Sunday Opens (8/2/15)

By Dave Fratello | August 2nd, 2015

Summer's hitting its stride with the International Surf Festival and all its associated events: The lifeguard challenge, a beach run, the pier-to-pier swim and Manhattan Beach's famous/notorious Charlie Saikley 6-man volleyball tourney. 

And you have to feel like all's beginning to be right with the world when the 6-man creeps ever closer to the weekend again (the finals were on a Friday, not a Wednesday) and when Team Fletch, perhaps THE signature perennial entry, grabs another championship. (It had been since 2006 for the Chevy-Chase-inspired fanatics.)

Enjoy the final day of surf festivities and a great beach day!

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

Don't forget, when previewing homes here on MB Confidential, you can click "Open All Images" right above the main listing photo to get immediate display of all the listing photos at once.

Sand Section

404 20th (4br/5ba, 4000 sqft.) is a 2001-built modern that might be called experimental.

On the plus side, the entire home is very bright, and when opened up, pulls a wonderful ocean breeze throughout the upstairs and downstairs living spaces. (A retracting frosted-glass garage door on the third floor opens to a rear balcony and opens up the wind-tunnel effect there.) There's also a little courtyard, which not everyone puts into a maxed-out Sand Section home.

Where this one gets challenging is in the layout. There's no two ways about it: The choices were interesting. Three bedrooms on the first floor are each on the small side, separated from one another mainly by sliding plexiglass-and-wood walls/doors. The ceiling is open between the rooms (the walls don't go all the way up). A shared bathroom features a sink out in the bedroom.

To reach the second floor, you go up stairs right into the master bedroom, and continue through that bedroom to the stairs up to the common rooms on the top floor. There's no other route that we found.

The rear part of the second floor has a separate living room with its own balcony and stairs, evidently having been built as a guest/rental unit. But it shows now as a spare common room.

Up top, all is very open. Living, dining, kitchen and laundry all run the length of the top floor. There are no-doubt-about-it views to the north.

The official description lists the home as a "stunning architectural" and states that is is an AIA Award-Winning Showplace Home Featured in "LA Architect" Magazine.

No doubt, the design is bold and different, which is how you get in magazines.

Dave's got a listing coming up very soon on one of these same ocean-view walkstreets east of Highland, and it's therefore easy to note what a terrific little private pocket these streets represent.

404 20th starts at $4.750M and is open Sun. from 2-5pm.

Tree Section

2904 Laurel 2904 Laurel Avenue Manhattan Beach CA(3br/3ba, 1850 sqft.) is a straightforward, remodeled cottage type home. Where it's different, of necessity, is in how the home was built into a steep downslope, which you see here and there around the Tree Section. This puts 2br and the laundry room downstairs, while the main common areas and master are on the entry level (also down some steps from street level). More from the official description:

"Remodeled and upgraded modern kitchen has professional quality stainless steel appliances (double ovens), granite counter tops, breakfast bar and side door opening to BBQ deck. The dining area has French doors that open out to a huge, sunny, front bricked patio/landscaped courtyard with plenty of space for alfresco dining & entertaining. Beautiful living room is comfy & cozy with fireplace. Main floor master suite with large walk-in closet and bathroom with spa tub and French doors with view of backyard and morning sun! Downstairs are 2 more bedrooms and a playroom with built-in TV area and French doors leading to the back patio and yard."

2904 Laurel starts at $1.850M and is open Sun. from 2-4pm.

3008 Elm (5br/6ba, 3225 sqft.) is a pleasant, newer Mediterranean that certainly has all the hallmarks of Mediterraneans built in the last cycle. But it has just enough extra touches and depth of quality to stand out somehow.

This block of Elm, while – yes – a bit far east for some tastes, is a semi-private little stretch that also offers quick and easy access right out of town via Valley Drive. More from the official description:

"Dark stained hardwood and carpet upstairs with a travertine tiled ground floor. The great room with fireplace opens to a spacious, one of a kind, gourmet kitchen with custom cabinetry and granite counter tops. Note the vaulted ceilings, sky lights and open floor plan. There are top end appliances in the kitchen and a breakfast nook eating area. The master suite includes a fireplace, a walk in closet and a large bathroom with spa tub. There are also balconies off the front and master bedrooms... The back yard also includes a free standing built in fireplace feature with professional hardscape finishes."

3008 Elm starts at $2.750M and is open Sun. from 1-4pm.

637 31st Street Manhattan Beach CA637 31st (3br/2ba, 1850 sqft.) is a 1 1/2-wide lot which they call "estate-size" in the description. 

We wouldn't argue against the claim that it's on "the best street/best block in the Manhattan Beach Tree Section’s Gaslight District." There's something special about 31st St. for sure. 

We appreciate the cheerful sentiment in the listing description:

"As a plus, this property has a very livable, classic, original 1952 'Red Barn' 3 bed, 2 bath single story ranch residence. Enjoy the home and property now, maybe do some updating, or build your dream home."

We're all in favor of preserving the classic little old Manhattan Beach homes where possible. This does not seem like a case, however, where the rancher has much of a chance against the onslaught of 'dozers headed its way.

637 31st starts at $3.495M and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

3525 Walnut Avenue Manhattan Beach CA3525 Walnut (5br/4ba, 3500 sqft.) has really hung around this year.

The listing launched in early January at $2.699M, chopped a bit and pulled a bogus re-list in late May, moving to $2.549M. It's now at $2.449M, not too different from a recent sale at a neighboring home even closer to Rosecrans (3613 Walnut @ $2.429M). Moreover, another nearby neighbor, also newly remodeled, is asking a higher price off-market and seems to be drawing interest.

So they've been patient and have made adjustments. It should be only a matter of time, right?

From the official description:

"Gorgeous home in the prestigious Tree Section. This stunning home has many architectural features: a vestibule at home's entry; very high ceilings in living rm, kitchen/family great rm... Chef’s kitchen w/granite counters, lots of white cabinets, stainless appliances like 6 burner/grill Viking cook top, dual ovens, Sub Zero refrig. The kitchen w/inviting breakfast nook opens to the family rm... Upstairs are 4 bedrs, 3 full baths & spacious laundry rm. The large master features a spacious walk-in closet, beautiful bath w/ separate spa tub, large shower & dual sinks."

3525 Walnut is at $2.449M and is open Sun. from 2-4pm.

East MB

1765 Curtis (5br/4ba, 3875 sqft.) is a 1980s original with updates on a 6000 sqft. lot pretty far east toward Aviation Blvd.

While updated, particularly in the kitchen and master bath (the important parts), we did find some rough edges and a home almost overstuffed with heavy furniture and personal items. This can just make it hard to see the home as it could be for the next owner. From the official description: 

"[T]his home has a remodeled Kitchen with new flooring, cabinetry, granite countertops and professional grade stainless steel appliances; new hardwood floors and remodeled baths. Sitting on a flat 6,000 sq ft lot the home boasts over 3,850 sq ft of living space and a large backyard with built in barbeque."

1765 Curtis starts at $2.400M and is open Sun. from 2-4pm.

1708 Lynngrove Drive Manhattan Beach CA1708 Lynngrove (3br/2ba, 1475 sqft.) is, frankly, a surprise to still see active on the market. The way Liberty Village had been going this year, a perfectly livable home – albeit wanting some updates/customizations – might not have lasted a full month like this at any other time of year.

Very dated and tiny 1401 Lynngrove (2br/1ba, 900 sqft. ) just closed for $1.200M on Friday. A similar "starter" at 1801 Faymont (2br/1ba, 875 sqft.) sold for $1.250M a week earlier. A serious fixer at 1508 Harkness (3br/2ba, 1550 sqft.) brought $1.430M in multiple offers in June.

Surely they didn't think they were overpricing 1708 Lynngrove at $1.399M, and it didn't look like an overreach. But the market has said they did overshoot. It's at $1.375M now and still looking for a deal.

Want to blame timing? Sure, good hypothesis. July is not your ideal time to start a listing. Noted, again.

1708 Lynngrove is at $1.375M and is open Sun. from 1-4pm.

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