Weekend Opens (6/27-6/28)

By Dave Fratello | June 27th, 2009
We're not sure when, exactly, Summer is supposed to kick in. School closed and that was one solid week of marine-layer action afterward.

We're trying to draw people to the sunny, beach lifestyle. Forecasts say we'll finally have some sun for this weekend's open houses. Which, unfortunately, may mean fewer people at open houses. What a puzzle.

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 these homes – or any open houses – to also report back in the comments here. Tell us what you see, what you like and what you don't like.

Hill Section

718 Poinsettia (6br/5ba, 5725 sq. ft.) is a new home that's much bigger than it appears from the road, including ample yard. We like that the kids' bedrooms aren't all squished like you see all over town – indeed, they have walk-in closets. (Just like you had as a kid.)

On top of a raft of nice standard features, there are plenty of extras, including the "oversized 3 car garage... with raised roof to accommodate a lift for a 4th car." That also counts as thinking big.

The builders know they're entering a market overloaded with inventory and lacking much action. The location is no big plus – fairly busy Poinsettia at a 4-way stop with no views – so they'll be competing on price.

The listing calls this home the lowest priced new construction in the Hills, but that's not literally true – that lowest-priced badge belongs to troubled 815 2nd, a short sale now at $3.349m and pushing 65% LTV lender financing. 718 Poinsettia is 1000 sq. ft. bigger and priced lower by PPSF, despite a start price half a mil higher at $3.849m. Open Sun. 1-4pm.

Close by, and also at a stop on Poinsettia, is 881 10th (5br/6ba, 4000 sq. ft.) a fairly big custom home with a great kitchen and study. After previous open-house mentions, we heard some describe the home as overfull, but the owners have moved out and it's now empty – and improved. Sellers paid $2.8m new in April 2006 and started in early March this year looking for more. It's now at $2.699m. Open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

305 20th (5br/5ba, 4100 sq. ft.) adds something new and spa-tacular on a walkstreet east of Highland.

The listing calls this a "warm contemporary" twice, so we get that point. Features include disappearing walls that open the living space out to a big ocean-view deck. Starts at $4.2m. Open Sun. 1-4pm.

3216 The Strand is a lot sale that got a mention here at MBC on Friday (see "Guessing Games"), again, thanks to the newest price cut to $5.199m.

Try not to look at the house so much as the views. Open Sat. 2-4pm.

Tree Section

521 12th (4br/3ba, 3000 sq. ft.) is a near-total remodel near downtown that seeks a bump of $535k over the Jan. 2006 acquisition price.

We can all agree that you add value with a remodel, but we might also add that the rest of MB is in 2005 prices these days. Yellow light.

A commenter recently asked MBC readers about this listing, which your blog author hasn't yet seen, besides the pics. Here's hoping we can muster the troops to get it a thorough review. It's open both days this weekend.

For our part, we'll express concern that the home is what it appears to be: A skinny 80s home with updates that are particular to the owners' tastes. Yellow light.

We also note that just across the street stands smaller 512 12th (3br/3ba, 2300 sq. ft.), also a recent remodel, that began at $2.149m and just made a deal with a much-reduced list price of $1.695m (-$454k/-21%), a blow to the plans those sellers had, evidently, made. Yellow light.

521 12th starts at $2.295m. Open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

Here's a 2-for-1 option on Saturday only:

2405 Elm (3br/3ba, 2175 sq. ft.) (pictured) is an improved late-40s cottage that still feels cramped and dated. Starts at $1.250m. Open Sat. only 1-4pm.

2404 Elm (3br/2ba, 1200 sq. ft.) is also among the less-pricey of Tree Section offerings. That square footage understates things a bit, since there is some bonus square footage (about 600 sq. ft.) in a finished basement. Now at $1.169m. Open Sat. 2-4pm.

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