Weekend Opens (8/20-8/21)

By Dave Fratello | August 20th, 2011
Enjoying your vacation?

MBC's here for you, whether you're checking in from Cabo, Melbourne, Long Island or, perhaps, from your iPhone in a tent deep in the woods. (C'mon, now, you're not completely roughing it!)

Back here at home, they're calling these the "dog days" again, almost all quiet on the RE front, but we've got a little bit of new stuff for your online viewing or – should you actually be nearby – for your tours this weekend.

And sorry to be the first to break this to you, but your incoming kindergartners can now count the number of days before school starts on their fingers. Summer, where'd ya go!?!

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

As usual, we appreciate it when readers share views on this week's featured properties. Let us know what you like, don't like or must have.

Hill Section

201 Larsson (3br/3ba, 3900 sq. ft.) is back.

You've seen it here before, the bachelorish sorta-modern with a Miami Vice flavor, giving non-family buyers a lot of what they might want: Ocean views from the top of the hill, a big main floor for entertaining, including a pool and spa, a huge and utterly modern kitchen, grownup playroom with pool table and, separately, a substantial home gym.

If that sings to you, welcome home. As the listing notes, one of the newest, best developments regarding this home is across the street – a neighbor has been collecting lots across 2nd St. and has recently demolished a house that once stood in the way of the views (slightly), installing a pool instead. Too bad for the old place, great for the views at 201 Larsson, maybe for the long term.

Curious points of note:  The black, sunken jacuzzi tub in the master is, well, different. The cedar-lined closet for the master currently house a full-sized fridge, complete with ice service. (A fridge in the closet?)

201 Larsson has been offered off-and-on in 2009 and 2010, with prices as high as $3.3m and as low as $2.399m. It starts this time with some motivation to sell and a new start price of $2.245m, and is open Sunday 1-4pm.

Sand Section

Nothing debuted in the Sand this week, but we're dropping in a mention of one offering just east of Highland that could probably use the help.

337 16th (4br/5ba, 4550 sq. ft.) got a mention here the other day in "Ocean Views for Less" as one listing that could be affected by the recently announced short-sale price for 329 19th ($2.380m).

The listing is nearing 300 DOM on its 3rd not-yet-successful listing in 4 years, now at $2.899m. It's much bigger than most full-lot homes and offers the big pluses of lots of parking, a big entertaining room with bar on the first floor opening to the front patio, and big and snazzy 3rd floor living space with ocean and treetop views. The location near downtown and the beach is in a quiet pocket, a close walk to everything.

This year's price is down $1m+ from its first try over $4m in 2008 and from the mid-to-high 3s thereafter. So there's some attempt to correct it, but you go through 4 years of offering without any selling if you don't get the price right.

337 16th is at $2.899m and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Tree Section

645 33rd (4br/3ba, 2425 sq. ft.) is a remodeled 1950s cottage built along a downsloping lot on a pretty neat family-friendly block.

Up front, the home's been remodeled such that the big, modern kitchen and great room open out to the patio at the entry (pictured here), a nice integration of the living space with the outdoor area and the block.

Now come the qualifications. One bedroom (plus separate office) is on the main (entry) level, but the master suite is on a separate floor from the 2 main kids' bedrooms. From the main level, you'll step up to the large and modern master (great master bath), but down a curvy set of stairs to the 2 main kids' bedrooms.

This layout, separating the kids and parents, is a turnoff for a segment of buyers, even if it's unavoidable in redoing an older cottage.

On the plus side, the kids' rooms downstairs are quite substantial, size-wise. That oddly split hallway bath – we'll chalk it up to the peculiarities of remodeling an older home, too.

Some of the thinking regarding pricing ($1.650m to start) must surely come from the "oversize lot" (5400 sq. ft.), but what that translates to here is the ample front patio/entertaining space and a grassy patch out back, nothing major coming from the extra lot square footage. We like street-to-alley lots like this in general, of course – no garage up front!

Take a double-take: Flooring in the kitchen/great room seems to span multiple eras and former room layouts. You have to see the odd checkerboard. Bottom line: In remodeling, while opening up this great room space, someone chose not to replace and unify all the flooring. Instead, it's a cacophony of similarly colored, but very different, flooring. It should be redone.

On balance, this is a home with significant space and charms, but that start price ($1.650m) seems extremely ambitious for the square footage and the fact that there's still work to be done to perfect the home.

645 33rd starts at $1.650m and is open Sat. 2-4pm.

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