Weekend Opens (7/17-7/18)

By Dave Fratello | July 17th, 2010
The sun's up, the beach is crowded, and so is the housing inventory, increasingly.

The past week or two has seen a slew of new listings at a somewhat surprising time of year. That means, once again, new options for your touring this weekend.

Please be polite and shower off the sand before heading out.

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

748 11th (5br/5ba, 5700 sq. ft.) is an early-90s manse with some updates on a quiet block west of Pacific. (Across from The Georgian, 755 11th, a listing that was with us for a while in years past.)

It's practically 2 houses, with 4 bedrooms and a living room downstairs – one bedroom has a kitchenette and extra space, making it living quarters for a long-term guest or the help.

Upstairs is the master with 2 walk-ins, a great office with treetop views, a big and modern kitchen plus living/dining spaces. One separate living room has a little peek at the ocean.

Despite the big lot (7950 sq. ft.) there isn't much of a yard. The grand marble entryway retains much of the charm of its build date, but here and there throughout the home are details that many buyers will want to update.

Starts at $4.495m. 748 11th is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

473 31st (4br/5ba, 4000 sq. ft.) is a sharp, custom modern that was new in late 2007, and was covered here at MBC as the price dwindled from a $3.25m ask down to a $2.8m sale. It's back now at $2.8m, almost exactly 2 years after the current owners moved in. (Also offered for $2.925m furnished.)

The upside-down layout features 1br and a living area with tile floors on the first level, 3br on the second level and big living spaces on the top. The master suite is striking and large, with a spa-like bath and an ample closet room.

A modern style isn't for everyone, but this execution mainly feels clean and orderly, not hard to adapt to. As noted, it starts this year at $2.8m, the July 2008 acquisition price, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

329 19th (4br/4ba, 3625 sq. ft.) is another modern, down closer to the water and downtown – though still east of Highland. The advantage of the 300 blocks in this area is, of course, the big ocean views, and the home features them.

The architect on this home has a distinctive style which we tend to appreciate, even if this 2001 build is high-concept and angular in places.

Two ocean-view decks take great advantage of the location, and a 4-car garage helps reduce one of the big minuses – where else are you or guests going to park?

329 19th starts at $2.999m and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Tree Section

2808 Elm (5br/4ba, 3225 sq. ft.) is a newer (2006) Cape Cod that's light, bright and cheery, and also very familiar if you know recent-vintage new construction in the Trees.

The home, which steps down gradually to fit the downslope of the hill it's on, features a separate living room up front, plus a different sort of open dining area right off the entry. A kitchen/great room in the rear opens to a fairly large patio and a little grassy patch as well.

The master suite's done well, a solid notch above average. One kid's room gets its own bath, while 2 others share a jack-and-jill.

Biggest letdown is the official 5th bedroom, a room in the middle of the main living floor with glass doors and no direct bathroom access. It's a natural office, or something, but closets make it a "bedroom." It's hard to fathom how this trend in odd main-floor "bedrooms" got hold in the decade past; every time we see one it's a head-scratcher.

The sellers bought new at the peak for $2.415m in Nov. 2006, but aren't trying to kid anyone about what the home's worth now. They start competitively at $2.049m.

2808 Elm is open Sun. 1-4pm.

2104 John gives you a bigger-than-average house (5br/5ba, 3980 sq. ft.), a bigger-than-average lot (5700 sq. ft.) and a much better-than-average location. (It's John!)

The newer (2002) build is, like 2808 Elm, going to prove very familiar if you know recent Tree Section homes, though each room is just a tad larger than expected, owing to the wider lot. One layout quirk: the large living room at the entry, with its soaring, 2-story ceilings, seems underutilized, even wasted, as it's currently set up. Can it be made grand?

The kitchen/great room opens out to a big deck and ample yard, another benefit of the larger lot. Upstairs, among the 4 bedrooms is one up front that feels like a true guests' suite. One bedroom on the north side was quite dark on our tour, and that wasn't just due to the current teen resident's tastes.

The fifth "bedroom" is, again, downstairs, as with 2808 Elm, though this one has an attached bath. Our previous comments still apply.

Overall, we'd like to be lifted out of our blogging chair by a home's "wow" factors to go along with a $2.599m price for a Tree Section home like this, but that didn't happen. (At least not till we grokked the block again.) The sellers paid $1.8m new in April 2003, and this is quite a step up from there. Check out the home yourself and let us know what you think.

2104 John is open Sun. 1-4pm.

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