Weekend Opens (9/11-9/12)

By Dave Fratello | September 11th, 2010
It's the first big weekend for Fall opens, and we're starting to see the inventory explode onto the scene.

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.

Hill Section

509 N. Dianthus (3br/3ba, 2250 sq. ft.) was, not so long ago, one of a string of contiguous homes that were offered for sale and/or sold. We've seen 505 Dianthus, 509 Dianthus, 511 Dianthus and 513 Dianthus on the market in just the last couple years.

Of these, 509, 511 and 513 all sold recently, and now both 509 and 513 are coming back. (They posted a sign at 513, which sold last November for $1.640m, on Friday, but it's not on the MLS yet.)

In the case of 509, you have a home that was nice and significantly upgraded from its 1960s-era build before the current owners bought it in May 2009 for $1.150m. They have now given the home a much more contemporary flair, upgrading the kitchen, flooring and such before deciding to move to a different home in the Hills.

So, off they go, and here's their first Hillie back on offer. They're looking for a bump thanks to the re-do with a start at $1.349m. (Of note: The March 2009 launch of the prior listing was at $1.350m.)

The home's a tight fit and a bit unusual, though the main-floor living room opens to a view deck. The master drinks in the hilltop city views north and east toward downtown L.A., and has a nice bath and big, sunny walk-in closet (from skylights).

The upgraded version of 509 Dianthus starts at $1.349m, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

Before anyone knew exactly what the 80s/90s contemporary style might look like, way back in 1979, they built 421 26th (3br/3ba, 2900 sq. ft.).

To tour it now means getting a bit lost in the mazelike layout. Remember, in those days they were trying to challenge convention, mix it up, break up stories into half-stories, define rooms not by walls but by putting them on their own little platforms, create surprises and shatter the norms.

So, yes, it's busy and confusing, and back then, people liked it. (The listing claims it was featured on one of the first Sophisticated Snoops tours in 1980, and we're not in position to confirm or deny that.)

The home isn't in great shape, but it's easy to see how some freshening up could make it very livable – if quirky – and that's where the discussion gets interesting.

The $1.449m start price is labeled an "auction price" on the flyer, meaning this short sale is also meant to sell fast, perhaps with several bids. Could it? There is a lot of square footage here on a decent, beach-close block next to Grandview Elementary, a home that's full of light, with ocean views and some potential overall, if you can see past its condition and can swing the style.

421 26th is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

225 39th (3br/3ba, 1600 sq. ft.) was last seen here at MBC in 2008, after a remodel/flip effort flopped.

Someone paid $1.595m in June 2007 and tried to unload it for more after a spiffing-up. Later, a buyer wound up snapping it up as a short sale for $1.185m.

The home's back now at $1.179m, and if you can find another clean, updated, ocean-view SFR in El Porto Norte like this one, let us know.

225 39th is open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.

2808 Manhattan Ave. (4br/4ba, 3300 sq. ft.) is spectacular new construction that has hung around for several weeks of Summer so far. This is the first public open we're aware of. Big views, a voluptuous, modern build – well worth a look.

2808 Manhattan is priced at $3.299m and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

Tree Section

3005 Oak (3br/2ba, 1175 sq. ft.) is an unusual case of a very recent, near-total remodel that's neither a flip nor a flop.

When you see that a home has just gone through a recent, down-to-the-studs re-do inside, and no one has lived in it, it's prudent to ask why.

Turns out this remodel came courtesy of an insurance company after a fire damaged part of the house. (No injuries, thankfully.)

So now you have a home that's very clean and crisp, with brand-new oak flooring throughout (appropriate for Oak Ave.), modern appliances in the kitchen, and 1 and 3/4 baths that are a small notch above a standard, quick remodel – in all, a surprisingly fresh new house. (The listing sports a "2010" build date, with which one might take issue.)

You would never know from the largely unimproved exterior what the inside holds. Again, chalk that up to insurance – they had to restore the home, but not recast it or even beautify it. You also see where their mandate ended in the back unit – a "rumpus room" attached to the garage, with attached patio and exterior fireplace, wasn't scorched, so it's unimproved. (It's also cluttered.)

The whole package starts at $950k, decent for a starter home west of Sepulveda these days. It will be interesting to see how the market reacts, with the Oak location and fire history working against the home. 

3005 Oak is open Sun. 2-5pm.

Though 2600 Pine (4br/2ba, 1550 sq. ft.) features a potentially charming 1950 MB original house, the sale here is really all about the dirt. It's a double lot at 80'x112', two separate lots that have always been together but ought to be splittable for development.

If you look at the home as 2 lots, the $1.799m start price makes a little more sense – about $900k each for lots on a nice upsloping block with some treetop view potential.

Not every buyer will see it that way, of course – $1.8m for dirt that's far from the beach, close to Marine, and requiring the additional costs of a massive remodel or total rebuild doesn't sound like much of a deal if you're looking to keep the lot for just one home.

Can you picture pouring $3m into a house here? Check it out and let us know.

2600 Pine is open Sun. 1-4pm.

3212 Maple (5br/4ba, 3450 sq. ft.) has now turned to its third listing agent this year, but it's hard to see why this has been so hard.

The home's a treat, a fact which may have been obscured to casual observers until the most recent set of listing pics (click the address above) finally gave it the treatment it deserved.

The 2007 build has many of the conventions of recent speckies, a familiar layout featuring a living room at the entry, separate dining room and, of course, a great room opening to the yard. The master's terrific with a bath that shines.

In several places the home has a feature or detail that's a cut above, so it's not so hard to see why the now-departed owners paid $2.5m in June 2007 (very much at the peak), and it's not hard to see why they think it's still worth more than $2m. The new listing begins at $2.199m, pretty much where it's been for a while.

3212 Maple is open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.


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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