Weekend Opens (6/18-6/19)

By Dave Fratello | June 18th, 2011
The NBA and NHL playoffs are over, leaving only baseball for, what, about 6 months... ?  School's winding down, and with that, the structure and schedule of the week is going out the window. And did we just have a warm, sunny day, too?

Now that's what Summer's supposed to be like, and here it comes, ready or not. Dads, have yourselves a great little weekend.

New opens this weekend are a bit limited, in deference to the Hallmark holiday, but there are a few intriguing options.

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 in the comments here what you like, don't like or must have.

Hill Section

832 1st (4br/4ba, 4275 sq. ft.) is an early-90s home that was recently remodeled (2007) and modernized extensively. It shows nearly new and doesn't lack for much.

In the Hill Section, 1st is one of the widest and quietest streets, an extra bonus for location. 

What you hope for a little ways up the hill, you get: Splendid ocean, PV and (on a clear day) Catalina views from all over the top level.

We were openly calling the views 180-degree panoramas, when the owner/agent offered a correction: it's more like 150 degrees for most of that top floor. (Way to undersell it.) You do get the full view by stepping out onto a little deck right off the living room, a place you'd want to go frequently. (The pic here hints at the view; unlike some "view" pics in listings, this one is not a zoomed-in focus on some distant horizon view. It's the real thing.)

The layout puts 3br plus a formal office on the main/entry level, including the master tucked in back with PV peeks from the bed. The master bath is fully modern and the walk-in closet bigger than big. Downstairs, on the garage level, there's a bonus room, guest room or potentially a smallish home theater. (Between the office and bonus room, you could create an actual 4th br.)

Aromatic bonus: The entry steps are lined with blooming jasmine, another, rather pleasant sign that Summer is really here.

832 1st is offered for $3.595m, and is open Sat. only, 2-4pm.

Tree Section

3508 Poinsettia (5br/4ba, 2265 sq. ft.) clearly offers the most for the money in the Tree Section right now, at $1.150m, but it's an imperfect remodel with a number of issues.

Mainly, you can't cure the refinery-adjacent location. Though our industrial neighbor isn't quite as prominent from here as from the 2 homes on Walnut that we discussed here last week, it's still visible, and noise and flares and such would be an occasional factor.

Maybe you're wondering: Can you really get 5br for $1.1m? 

3508 Poinsettia has 4 real bedrooms, all of adequate size, plus a fifth room with windows and closets and a peculiar shape (one wall is diagonal, narrowing the room) that legally qualifies, but mainly it would make a good office, storage room or playroom.

All over the house, the remodeling is inconsistent and often B or C-grade. The kitchen has newer granite countertops and pretty nice – if somewhat dated – cabinets, but quite old appliances. The downstairs flooring has all been replaced, but with pergo. Bathrooms are somewhat updated, but the master bath, for instance, featuring dark grey slate tile, needs another round of refreshing.

Finally, the back yard, such as it is, consists of an older pool. That's not generally an asset.

Make a few compromises, and you do get quite a bit for $1.150m. The price seems to properly take the various issues into account.

3508 Poinsettia is open Sun. 2-4pm.

3104 Maple (5br/4ba, 3350 sq. ft.) first hit the market 4 years ago, brand new, and came back last year looking for buyers at a modest discount off its June 2007 price.

The prior sale was for $2.490m at the literal peak of the local market. In their attempt to sell last year, the owners sought $2.349m, but they're way down now to $2.149m (-$341k/-14% off acquisition) as they begin again.

The home is very recognizable as a bubble-era speckie, with a familiar downstairs layout and one of those extra (5th) "bedrooms" right off the dining room that really makes no sense as a sleeping room. As is often the case, this one even has divided glass doors. But if you need the extra bedroom, go to town. We also found some of the secondary/kids' bedrooms upstairs to be on the small side, also pretty common with newer construction.

Though we call the home typical, there is a higher standard of quality in the materials, including nice dark woods, the fresh, Montecito-inspired exterior design, and various details around the house.

A cautionary example here – 3104 Maple didn't sell last year at that price $200k higher, but rented out instead. Maybe it seemed like a slam dunk at the time: Grab a good monthly rent for cashflow and wait for the market to improve for the eventual resale.

But the market didn't bring the value here near last year's asking price, and asking $2.149m now is still pushing the ceiling. Neighboring 3212 Maple (5br/4ba, 3440 sq. ft.), originally built and sold the same year (2007) and recently resold (Dec. 2010), is a more stunning property, and it fetched $2.100m late last year.

Bonus flashback: In its 2006-2007 marketing when new, 3104 Maple ran a long time (252 DOM) and hit the MBC radar in May 2007 when it was "refreshed" with a new MLS number. (See "Bogus relist of the week.") It sold a week later to the current owners.

3104 Maple starts now at $2.149m, and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

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