M); 738 Rosecrans, which drew multiple offers and closed for $1.365M; 636 Rosecrans, a bigger 1980s house (2700+ sq. ft.) in good shape that sold off-market for $1.270M recently, and 558 Rosecrans, nearby and newly in escrow (list price: $1.325M).

In that crowd, 622 Rosecrans stands out as the smallest and maybe most conventional of the group, but it's still a well-done, fairly recent remodel. Exterior is in very good shape, the kitchen is of modern vintage and the master bath is nice. The A/C helps if you want to keep the doors closed to shut out traffic noise.

What may put off some buyers is the TH-like layout – the master is on the main floor with living spaces – sharing its bath – while 2br are downstairs. One opens to a little concrete patio between the house and garage.

It's very clean and solid, if limited. They're not pushing the price (yet) like the other recent Rosecrans listings.

622 Rosecrans starts at $1.099M and is open Sat. & Sun. 2-4:30pm.

Sand Section

468 34th (4br/5ba, 3525 sq. ft.) is Dave's listing up on the plateau. MBC can't purport to offer "neutral" reviews Dave's listings, so here's the official description, and here's hoping you'll come by during the open this Sunday:

Your family will enjoy this lovely, newer Cape Cod on a quiet street of the Sand Section plateau.

Spacious common rooms on the first floor feature hardwood flooring, including an open kitchen/family room in back.

All four bedrooms are on one level, including master suite with fireplace and separate "his and hers" walk-in closets.

Upstairs, a family/game room opens to great deck with ocean peeks where you're sure to spend a lot of time. (Tax records count the top floor room as the fifth bedroom.)

This whole home has been refreshed with new paint and carpet and looks terrific. Wood shingles recently replaced with long-life Hardie shingles. Near new central vacuum unit.

Once you see this home, it's easy to feel the lifestyle pluses of a short walk to school, the beach and MB's "second downtown" in the North End. Start your summer off right with this great beach house!

The photos look great full-screen at the dedicated property website:


468 34th is at $2.725M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

2917 Vista (3br/4ba, 2150 sq. ft.) is a completely modernized, bright 90s-built TH with some ocean peaks up top, and spacious bedroom suites.

Almost everything inside is new or newer, including a smashing, recent re-do of the open, sunny kitchen.

One bedroom is on the first level, a little isolated, while two master-like suites are on the midlevel. The true master's bath has a sleek, 21st-century look to it and a big walk-in closet.

The distressed hardwood throughout each floor, especially the stairs and top floor, is a semi-dark wood that bridges the gap between the ultra-dark walnut stains that have been popular and the lighter, more greyish French oak type stains we've been seeing recently. (The listing description refers to this as "Indonesian Hevea hardwood," and that's one we'd suggest looking for, if you've got a project coming up.)

This is the back unit, obviously, with the Vista address, so you're dealing with an alley in back and more limited views than you'd have on Alma in front.

Disclosure: Dave is friendly with the seller and offered some advice before the property was remodeled and came to market.

2917 Vista starts at $1.739M and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

408 26th (4br/4ba, 2650 sq. ft.) joins a group of large townhomes seeking big dollars. 

In its favor: This is one extremely well-executed, newer TH, with not-insignificant ocean peeks & views to the south and north. (Though the telephoto shots in the listing are kind of extreme.)

Also: The front unit, 2520 Alma (3br/4ba, 2520 sq. ft.), with huge views, just sold for $2.799M off-market. Yikes, $2.8M for a TH! But that makes $2.5M for the back unit seem, well, reasonable, doesn't it? It's all relative.

Layout puts the master and a secondary bedroom on the midlevel (shown as a midfloor living room), with 2 kids' rooms downstairs off a little patio.

Nothing is standard-issue here, even if the exterior looks familiar among newer TH builds. There's a custom, great feel. The top-floor great room really surprised us to the positive; very nice, white kitchen with marble tops, wide open spaces, balconies. Nice.

Still, whatever happened to the front unit, this one joins 2905 Crest ($2.689M, 63 DOM) and 2904 Highland ($2.299M, 66 DOM) in a submarket for larger townhomes that has not, yet, been red hot.

 This one was new in 2009 – bad year for real estate, good year for bargain-hunting. The sale price then was $1.995M. They'll get more than this this year.

408 26th starts now at $2.495M (+25%), and is open Sat. & Sun. 3-5pm.

Hill Section

200 John (5br/3ba, 2050 sq. ft.) is undersized compared to its neighbors, this being a 1950s cottage with an add-on over the garage. (Hidden, in this pic, behind a big tree – but it's there.)

Most of the neighbors along John – and even 2nd St. – are built up, or at least remodeled much more. One of the best homes in MB is just up John from here.

The rather frank listing description says of the home's current condition: "The home is tenant occupied and shows like it has been for years." No euphemisms there.

Buyers are going to want to completely re-do 200 John, maybe add on to it, maybe start fresh after scheduling an appointment with a bulldozer. As they say, the current home is obsolete.

The house now offers an amazing 5br in this smallish space – only one of which is truly tiny. But there's no true master. The two newer upstairs bedrooms are fairly big, and one gets the best views in the house, but they share a narrow, rickety bath.

The basic floorplan downstairs has its appeal, with two nice living rooms and a very open kitchen, plus a reasonably sizable yard. But here's guessing that making comments about the current home is a purely academic exercise – it will likely be replaced.

Lot size here is given as 4988 sq. ft., call it 5000. The corner at John and 2nd is busy during school pickups/dropoffs, and 2nd has fairly continuous traffic through the day.

The big question is views from upstairs. The listing touts ocean views, but for us, that was a strain; we saw a sliver of blue by looking carefully down a street in the South End Sand Section. And a little slice of PV when looking due south. But mainly these views were what we'd call "sense of place" views, seeing the rooftops and treetops of the greenbelt and South End, mostly unobstructable, really feeling your position in this part of MB. Breezes will be very nice.

Disclosure: Dave has toured this property with clients.

200 John draws a natural comparison with a run-down cottage at 1026 Pacific that is in escrow now, and could also be a building site, depending. 1026 Pacific came out at $1.500M but is rumored to be in escrow much closer to $1.700M.

200 John starts at $1.639M and is open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.

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