Weekend Opens (8/28-8/29)

By Dave Fratello | August 28th, 2010
Paddleboarders at the Pier / Photo: Joe Bark
This weekend's Catalina Classic paddleboard marathon is going back to its roots – no fancy grandstands, no big corporate sponsors, no more made-for-TV hype... oh, wait, it's always been old-school.

Come welcome the racers beginning around 11am Sunday at the MB pier. Then vow to do the race yourself next year, or maybe the year after that...

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

224 31st
224 31st is a newer (2005) home west of Highland with max square footage (5br/5ba, 4200 sq. ft.) and ocean views.

It's been on and off the market over the past 2+ years, often trying much too high, but it came back recently looking to deal at $3.499m. (See "It's Better Now by the Beach.")

Big, new, with ocean views – plus a location in El Norte, which boosters, including the listing agent, say is increasingly hoppin'.

We missed last weekend's first public open, but we'll suggest a drop-in this week.

224 31st is open Sun. 1-4pm.

132 20th
132 20th (5br/5ba, 4000 sq. ft.) has location going for it, though the mid-80s vintage of the home is dominant.

Stylistically, it isn't quite beachy or contemporary, but some compromise between them. Updates are rare.

The home offers some ocean views from the front, but more from the big, top-floor patio/deck/outdoor room off the kitchen and dining room in the rear.

132 20th began at $3.750m, and is now at $3.599m. It's open Sun. 2-4pm.

424 Marine
424 Marine (3br/4ba, 1985 sq. ft.) is a newer (2006) townhome that is well preserved in its original condition – which in this case means "like new."

They say this was a second home that barely got any use by the outgoing, relatively local owners.

Nothing's big in this townhome – the lone first-floor bedroom barely fits the bed and a piece of furniture, and the second-floor rooms don't waste an inch, either. Hey, it's the beach. You do get ocean views, plus classy materials throughout. Does it feel fresh and new? Absolutely.

As a bonus, the home offers the definition of "turnkey" – all the furniture is included. Bring your board shorts and toothbrush and you're in business.

424 Marine starts at $1.649m, and is open Sat. 2-4pm.

445 33rd
445 33rd (5br/5ba, 3600 sq. ft.) invites the public back again.

It's a true modern beach delight, with interior spaces that are sharp, white, tight and glossy with a timeless, beachy appeal.

You will want to say you saw 33rd after someone takes it away.

445 33rd is still at $3.125m, and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

532 24th (3br/3ba, 2200 sq. ft.) looks like a quaint, older cottage from the front, but its spaciousness inside is a great surprise.

The kitchen is fully updated, as is the main bath downstairs by the 2 kids' bedrooms. The current owners added a master suite above the garage in back, so that's all new as well.

Disclosure: The home was previoulsy advertised on MBC's front page.

532 24th is at $1.379m, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Tree Section

2404 Laurel  
2404 Laurel (5br/4ba, 3370 sq. ft.) was a puzzle, at first, to find – it's south of Valley, right above Ardmore. It's one of 3 homes that share a driveway off of Laurel – not unlike the "Laurel Bluff" homes across the way.

Once you find 2404 Laurel, it's a distinctive, recent remodel that the listing calls "mid-century modern." The mid-60s build had a substantial new addition in 2005 with a modern kitchen and master that give the home more of a 21st-century look, even if they were shooting for a mid-20th sensibility.

The "mid-century" theme is well-executed with sharp, contemporary edges along with interesting woods that draw from a Martini-era palette.

Below the kitchen and dining area, the home steps down to 2 separate living rooms, one set off by itself that's now a media room. Both open out to a tranquil, grassy patio with treetop views from the bluff over the greenbelt.

Upstairs, 3 original bedrooms include 2 with views (including tiny peeks of the refinery), and you also get the new master with a great bath.

2404 Laurel starts at $1.790m, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

2803 Pacific
What do you do with a house like 2803 Pacific?

It's oversized for the Trees (5br/4ba, 4425 sq. ft.) on an extra-big 8400 sq. ft. lot, so that's a good start. The extra-big back yard has an attractive hardscape that connects to both the big living room and the ample family room.

In fact, "big" is a theme – every room seems 20% larger than you might see elsewhere.

But the other theme is: time warp.

The home was built in the mid-80s and looks every bit the part. It's clean and perfectly preserved. Though it's nice for what it is, it's outdated, so it's hard to imagine that a buyer is going to leave things as they are. A thorough remodel – a necessity – seems a bit more daunting given the home's big asset: its size. (See above.)

Plus, the home's on busy Pacific, and there's a queer easement hogging a chunk of the front driveway with a big electrical box popping up – strategically almost-hidden by bushes.

The sellers start out at $2.099m, a modest $474/PSF. It's anyone's guess where this one ends up, though – many variables, with the need to find the buyer who's willing to do the work.

2803 Pacific is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

747 26th
747 26th (4br/4ba, 2825 sq. ft.) boasts a better location than 2803 Pacific and has some fresher updates, but it's got liabilities, too. The late-70s build feels like a home that's been sporadically remodeled from room to room, but never completely.

Some parts are clearly dated – shag carpet in the master and on the stairs, baths that may be original or barely improved. It's surprising to see some of this in the higher-end price range in the Trees.

An upside-down layout like you find here typically is justified by views. The home has treetop views toward the Sand Section's plateau and, the flier claims, "you can see a few slivers of the Pacific" (depending on conditions), but it's not really a "view home." The master and one bedroom downstairs open to the pool, which is at least nice if you're inclined toward a late-night dip in the hot tub. If you're not looking for a pool home, that may be another strike.

There's ample family living space upstairs, plus a 4th bedroom/office suite, so there is some material to work with here for a decent family home on a nice block.

747 26th starts at $1.649m and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

2808 Elm
2808 Elm (5br/4ba, 3225 sq. ft.) is a newer (2006) Cape Cod that's light, bright and cheery. It steps down gradually to fit the downslope of the hill, with a separate living room up front, plus an open dining area right off the entry. Different.

A kitchen/great room in the rear opens to a fairly large patio and a little grassy patch as well.

The master suite's done well, a solid notch above average. One kid's room gets its own bath, while 2 others share a jack-and-jill.

The sellers bought new at the peak for $2.415m in Nov. 2006. After 6 weeks, they're down to $2.025m.

2808 Elm is open Sun. 1-4pm.


If you're interested in any of these properties, or something else, and need help finding a good agent, please consider asking MBC. For more, please see our Agent Referrals page.

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