Weekend Opens (8/3-8/4)

By Dave Fratello | August 2nd, 2013

Can you believe we've slipped into August now?

One way to tell is by the appearance of the 6-Man (our little video tribute has proved to be popular) and that other defining event of the International Surf Festival, this Sunday's pier-to-pier swim. 

If you're going to try the 2-mile ocean swim, best to do it with some buddies, or maybe 1,000 of them. And bring a paddler if you can.

Though you can already see the start of school downhill from here, we try to think of this weekend, each year, as the time when Summer really gets rolling.

It's a fairly light week for new inventory, but as always, there are interesting new options emerging.

We'll have a public open at 468 34th on Sunday, 2-4pm. Can't make the open? Try this link for our video walkthrough of the property.

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

Sand Section

112 18th (6br/7ba, 4235 sq. ft.) sits at the base of one of the truly great streets in MB, and by many reckonings the jewel among the precious Teen Streets.

This home's favorable position, with no neighbor immediately west, means better views. In this case, all the Strand houses to the west are built up, so you pretty much know exactly what your views are going to be – no risk, it would seem, of some new imposition.

The building is a duplex, with a 2-story, 2br unit in back that's barely improved from its 1980s original condition (fresh with new carpet and paint, but that's it).

The main house is the main draw. Yes, it's full of dated "contemporary" architecture – metal piping for railings, odd creative window shapes, etc. But the current owners have tried to update it by running with the basic design and adding more 21st-century modern materials – attractive cherry wood cabinets in the updated kitchen, interesting newer stone around the fireplace and for countertops, making the baths sleek and current, etc.

Layout-wise, you have the master up top past the living spaces, giving you views toward the pier and PV, two more br and a must-have ocean-view office on the middle level, and a little room on the first floor that must be a legal bedroom, but may serve better as an office or small den for someone who wants to get out of the flow of the busy upstairs.

Bonus: There's a separate first-floor entry that goes almost straight to the downstairs bath – a convenient place to dive in and rinse off after time at the beach.

112 18th starts at $5.195M, and is open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.

204 21st Place (3br/4bva, 2000 sq. ft.) is a newer (2001) TH with nice views currently on a quiet midtown alley street.

Somehow they made this TH feel larger than you would expect on a 2-unit TH on a standard-size lot. The master and, especially, the top-floor living spaces feel an extra 10-20% bigger. Upstairs, that means an unusually expansive-feeling floor, plus a good-sized balcony from which to enjoy breezes and peeks at the ocean.

This is a newer build, and feels largely up-to-date. Maple flooring has been very recently refinished and looks new; new paint everywhere makes it fresh. The exception might be the feel of some countertops here and there, but no changes are urgent.

Disclosure: Dave is friendly with the sellers.

204 21st Place starts at $1.849M and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

468 34th (4br/5ba, 3525 sq. ft.) is Dave's listing in the North End of the Sand Section.

It's now at $2.575M.

MBC doesn't offer "neutral" reviews of Dave's listings, so here's part of the official description:

Your family will enjoy this lovely, newer Cape Cod... with [s]pacious common rooms on the first floor...

All four bedrooms are on one level, including master suite with fireplace and separate "his and hers" walk-in closets.

Upstairs, a family/game room opens to great deck with ocean peeks where you're sure to spend a lot of time...

This whole home has been refreshed with new paint and carpet and looks terrific...

Busy Sunday? Try this link for our video walkthrough of the property.

468 34th is at $2.575M and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

Hill Section

509 N. Dianthus (4br/3ba, 2150 sq. ft.) offers a good amount of space, updated, with city views (to the east) on a nice Hill Section street.

That puts you in the top-rated Robinson School district. (But then, remember, you can't really go wrong among any MB schools, and every one of the 3 elementaries west of Sepulveda was ranked a 10 / 10 school in the most recent state report. See "MB Schools Smash It Again" for more.)

The first floor features a modern, though alley-style, kitchen, a dining room and a large living room up at the front of the house. The living room opens out to a big deck (via a step up).

In back on the first floor is a large kids' bedroom that opens to a small side patio, plus one other room which technically counts as a bedroom (thanks to a closet), but is probably better suited as an office or playroom due to its small size.

Upstairs there's a spacious master with his-and-hers closets, plus a stylishly simple master bath with white tile and Carrara marble. The second bedroom upstairs also has its own newly redone bath.

This one last sold nearly 3 years ago, in Nov. 2010 (for $1.215M), in a different market and in different condition. The baths have been completely redone, and the overall look and feel vastly improved.

Disclosure: Dave is friendly with the sellers.

509 N. Dianthus starts at $1.625M and is open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.

East MB

1146 21st (3br/2ba, 1500 sq. ft.) is a 1940s original that's had a couple of waves of remodeling. The main living spaces are more wide-open than a typical cottage, having been opened up in recent years to create more of a "great room" feel with an island kitchen and bright common spaces.

We had a little bit of a concern about how to use the common spaces, as the family room in back – which feels like a former sun porch – seems a little small, but you have to see the space yourself to see if it can work.

There's a sizable back and side yard facing south, getting loads of afternoon light, in addition to the ample front yard on this 5340 sq. ft. lot. The backyard now features a sunken hot tub under a covered gazebo.

The master is tucked in back, with windows to the yard and a pretty smallish bath. The secondary/kids' bedrooms are together at the front of the house, and are of a reasonably good size. They share a modern-feeling hallway bath that also serves the living areas.

A fairly recent remodel contributed nice dark-stained wood flooring throughtout most of the home ,and a newer kitchen. That said, there are things all around the house that could use improvement – the aluminum windows here and there, the fluorescent lighting in the kitchen and family room (really?), and the dated, rough stucco exterior, to name a few examples. In some ways it's updated, in others, it's rental-caliber.

Locationwise, this is on a reasonably quiet, isolated block of East MB, despite its relative proximity to Sepulveda. There's no reason for traffic on the block if it's not local. The walk to school is just a few minutes, and it's close, also, to a selection of restaurants and shops.

1146 21st starts at $1.150M, which is sure to draw a lot of attention, and nearly certain to be exceeded in the process. It is open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.

1825 23rd (3br/1ba, 1400 sq. ft.) is really quite far east in Liberty Village, but without any evident liability from the location. It's not on Marine and doesn't back up to Aviation, and the tree-lined block actually has some charms.

The home is what you find commonly in the LV: a small, original cottage that's been added onto and updated in stages.

In this case, there's an extremely recent fix-and-flip remodel in store. Dark-stained wood flooring and a whoa-really-really modern kitchen are the highlights. The one bath for the house is nicely redone, except they kept the original cabinets and just painted them, one of the ways they spoiled the illusion of an all-new house.

Bedrooms are each of fairly good size. Right as we began to worry about limited common space, we saw the separate outbuilding that must serve as a studio/playroom, perhaps a second family room just off the back of the house. You're going to have to decide how to use that – and how to heat it, as there was no evident heating system installed.

Indeed, the main house relies not on modern forced-air heating, but one of those wall-mounted gas units that's supposed to heat every room. Well, there's also the big new fireplace in the dining area.

This one really forces the question: Where else are you going to get a refreshed house with nice front and back yards for about $1M? Yes the re-do is incomplete and the home has question marks, but if that's your number and you can make the compromises, the wow kitchen and what'll-we-do-with-this? bonus room might make this quite intriguing.

1825 23rd starts at $1.049M and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

Tree Section

3201 Palm (3br/3ba, 2470 sq. ft.) is a 1970s original (did you guess?) with updates inside that run with something of a modern/Spanish sort of theme.

The layout may raise the first question for many. You have 2br downstairs in back sharing their bath, then the master upstairs by itself. That's a layout more typical of an older home with additions, but in this case it probably came about partly because of the downsloping lot. You could almost call this a 3-level home, with the entry level comprising one, a lower level with family room and 2 bedrooms, then the top level for the master. (Splitting levels was once all the rage.)

The main space up front consists of the open kitchen, a dining area and a first living room opening to an atrium (little waterfall = bonus) and with a large, adobe-type fireplace right in the center. Downstairs is the big family room, now hosting a pool table but clearly serviceable as a media/hangout room. That space, in turn, opens to a small, sunny deck. The current owners have built a fairly high fence around the deck to enclose it, blocking out all views of the neighbors (and vice versa).

A yard? Not so much.

Though there have been efforts to update the house, there are still out-of-fashion features. Glass block is used in a few places, including a main window off the dining area (why?) and in the master bath, which otherwise seems to have a more updated feel. The home is covered, outside, in thick and chunky stucco (for the "Spanish" feel) and inside, most of the walls also have rough stucco/plaster patterns. We couldn't help but ask what the house might look like without a few of those throwback details saying "70s" around every corner.

3201 Palm starts at $1.775M and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

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