Weekend Opens (8/11-8/12)

By Dave Fratello | August 11th, 2012
Even in these dog days of August, there are a few new listings to check out – all in the Trees.

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

849 17th
849 17th (5br/3ba, 2050 sq. ft.) showcases a huge Martyrs-adjacent lot – 8,000 sq. ft., 50' wide x 160' deep – and a dated 1960 house that eventually needs to be replaced.

Is it a $1.7m lot sale? TBD.

The one-story ranch-inspired home is built almost in a C-shape around a grassy yard and patio on the eastern side of the lot. The "over sized" garage (per the listing) is a separate unit up front on the lot. That won't win any home design awards, but it does help to hem in the almost courtyard-like feeling to the yard along the one side of the house. (There's also a forgotten strip of yard in the very back of the lot.)

Yard at 849 17th
Living spaces are partly up front and then run along the length of the house, opening outside, so you get something of a "great room" feeling with indoor/outdoor flow. Decent.

They really do have 5br in this somewhat limited-size house (about 2000 sq. ft.) – all br in back – and maybe just one of the bedrooms really seems "small."

The whole place has been well-kept as a rental for several years, even if the materials were never high-quality and have never been modernized.

So, you say you want a "livable" house in a good location that you can work on over time? This one's going to be tempting. If you're not a fan of ranchers, or view the current home as a vast under-utilization of the land, you'll aim to scrape it.

Location along 17th, right across from Pacific School's parking lot, has its pros and cons. It is undeniably nice to be near school when you've got little ones attending, or just needing a place to run around. There is traffic and noise, though, and maybe more so along 17th, which also connects the Martyrs school directly to Sepulveda. Looking out at that parking lot, well...

Here at 849 17th they seem to mean to sell. They're starting at $1.697m, and that pencils out to pretty near land value, maybe some structure value mixed in – depending on how you read it.

Nearby neighbor 829 17th, also sporting an old rancher on the premises, and also right across from Pacific School, tried unsuccessfully to sell earlier this year for 4 months, always asking $1.999m. (See "Well, That's a Lot.")

849 17th is priced $300k lower, which can only help. It is open Sat. only 12-4pm.

583 31st (3br/3ba, 2300 sq. ft.) is going to sound a bit like 849 17th – an older house in a good location that really wants to be something else.

It's $400k cheaper, FWIW.

This downsloping street west of Blanche ends at Sand Dune Park and a grassy play area. You're minutes from school (Grand View) and a reasonable walk to the beach. Locationwise, pretty good. And this is a street-to-alley lot, a bonus.

But the old house (a 1950 original) has been cobbled together with various odd additions and interior changes – an original garage converted to a living room, 2 oddly shaped bedrooms with attached baths upstairs, a notably narrow staircase, popcorn ceilings. Though the kitchen and living spaces downstairs are pretty tastefully done, this is a house that is very hard to merely "remodel" or "update." It's already got the granite countertops in the kitchen, but it's no kind of modern beaut.

A rear patio area, mostly brick, occupies space between the house and large garage on the alley in back. Not now a "yard." Take note of the (apparently dead) hot tub, now mostly filled with sand.


Next door at 585 31st, they're now well under way with new construction on a lot that was listed last year at $1.1m and actually sold for $937k last December. That sale sure looks like a deal from the perspective of this year's market.

583 31st starts at $1.299m, and already has plenty of interest. It's open Sat. & Sun. 1-5pm.

571 29th (4br/2ba, 2170 sq. ft.) doesn't just have interest, it had a deal upon hitting the MLS. But they're looking for backup offers and it will be open.

This little place easily bests the other new offerings this week, particularly once inside. The 1950s original has been added onto over the years and updated in stages – including the very recent addition of gleaming hardwood floors. The kitchen and baths could stand another round of modernizing, but it's not urgent.

The layout may give families pause. Of the 4br in the main house, 2 are downstairs and 2 more up. (One upstairs br now serves as an office, as it lacks its own bath.) Then there's a 5th br in the "lovely, cottage-style guest house" (per listing) in back. 

If the house is on the small side and quirky, it's still easy to see people falling in love with it. The location is easy to love, too, for a northern Tree Section spot.

571 29th is listed at $1.499m (is that the deal they made?) and is open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.

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