Weekend Opens (7/31-8/1)

By Dave Fratello | July 31st, 2010
Here come the dog days.

August is upon us, and so is the new, improved, less-fun 6-man. (They say.)

Regardless, downtown is busy, and watch out for the beach. Maybe you should still keep the kids away from the pier if you can. Instead, make it a family trip to check out a couple of new opens...

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.

Sand Section

404 10th (5br/3ba, 2900 sq. ft.) is a custom modern in the distinctive style of a local builder whose work was also on display at 794 27th in the Tree Section a while back.

The version in the Trees was called "Asian-inspired contemporary," while here they're saying "Pan-Pacific." That gives some of the flavor of a build that's got acid-washed, polished concrete floors, strategic use of glass and metal to add a modern feel, and lots of reddish wood outside and in to add warmth.

The architect had some fun. The master bath's ceiling is gently rounded, and the bath sports small, square, open "porthole" windows to the hallway on the sunny side. A walkway from the master bedroom to the rear of the house feels like a bridge. A tiny balcony has just enough room for the tiny hot tub that's been placed there. The "popped up" ceiling in the master, with narrow windows around the edges, seems to be a signature.

404 10th has been mentioned several times before at MBC. It was purchased new in April 2006 for $2.5m and was back on the market for much of 2007 seeking a nice markup, as high as $3.3m (+$800k/+25% over acquisition). (See "More Faith in Rising Prices," from June 2007.)

Back this time, it's still marked up, but not so aggressively, starting at $2.799m – still nearly $300k above a 2006 price, while most of MB remains roughly in 2004 prices. We'll see how that pans out.

Worth noting: 404 10th becomes the fourth active listing on this fairly short, flat walkstreet block between Crest and Valley. The others are 316 10th ($3.8m), 332 10th ($3.349m) and 420 10th ($2.089m).

404 10th is open Sun. 1-4pm.

3608 Crest (3br/4ba, 2125 sq. ft.) is a "Tudor" near Rosecrans in El Norte.

As we said recently in "More Ugly Ducklings," the home "seems comfy, if dated.... You do get some ocean views, and the corner lot on Crest – which is kind of an alley – gives you some space from neighbors." Starts at $1.379m.

3608 Crest is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

Tree Section

530 21st (6br/4ba, 3670 sq. ft.) is a classic, custom Cape Cod that might melt the hearts of skeptics eyeing that $2.599m start price.

You can tell you've got a well-done custom home when aspects of the layout, or some details, break from the norm, and you see extra layers of work heaped into finishes.

At 21st, we'll focus on a few details: the love of quality wood and woodwork that runs throughout the home (the owner says that "planks" were a theme that carry from the front door into each room), the choice of a sauna for the master bath (without striking the tub or shower, or shrinking the room) and the addition of 3 tall, narrow, personal wood medicine cabinets built into the wall in the kids' main bathroom upstairs.

Small or large, these details tell you that someone knew what they wanted when they built the house, and they got it all. (It's a 2000 build, by the way.)

Living spaces are all downstairs, including one extra (6th) bedroom now set up as an office. One living room and dining room up front – right off the entry – are each on the small (cozy?) side, but a full living room in the back is much more substantial, and that connects to a central patio.

Among the 5br upstairs, the master is substantial, with enough room for a sitting area, high ceilings with exposed wood and beams, and a fireplace. None of the kids' bedrooms is huge, but they're sufficient, save for the room now set up as a gym – that's truly small. One bedroom features a dreamy twin bed built together with drawers and cabinets (pictured here).

Locationwise, there's no arguing that 21st is one of the great gaslight streets, but the rear of the home is more or less on Valley, with Live Oak Park right nearby. In our tour, Valley didn't seem like much of a factor. We'd imagine that the park would be a plus for a family as well, but different people will weigh the location differently.

Now, $2.6m? One nearby recent sale was the off-market transaction of a newer (2002) home at 515 21st (5br/4ba, 2550 sq. ft.) at $2.0m in late June. It's a much smaller home on a smaller lot (2730 compared to almost 3600 at 530 21st), though it's on the non-Valley side of the street. The neighbor closed at $785/PSF, while 530 is now up lower at $709/PSF.

Another data point on the block is 549 21st (4br/4ba, 2600 sq. ft.), a remodel that recently sold for $1.612m ($620/PSF). We'll also head over to the Sand Dune area for a comp: 592 31st (5br/5ba, 3750 sq. ft.), also a custom Cape Cod and a bit newer (2006), very close in size, though with a bigger lot – that one closed at $2.551m in late June.  21st is much closer to downtown and a quicker walk to the beach.

Of course, what matters most is what a willing buyer will put up to get the keys.

530 21st is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

It's a different world entirely over at 1504 Pine (3br/2ba, 1600 sq. ft.), custom in a different way.

Sure, there's a love of wood here, too – but the theme is "Big Bear at the Beach." It's the cabin lifestyle without the need to drive up the mountain.

What you're being asked to consider here is a dated, 1950s cottage that "could use some updating." (Per the listing.)

It's a midblock location on a nice street near Pacific School, pretty nice.

The listing started at $949k – and here's some news: it's in escrow. The open is still on, though.

1504 Pine is open Sun. 2-4pm. 

One more from the "ugly ducklings" story is worth a visit this weekend: 1908 Elm (4br/3ba, 3520 sq. ft.), which was new in the mid-80s. The listing calls it "gorgeous" but doesn't mention any remodeling. We didn't catch a preview this week and there's still just the one pic online, so there's a lot of mystery here.

That's a decent location in the southern Trees. Starts at $1.590m.

1908 Elm is open Sun. 1-4:30pm.

Please see our blog disclaimer.

Latest Listings Among
Manhattan Beach Homes For Sale