Weekend Opens (8/18-8/19)

By Dave Fratello | August 18th, 2012
The only hesitation we've got griping about these hot, steamy Summer days is that they will probably end suddenly.

School's around the corner (in August?!?, yes!) and, before you know it, the shadows get long and Santa's on the way.

So get thee to the sand, dear friends. Get thee into the water.

The only Summer that's Endless is on DVD.

Be sure to hit the sand in the morn so you have time to get to the new open houses.

We still don't know why, exactly, people choose to list in the middle of August, but they do. So there are a few new options this week.

We kinda like the couple of new East MB listings, and, if you're in the $4m-$5m category, there's a nice surprise in the Hill Section.

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

If you're thinking about getting into the market as a buyer or seller, please consider asking MB Confidential author Dave Fratello for help.

Dave works directly with buyer clients, particularly those focused in MB. For sellers, at this time Dave works to match up sellers with trustworthy listing agents who specialize in their property type and/or area.

For more, see MBC's Need an Agent?" page.

Hill Section

810 1st (5br/5ba, 4850 sq. ft.) is an 80s original on a big, flat, 9425 sq. ft. lot.

The layout is surprisingly good and the lot quite flat, with a big, sunny backyard. We did not quite believe there'd be views until we saw the rooftop-and-ocean-sliver views from the first floor, and PV and ocean from the second.

The house will need work, however, without question. And it's more than just replacing the kitchen counters with granite and the blue carpet with taupe. The good news is that the layout is so solid as you begin, the work is almost all going to be by choice to modernize the home, not to radically alter anything.

Among the bedrooms, there's one counted as a br downstairs and 4 up, though there's yet another room downstairs, right off the great room, that has its own bath and might be put into service as a second guest bedroom if needed. We really liked it as is, a big office opening to the sunny yard.

Upstairs, the master gets great views and has a huge bath and walk-in closet. The configuration of the master bath is great, but everything needs a 21st-century update. Two of the other br have nice views and breezes, too, facing west and south/west. Rooms are of good size, too. A fourth upstairs br is a suite with views of... the neighboring house.

There's a large second family room upstairs (pictured with a pool table). High ceilings and big windows could make this a great space. But don't waste it on billiards unless that's your thing.

Overall, this one's compelling for a pricey home that needs a complete retooling.

810 1st starts at $3.950m.

The 9400+ sq. ft. lot makes it hard to find a true comp in the Hill Section.

Recent sales nearby include next-door neighbor 814 1st (4br/5ba, 3800 sq. ft. on comparative sliver of a lot [4700 sq. ft.] at $2.775m) and 832 1st (4br/5ba, 4500 sq. ft.), a gorgeous remodel with panoramic views (and a 6625 sq. ft. lot) that sold off-market in late 2011 at $3.166m.

As a kind of reference for land value, you can look to 636 8th, in a prime, prime view position up the hill, which went for $4.1m just 2 weeks ago. Lot there was nearly identical in size to 810 1st at 9950 sq. ft. (We never tire of the video of those views.)

810 1st starts at $3.950m and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

Sand Section

You might remember 121 25th (4br/4ba, 3000 sq. ft.) from this Spring. When it was out then, we called it "a smallish, 2-story, largely original 1960s beach cottage with scattered updates."

They've made changes since then, updating 2 of the baths very nicely, tidying up the plank floors, getting the tenants out and staging it nicely. It's more compelling now than a few months ago. 

Price is still the same at $3.5m.
It's not a true 4br. There's the large master upstairs with the main living spaces, then 2br tucked away downstairs in back. If you want that 4th br, you need to repurpose the downstairs living room that opens to the yard and walkstreet, and build a closet for it.

The views are really just from the living rooms in front, but a large building to the west limits those. There are several common rooms to spread into; that's nice. Overall, it still feels somewhat small. The optimal use of a lot like this is a more modern, 3-story home.

Earlier this year we saw a huge, distinctive and newer ocean-view house make a quick deal at $3.4m. That was 221 30th (5br/5ba, 4550 sq. ft.), a "wow" accomplishment of a house.

You get the sense this one would not be a $3m+ house this year if it had not already been a $3m+ house twice before. In June 2003, someone paid $1.9m. Then, in the mania of 2007, it sold for $3.250m. Less than 2 years later, it resold to the current owner for $3.050m. 
121 25th starts (again) at $3.5m and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

UPDATE: Wow, 121 25th lasted 2 DOM this time. They have a deal, but are looking for backups.

UPDATE 2: 121 25th is back on the market. Quick in, quick out.

East MB

1331 Voorhees (5br/4ba, 4150 sq. ft.) made us say out loud, "finally, something different!"

It's not a Cape Cod, there's not a whiff of Tuscany in the air, and it's no Caliterranean. In fact they don't name the style beyond calling it "traditional," which is fine for now.

What else is different? A 60 foot wide lot changes the feel and orientation of most of the rooms. The kitchen/great room in back goes on almost forever (figuratively of course), and the formal living room up front, due to the extra width, is a huge space that you'd definitely want to use.

Another surprise: all 5br fit upstairs, and none is really squished.

The bummer in this deal: No yard in back. There's a small patio in one corner and then retaining walls and a strip of landscaping to look at as the hill rises up in back. The total lot size is just 6300 sq. ft., well short of the 7500 that is more or less the standard for East MB.

As the pics show, the home has lots and lots of extra custom style poured on – box ceilings, extra mouldings and custom paint patterns, built-ins here and there. It's almost a dizzying amount of deteail, but very nice.

Location along Voorhees is on a quiet block that could not be closer to Pennekamp elementary (nice) or the high school (near the campus, if not the school impacts).

1331 Voorhees sold new (and comparably blank inside) in July 2006 for $2.025m, and starts now at $2.150m. It is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.
1342 8th
1342 8th (5br/6ba, 4400 sq. ft.) is not on the MLS as we write, but will be open this weekend. (UPDATE: Now it's linked.)

It's a compelling and slightly different take on the common Mediterranean. What makes it truly different, though, is the 55 foot wide lot, bringing the total plot to 7900 sq. ft. (In this case, unlike at 1331 Voorhees, more than you expect.)

You feel the extra space in the main first-floor living spaces, which includes a kitchen/great room combo that's just a little greater.

The backyard is flat and sunny, facing south, and sports a small covered eating area attached to the house as well as a hardscaped seating area with fireplace more or less in the middle of the grass area.

As you'd expect, there's 1br down and the other 4 are up. All the bedrooms have their own attached baths. The master is spacious and elegant.

They're starting this one at $2.250m, which will require some figuring.

Yes, the extra land is worth something, but the highest comparable sale in East MB this year was 1629 10th (5br/5ba, 4250 sq. ft.) at $2.070m, 8% lower. No other comp broke $2m, with slightly larger 1525 Mathews (5br/6ba, 4500 sq. ft.) coming in at $1.975m.

But East MB was also rocked by a high sale at very large 1544 Voorhees (6br/6ba, 5135 sq. ft.) this Spring. That custom, highly crafted home went for $2.6m. (See "East MB Sale Crosses $2.5m.") How much did that one raise the bar?

1342 8th St. starts at $2.250m and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

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