Weekend Opens (6/15-6/16)

By Dave Fratello | June 15th, 2013

Folks, they're going to declare that it's officially Summer soon.

The solstice looms, the end of school looms (what are the kids going to do?!?), and the June gloom looms on many days, though it's never quite "cold." Yep, Summer.

Traditionally, listings taper off a bunch for Summer, but it doesn't have to be that way.

Our working hypothesis here is that the Summer ahead will feature more sellers-by-choice than usual and more choices for buyers. All the better if you're trying to get into MB, even in time for locking into the schools.

But we'll see.

We're at 59 total listings in MB as we enter the weekend, a little dip from last week, and only about a third of the inventory level of what we've seen in sluggish markets past. What comes out these days is an interesting mix of "stuff we expect to linger" and "OMG, new bidding war."

There's an open at Dave's listing at 468 34th this week, so please come by Sunday and check it out (1-4pm).

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

1560 10th (4br/3ba, 2400 sq. ft.) is really different – as button-cute in person as you see in the pics and, while smallish, just enough space, with a surprisingly good-sized yard.

The fairly large L-shaped living spaces downstairs offer two living room areas and a dining space. Also on the first floor, there's an open kitchen (clean but not up to date) and a 4th bedroom/office opening to the yard.

All 3 additional bedrooms are upstairs. There are lots of sharp peaks to the roof and ceilings (you see the protruding dormers) that give the home a quaint and classic feel. The kids' rooms are of good size, and both feature built-in lofts accessed by a built-in ladder.

The master has windows on 3 sides, including substantial views through picture windows to the north. The master bath is one of the smallest, fully functional master baths we've seen, and bright thanks in part to an unusual choice: glass french doors into the bath. (See the pic here.) You can see into the bath at any time from the room. So there's that. The master also hosts the laundry in a closet.

The lot size here raises the first major question: it's 3700 sq. ft. That's almost half of a "normal" big East MB lot, and notably less than a more typical 5000-ish lot you might find.

And we weren't quite prepared for no garage. The one-car original garage has been converted (informally we'd guess) to play space. Even if you un-converted it, that's a tiny garage.

The yard is unthinkably large for a good-size home on such a small lot. It puts to shame the postage stamps and narrow strips you see on a typical Tree Section house. It's fully sunny now of an afternoon with Summer at hand, but looks like it would be largely sunny for several months of the year, despite its position on the northern side of the house. (Newly planted grass makes that tough to assess.) There's also a large, newer deck.

The start price here, just shy of $1.4M, seems ambitious based on home size and, especially, lot size, plus the fact that updates are still called for in the pricey areas: kitchen and baths. Nonetheless, demand for a cute 4br house with a yard is strong, and the location here – close to parks and schools on a street without much traffic – helps a lot.

1560 10th starts at $1.389M and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

Tree Section

2200 John (4br/4ba, 3800 sq. ft.) seems like it's been around forever, but that's just because of the steady rumble of pre-marketing they did for this property over the past 5-6 weeks or so. (It's only got 5 DOM officially, as we write on Saturday.) Finally now they're letting people in, and maybe some day, they'll even look at offers.

Oh there will be interest. Give us a listing on John, yes. How about a nicely built, fully refreshed house on a large-size 5700 sq. ft. lot? Yes. Wide-open, bright spaces, a kitchen/great room that connects to the backyard/garden, yes. All those things will make people say "yes."

This is a custom-built home that actually dates to 1994, though it's somehow hard to see that, mostly. The Craftsman-inspired style features woods and nice limestone and granite, avoiding clichés of 90s building and dated materials, so that you just see a "classic" feeling home that could have been built anywhere in the past 20 years. Here and there we saw materials and appliances, like the high-end cooktop, that simply must have been updated in recent years, further precluding its giving off a 90s vibe.

You enter into a nominally sized formal living room with windows everywhere up to the second floor. The space is different and compelling, not one of those "lost" or wasted formal living rooms – and it's not too big. Toward the back is formal dining and that big kitchen/great room, with a big casual dining area (too big to call a "nook") at the rear, with great morning light and views of the garden.

The house is built along a gentle downslope, and there are a few sets of steps down as you move front to back to accommodate that. In this case, the sunken family room is not a style choice, but a necessity to put it at a level with the backyard patio.

Upstairs there are 3br, including the master with huge closet and seating area, and an oversize laundry/craft room. The 4th bedrom is actually downstairs, easy to miss, as it's tucked discreetly behind the entry door – nicely private.

This one offers great family space on a prime street. The question may be whether buyers want to run with the style here or spend money to perform updates or take it in a new direction.

Disclosure: Dave has toured this property with clients.

2200 John starts at $2.499M and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

Hill Section

916 11th St. (5br/4ba, 4325 sq. ft.) is like 2200 John in some ways – a bigger house on a big lot (7500 sq. ft. in this case) with a 90s build date. And it's priced much the same out of the gates at $2.450M.

But 11th St. east of Poinsettia is no John St., and this early-90s build feels very much like one. What puts the prices on the same par (for now) is the larger lot here and the prestige attached to the Hill Section generally.

They call the custom style here "Coastal French Normandy," and, yes, that's the first time we've written that full phrase on MBC in 6+ years. So it's different.

Inside it's a good layout, even with the big formal living room eating up space up front, because the space in back is tremendous. A huge, open kitchen comes out to both a big family room and a built-in sun porch (part of the original construction). There is a lot of room to move around and not bump into your roommates, plus a garden out back that could grow to a serious yard if you were to remove the disused garage structure. (From the original home on this site.)

There's lots of different kinds of flooring on the first floor – stone tile for a big stretch, carpet in the living room, wood in the kitchen and part of the family room, carpet again inset into a square of the family room.

There's an office/guest room downstairs, plus the rest of the bedrooms and laundry up top. Typical of a 90s build, the master suite is giant. It's got compelling treetop and hill views to the south and west; the balcony off the master gave a great sense of space.

The other bedrooms include two good-sized kids' rooms and a large suite up at the front of the house that would be a master in almost any part of the United States of America. 

Bonus: Two walk-in storage closets on the second floor. Got stuff?

This is a lot of space (obviously) with the plus of the Hills, but you have to make peace with the location and set a budget for updates.

916 11th starts at $2.450M and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

429 21st (3br/4ba, 1900 sq. ft.) is a pretty compelling, modern TH, just a few years old (2009 build), with some views off the front deck.

As is common with TH layouts, there's one br downstairs on its own, 2 on the midlevel and all the common spaces up top.

The master is sleek, if not huge, with a very nice bath.

The modern kitchen highlights the upstairs living spaces, with high ceilings and – a detail we liked – exposed, stained beams.

429 21st sold new in 2010 at $1.768M.

It starts now at $1.899M, and is open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.

506 21st (3br/1ba, 1150 sq. ft.) is a very original house on an unusual lot just off Live Oak Park's Dorsey Field.

As we noted just yesterday, they've brought it out at $1.250M, a bit below the sold price on comparable, but "more livable" 518 24th ($1.325M in early May).

This one will have to draw some interest as a building site, but we always love it when the little cottages are preserved if they can be saved.

Worth noting: Right across the walking path (city easement) to the east, a newer (2004) home at 510 21st (5br/4ba, 2950 sq. ft.) sold in Dec. 2012 for $2.218M.

We also observed in yesterday's post:

This new one raises interesting questions. Does the walking path intrude on privacy, or is it just great to have no neighbor on one side? Is a baseball field a location positive or negative? And do the building restrictions inherent in the lot topography make it less desirable than a fully flat lot?

506 21st starts at $1.250M and is open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm. 

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