Weekend Opens (6/16-6/17)

By Dave Fratello | June 16th, 2012
What are you doing with your weekend?

First, you will sign this online petition to bring the Stanley Cup to MB, yes?

Don't even go out for bagels before you do that.

And after that – well, have you noticed that true Summer has dawned?

Sure, the kids have a few more lollygagging days of school left, but these mornings... grey but oddly warm, occasional misty sprinkles, the 2pm burnoff... Sunny, windy, sometimes-chilly Summer is here.

We passed the busy firepits at Dockweiller Friday night, and both smelled it and felt it.

New open houses in MB are limited this weekend – they're trying to avoid a Father's Day conflict, which we'll take as a sign of respect that dads don't always get, real-estate-wise.

But there are some compelling options regardless.

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.

Tree Section

3008 Poinsettia (4br/4ba, 3525 sq. ft.) is on one of the sweet blocks of the Tree Section, a set of perhaps 20 houses just north of Valley where the street is tree-lined and the houses often compelling.

This home was originally built in the 1950s but added onto majorly in 1990 – it really feels like an updated 1980s house. Kitchen was updated 4 years ago and some key baths are brand new, very sharp.

The lot has a bit of a downslope, which creates a layout quirk. You'll enter into a formal living room, with the kitchen and dining room right nearby. But the family room is down a half flight of stairs in back. That family room is a warm, comfy space with lots of light, opening out to the ample backyard with nice landscaping. But this home lacks the "great room" flow that is preferred by so many today.

Back to the entry level, you'll go up a half-flight of stairs to a "second master," a large bedroom with attached (new) bath and views to the backyard. Laundry's also on this midlevel.

Then it's up again to the main 3br, of which the 2 kids' rooms are rather small. (Just one is pictured in the listing, and it shows that it's just big enough for a full-size bed and armoire. The other seems to be about the same.)

The master is quite large, with high ceilings, a big walk-in closet, nice views out to the front, and a splendid, fully modern, large bath.

We wrote about this pocket of Poinsettia fully 5 years ago in "The Street Where Listings Don't Last." And this time, do you think this new listing will last?

Someone will be fine with this layout, love the yard, and will say "must have."

Disclosure: Dave toured the property for a client.

3008 Poinsettia starts at $1.725m, and is open Sat. only, 1-4pm.

754 26th (3br/2ba, 1775 sq. ft.) is a cute 1960s cottage with some updates and good flow out to a sunny, south-facing backyard with deck, hot tub and a grassy area.

It's a nice north-of-Valley location on a lot whose natural elevation is a bit of a puzzle. They've submerged the garage (bonus) to give the home a single-level layout, but you need to walk up stairs to get to the entry and the yard is down a bit. No direct garage access to the house.

The front room serves both as formal living and dining – a reasonably sized space for both purposes. One large bedroom (not the master) with french doors for access is just off the living area. A family room in back opens to the nice deck.

Another bedroom is of adequate size is in a side hallway near the master. The hallway bath has a nice, separate laundry area up front. Master suite is of good size, with a very big closet and nice bath – the step-down shower is a little different, and it looks out to the back yard through a little atrium shielded by glass block – also different.

The kitchen will want an update, but is clean and workable as is for now.

Disclosure: Dave toured the property with clients.

754 26th starts at $1.299m and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

738 33rd (3br/2ba, 2050 sq. ft.) is a mid-century home that we have called "quirky and mostly very dated, save for the kitchen."

This one has been in escrow for a long time, coming out at $1.329m on Super Bowl weekend and posting a deal on Valentines' Day. (Yes, since then, baseball began, the Stanley Cup was decided [hey, hey!] and the NBA finals are under way... so it was a long time ago.)

Why bring this one back now? Might we infer that the current (4-month) escrow is not dead-certain to close? They say they are looking for backup offers now.

This home is a tough call – good location, on balance, but a very unusual layout and a home that offers little yard space, just a paved patio on the south side off of the fairly large living room. It's somewhat hard to consider a good revamping or updating of the current home. The better use of the lot probably involves starting over.

738 33rd is still at $1.329m, and is open Sat. only, 1-4pm.

Sand Section

4320 The Strand is a little duplex on a small, ocean-front almost-half-lot lot in furthest-north El Porto El Norte.

The property boasts an incredible 896 DOM on Redfin as we write, dating back to January 2010. If it has ever been publicly open, we never saw it. But now John Q. Public can shuffle right in this weekend.

The property's been repainted (watch for a deep green rather than the 70s beige in this pic) and they've dropped the price to $2.499m

That's for a dated but not awful 1950s property, with (of course) ocean views and a very small number of steps to some of the best surfing in the South Bay. It's just about the worst $2.5m house in Manhattan Beach, except for that location.

Development on this site – just a 1564 sq. ft. lot – has to be the goal ultimately, but little Strand lots like this are rare – you want the whole thing, not a chunk.

4320 The Strand is at $2.499m and is open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.

East MB

1821 3rd (3br/2ba, 1475 sq. ft.) has a main house plus permitted bonus space off the garage (we're told) that brings the total to 1861 sq. ft. – pretty nice with a big yard space on this 7500 sq. ft. lot.

When you see an East MB address in the 1800s, you know Aviation looms, but, in mitigation... this street is a cul-de-sac. It stops before Aviation. There's a notable downslope from Aviation to the property, and they'll be building a concrete wall this Summer to further dim the (seemingly modest) noise from that road.

We were also pleasantly surprised to see such nice, newer, larger homes on this cul-de-sac block. There's even a new construction project under way. Sometimes you can tell a lot about the desirability of a block by the other homes, and here the indicators are positive. 

So, if the location is oddly compelling for the 1800s, what about the house?

You have a 1950s cottage here that was added onto, with the master suite as a separate new addition up front. The other 2br are not big, more in keeping with the style of the time, and the bath they share is not large or much up to date. The kitchen is quite open to the living spaces – formal living and a really generous family room – and everything in back opens to a nice deck and yard.

The yard is fairly big, but both front and back have been let go for a bit on autopilot from some prior, uninspired idea of landscaping. Consider them both blank canvasses.

In back, the double garage has an extra studio/guest unit (no bath) that's quite sizable attached. They say that's permitted. To get to that garage, you actually would have to drive past a faux garage/carport – there's actually a rollup door before the covered carport. We're thinking you park in the driveway and carport, and that garage is pure free space.

Disclosure: Dave toured the property with a client.

1821 3rd starts at $1.089m, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

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