Weekend Opens (6/19-6/20)

By Dave Fratello | June 19th, 2009
Dad deserves a break, so be gentle if he'd rather take Sunday off from the open-house grind.

Put him on duty Saturday instead. It's not like he can complain that he's missing a Laker game.

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

We ask MBC readers who visit the featured homes, or any open house, to also report back in the comments here. Tell us what you see, what you like and what you don't like.

Hill Section

913 Highview is elegant, newer (2004 build) and relatively compact for the Hills (3br/4ba, 2350 sq. ft.). The location on Highview is on a quiet little block near downtown – sweet.

We're going to need to be convinced on the price: $2.399m. That's a bit over $1,000/PSF, a level we haven't seen in the Hills, even for new construction, in quite a while.

One marker everyone uses is past sales of the same property. 913 Highview was purchased for $1.910m in Feb. 2005. Today's price is up $489k (+26%) from there.

Maybe someone can draw up a list of other recent sales in MB with 25% markups over 2005 prices. That'd help with the convincing.

Open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

If we tell you there's a new listing on a corner lot on John, you might find that kind of exciting. Measured against that initial thrill, you're bound to find 822 John a bit of a letdown.

Boxy brick homes are not all the rage these days; that's more of an east coast look. But here you do get plenty of space (5br/4ba, 3725 sq. ft.) in a home with some updates since its 1989 construction.

It's priced just a bit below Highview at $2.389m, but much lower for the space at $640/PSF.

Open Sun. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

502 24th is a big (4br/4ba, 3875 sq. ft.) and unique contemporary that, for some reason, we want to call "fun."

Several "disappearing walls" on the first floor create a completely open indoor/outdoor feel for the main living spaces – a joy on a mild, sunny day with a little breeze. (Saturday's open may be kind of grey.) The bedrooms are plenty spacious and there are bold, cool accents, like the orange paint on the steel staircases.

Problem: Location. Right across from Grandview School, and fronting somewhat busy 24th, location is a liability. (School's out for Summer, so you do get a break for a few months.)

And yet, this inspired (and "green") home was apparently built on the premise that you could get $5m for this kind of house. Then they dropped the price to $4m. Now it's at $3.495m, with the listing saying it's "priced at least $500,000 under the cost of construction." Ouch. What if that's not the end?

The home is open Saturday only, from 2-4pm. For lots more pics and details than Redfin can provide, see also the special listing website.

517 Longfellow merits another mention this week – it's the south-iest of South End listings – one of a very few MB homes on Longfellow, bordering Hermosa.

This newer (2000) home is priced way below comparable Sand Section listings at $534/PSF for a 4br/4ba, 3650 sq. ft. home on a rare 4000 sq. ft. lot. Starts at $1.949m. Open Sat. only, 2-4pm.

Tree Section

514 17th asks a lot ($3.599m) for a lot – a splendid, big (5br/6ba, 3975 sq. ft.) and sunny Cape Cod on a great block with some real outdoor space, to boot.

You almost can't be closer to the park and to town. Give us a truly special home that abets a walking lifestyle and we'll leave the Hill Section in the rear view mirror.

Again, on price here, we need some convincing. The start on this 2003 build is at $905/PSF, whereas we see PPSFs winding up in the range of $400-$700/PSF all around the Trees these days. Current owners paid the not-inconsiderable sum of $2.469m in Feb. 2004, so the markup now is $1.130m (+46%). The math doesn't work if the rest of MB is living in 2005 prices, though we concur that this one deserves a couple of premiums.

Open Sun. 1-4pm.

The 17th St. listing above is not the same as 523 14th, a new and even bigger Cape Cod (5br/5ba, 4900 sq. ft.) that we also mentioned last week.

While you're in the neighborhood, give this one a look, too.

Priced at $3.375m to begin. Open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.


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