Weekend Opens (6/9-6/10)

By Dave Fratello | June 9th, 2012
It's an interesting crop again this week of new listings, including a would-be, must-have "auction" house and a big family house in East MB.

They've also opening up 222 Anderson again, check that out Sunday.

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

Tree Section

They mean to start another auction over at 1812 John (4br/2ba, 1750 sq. ft.).

Everyone remembers the 18, no 20, offers that were submitted for a neighboring property at 1805 John. (See "1805 John: Predictions and Sale Price.")

1805 John sold for $1.352m, basically a pricey lot sale.

So now the neighbor, with a livable house, comes out at $1.199m, or $150k less, and with a plan to review offers Monday. Sounds like they expect multiples and overbids and all that.

Could happen, but there are differences here.

Yard at 1812 John - sunny (but sandy) at noon in June
Most significantly, the downslope at 1812 John makes building and living on this plot harder. 1805 John is flat and the yard faces west. Here the downslope and east-facing yard are less optimal. (The current, sandy yard has been ignored.)

Aha, but, this home is livable, you say. Very nice kitchen, nice flooring. Legally 4 bedrooms. So it's a better house than at 1805 John.

Yes, but. There are 3br upstairs, one quite small, all sharing a small and mostly original hallway bath with the living spaces. (Note the short countertop, tiny toilet, small space all around. Were people smaller way-back-when?)

It feels like 2br + bonus room upstairs, even though the third room is a true bedroom (with closet and window).

If you want that 4th bedroom mentioned in the listing, you need to sacrifice the nice, big family room downstairs with its own bath and office attached. That's the only true master option, but (another but), it's got the laundry in one closet.

Laundry room/master... that's new.

This is, in fact, a very livable house for a small family who can tolerate the quirks. Maybe you could add on in the back, preserve some yard and wind up with more like a 2200-2500 sq. ft. house with a better layout. Or you can start over, take what you can get on this prime street and work with the downslope.

20 offers this time? Seems doubtful. But they only need one.

1812 John starts at $1.199m and is open Sat. 1-4pm and Sun. 12-3pm.

1820 Palm (5br/3ba, 2450 sq. ft.) won't kick up an auction, despite the comparable location on equally cherished Palm. That's just because they're trying to start at or above market price to see what happens. Starts at $2.149m.

We were prepared to be underwhelmed by 1820 Palm, with its early-1970s vintage and $2.1+ price for a smaller home, but it is undeniably sharp and attractive. They've almost completely purged the 70s, installing 21st-century counters, flooring and appliances, among other touches, delivering a nice surprise. (The side entry and stairwell and some of the overall layout still conjure the home's 70s origins.)

They're pushing a Spanish revival/modern/Santa Barbara type look here, which is still daring for the public market, but it works. Dark woods, terra cotta type flooring, stained teak doors, plus nice stone outside, all go with the theme. (As we said last week of an ornate Spanish, you have to like Spanish.) The back "yard" isn't much, but rather an outdoor patio space that is very recently redone with a saltwater fountain/hot tub and nice outdoor living area with fire pit.

Layout-wise, you've got 2br downstairs and 3br up, including the master. One of those downstairs bedrooms works best as an extra family room opening to the rear patio.

We often say that about 2400 sq. ft. is all you really need to live. Updated and in a great location, that's what 1820 Palm delivers.

It's hard to ignore the neighbor. 1816 Palm is a nearly huge house that sold just last Fall. Call it another market then, but that much larger remodel (5br/4ba, 3745 sq. ft.) with a little hardscape patio (not yard) hit $2.181m in Sept. 2011. Layout-wise, it's more conventional, with the big entry living room, great room in back, big bedrooms mainly upstairs, etc. And that was just $32k more than the start price at 1820 Palm. Yes, different market, different homes, but... a lot more space for this same kind of money.

1820 Palm starts at $2.149m and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

3412 Pine (5br/4ba, 3150 sq. ft.) is a remodeled 1950 1973 1989 2006 home on a corner lot in a pretty nice location for a plot so far east and north for the Trees.

We remember this home from its 2005 condition, when it really looked like a tired-out old 70s mishmash, to its 2006 transformation, much like its state today – quite nice, if quirky. Do you remember flippers? It happened here, way-back-when, but with some style.

The home offers 3 small-to-medium bedrooms downstairs, 2 in front, and 2 baths (one br is a suite). Currently 2 of those br have a cork-styled tile flooring rather than wood or carpet.

You'll enter into a big living room with formal dining, drawing you back to see the spectacle of a kitchen, which is very nice, bright, open, different, hitting all the right notes at the high end. There's an extra family room further back opening to the backyard – a typical yard for the Trees, not too small, not especially notable.

Upstairs BR suite, big but not the master  
Upstairs you get a landing-style office, a very big and open space that might really be nice to work in when the house is empty. Or the kids might commandeer the space for an extra living room/homework space. There's a notably large bedroom upstairs with its own bath, and a nearly huge, long master suite. A lot of the 3100 sq. ft. is upstairs. Master bath is different and nice.

Don't forget to check out the (rare) roofdeck, with views to the south and west. Unique.

3412 Pine traded for $1.435m when yucky in 2005, for $1.945m when flipped remodeled in June 2006, and comes back now, 6 years later and in a different market, at $1.649m, somewhere in between.

Yes, $1.6-ish is a sweet spot where there's been little supply and lots of demand. This house is quirky but sells itself with the nice features. Watch out.

3412 Pine starts at $1.649m and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

East MB

1700 Nelson (6br/5ba, 4550 sq. ft.) somehow seems typical for a big East MB house without, quite, being standard-issue.

Developed in the early 90s? Check. Giant interior space? Check.

But where you find some dated features here and there (like marble that's just not quite now), they are nowhere near the screaming liabilities you might expect.

To reframe it: This is an attractive, very large, updated home that happens to date back.

There's plenty of space downstairs, including 2 bedrooms. Upstairs, you'll find 5 more bedrooms, but the sellers chose not to count the one small bedroom, which they use as a gym. (It's got a closet so you could count it.) All the counted bedrooms are large and, notably, have master-type closets – plenty of space to stow stuff, hang a couple of seasons' worth of clothes and even enjoy built-in drawers. These are full-cycle bedrooms, more than enough for little kids and great as they grow.

The library – in the master
In a house this big, of course the master is giant. It's got its own library with fireplace, so much space in the living area that a huge desk is plopped right into the room (and doesn't cause a squeeze), huge bath and closet.

Back downstairs, the current owners are using the formal living room for formal dining – way to defy the builder – while the separate formal dining gets a pool table, that hallmark you can always count on to indicate "too much space." The open kitchen and great room in back are spacious; the kitchen nicely updated. (One of the reasons you don't feel 1993-ish in the house.) A corner of the great room that was once a wet bar has been converted to an office nook.

The back yard is surrounded by trees, plenty of grass and patio space, plus there's a hot tub with connected waterfall burbling into the tub. That burbling helps mask any traffic noise from Redondo Ave., which runs along the west side of the house.

1700 Nelson was acquired in Aug. 2006 (bubble times) for $1.975m, and back then it really did scream "early 90s." Credit these sellers with doing about 80% of the work needed to cast out those demons – at some expense, no doubt.

1700 Nelson starts now at $1.935m, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

1768 1st (3br/1ba, 1075 sq. ft.) is a smallish but somewhat touched-up little 1950s cottage, with big and blank yards in front and (especially) in back, and a one-car garage typical of the era.

Did we mention that it's one door off of Aviation?

There's a lot of potential for the yard on this 6225 sq. ft. lot... well, it's all potential. Mostly dead grass and invasive ivy for now. Call it a landscaper's dream.

Inside, the home is mainly original, all 3br being of a pretty decent size for a 1000-ish sq. ft. house. Two share a closet (interesting concept). The open kitchen has a little dining area. It's been improved, albeit inexpensively. The one bath has not been modernized.

After acquiring this one in 2008, the current owners did give the home a new roof, new windows, new electrical and copper plumbing, new exterior doors. So the guts are modern, even if the home wants better cosmetic updates, new bath, new kitchen – some day.

They tout this as a building site, but that seems fanciful. A spec home so close to Aviation? Unlikely. It'd have to be a custom build. We'd say, keep the cottage mostly as is, maybe add on in the back to up the square footage 40-50% and you might really have something.

1768 1st starts at $839k and is open Sun 1-4pm.

Hill Section

We're glad to report that they're opening up 222 Anderson (5br/5ba, 4625 sq. ft.) again.

If you missed it last week, give it a go.

As we said last week, this is a big, custom, ocean-view house boasting all sorts of exquisite touches and special craftsmanship. 

The back yard is mostly set up for entertaining rather than play, with stone covering the patio, a big outdoor living room with fireplace and a separate, covered dining area. A putting green and hot tub will do for outdoor recreation.

222 Anderson is offered at $4.495m, and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

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