Weekend Opens (6/12-6/13)

By Dave Fratello | June 12th, 2010
This weekend kicks off unlike any other at MBC.

The Daily Breeze launches its new "Home Guide" with a new real estate columnist: your blog author, using his real name. For more, see Saturday's paper, or click here for the online version.

This "coming out" came not a moment too soon, given Blake Roberts' post here preparing to ID your blog author.

All that, plus open houses.

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

If you do get out & around this weekend, please report back here on what you've seen, what you liked, didn't like, etc.

Hill Section

222 John (4br/4ba, 3850 sq. ft.) is high enough up treasured John Street to give you nice views – a reality that's all the better with an upside-down layout that puts the living spaces upstairs along with floor-wide windows that fully feature the panorama of the Pacific.

The home itself is a late-90s contemporary that doesn't hit you over the head with "modern" style, it's just a clean, crisp, non-nonsense home custom-built to the lot to maximize the home's main asset: those views.

The 4 bedrooms downstairs – including one that's now converted into an office – are set in a bit of a maze, but that's just to make sure the master gets the best views. As well the Mr. and Mrs. should.

Kitchen and living spaces upstairs are big and bright, with balconies to boot.

Of some concern: the home design is probably a bit formal for the average family, and there's really no yard.

The start price of $3.399m certainly compares favorably against another John contemporary that debuted last week – 526 John (4br/4ba, 3400 sq. ft.), which is smaller, quirkier and began much higher at $3.795m.

222 John is open Sat. 1-3pm and Sun. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

There will be some who need more than 420 10th offers in a flat walkstreet home, but at some point you're just getting greedy. This charmer offers 4br/3ba, 2400 sq. ft. in a classically styled home (the 1994 build date reflects a remodel) that fully basks in the walkstreet lifestyle.

All the bedrooms are up, meaning the living spaces – including an ample, shady front patio – are down and flow with the street life. As they should.

The home's got a cozy, beachy feel, with wainscoting along most walls, nice woods and light colors. A custom stained-glass window featuring a surfer, now over the stairway, may be hard to kiss goodbye, but it'll be a bonus for the buyers if it stays.

The kitchen and baths are in fine shape as is, with the exception of the master bath, which still feels like 1994 and features bold, cobalt blue tiles. That's where you go to work.

The little rear patio space features an unexpected treat: a small in-ground hot tub.

Starts at $2.195m.

420 10th is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

Another walkstreet option, a newer custom home at 440 5th (4br/4ba, 3070 sq. ft.), is also fresh on the market.

440 5th starts at $2.899m, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Tree Section

2326 Ardmore is the legal address of a home they'd like you to call 2326 Laurel Bluff Drive, or even "Villa Romanza." The home is one of just a few accessed off a short private road that connects to Laurel for several homes just up the hill from Ardmore, hence the flexible definition of the address.

Whatever you call it, the 4br/4ba, 3175 sq. ft. home is unquestionably in a private pocket, which has its own appeal.

And though it's of mid-90s vintage, the home was high-quality to begin with and has been nicely updated and customized along the way. Readers with long memories of the Sophisticated Snoop tours may remember this one from several years back.

The home was last purchased in July 2005 for $2.1m – if memory serves, just a short while after it was on the Snoop. Listing starts now at $1.899m.

Villa Romanza is open Sun. 1-4pm.

1406 Laurel Ave. gives you about 1300 sq. ft. more than the Laurel Bluff home in a 4-year-old home near American Martyrs. And it could run you $1m more.

The sizable home (5br/6ba, 4575 sq. ft.) still feels new, with high-quality stone and woods, a big great room and even a decent little back yard. The master features a substantial office/library with views that's a nice room unto itself – almost a shame to tie it to a bedroom.

One of those bedrooms is on the ground level, set up now as a gym, but the others are all up with the master and all of good size.

It's a bit of a hike up the stairs to the entry, and it's just as far from the garage, but that was unavoidable building into this little hill. Also, next door is a small church parking lot – visible from some upstairs rooms – and across the street from the big Martyrs lot, but somehow neither is a big factor.

1406 Laurel was sold new for $2.825m in Nov. 2006, but is now offered back at a small markup at $2.895m. Resales in MB are still mainly trading at 2004 prices, so we'll watch that list price for a bit. Perhaps hedging a bit, owners say they'll consider a lease.

1406 Laurel is open Sun. 1-4pm.

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