Weekend Opens (9/12-9/13)

By Dave Fratello | September 11th, 2009
Labor Day acts like an artificial dam sometimes, holding back late-in-the-year listings for a few extra weeks.

With that celebration behind us, MBC can now offer the first weekend open-house story with 100% new offerings in quite a while.

Well, OK, among these, the 2 in the Trees have recently returned to market after several months off, so "new" might be pushing it, but they are fresh listings this week.

Take note: The listing at 400 Poinsettia is a sunset open house on Saturday, 6-7pm.

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

At last, something new to see in the Hills. And: wow.

400 N. Poinsettia is a big (5br/6ba, 4550 sq. ft.) house at the highest point on Poinsettia, promising "commanding 180 degree panoramic ocean views" from the upper levels. (Listing.)

They'll be showing that off at the Saturday open, a 6-7pm sunset ga-ga fest.

The newer Cape Cod (2002 build) is the sort of home that you expect to find for the multi-millions it takes to land a prestige property in MB. Fine finishes, big entertaining spaces, decks, a "real yard." Yeah.

About the only downside to the property is that a neighboring property is still under construction (seems like years now), though it appears to be nearly complete.

Since 400 Poinsettia was born, it's had a big pricetag attached. Brand new in 2002, it sold for $2.7m, a lot in those days. Almost 4 years later, in Aug. 2006, it went to the current owners for $4.1m. (An impressive markup of $1.4m/+52%.)

The price is rewinding a bit now – $3.85m to begin, a cut of $250k/-6% from acquisition.

Open Sat. 6-7pm. (Yes, there's an American football contest of some note, involving 2 universities, going on at the same time, meaning some of the target demographic will miss the open.)

It would be unfair to compare 873 8th (4br/4ba, 4975 sq. ft.) to 400 Poinsettia. No views, a 10 year older house, and the list goes on. But it's spacious and in the Hills, which is what some folks need.

The home was offered from March-September 2007 for $2.999m, but quit and rented out. (See "Dropouts.")

It's now up at $2.389m ($610k below the 2007 asking price) and is simultaneously offered for rent for $6,800/mo.

873 8th is open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.

Neighboring 877 8th overlaps partly; it's open Sun. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

It was a good week on the South End walkstreets, with 429 7th (4br/3ba, 2125 sq. ft.) making a deal, last at $2.1m. (See "Breaking the Ice?")

329 4th (3br/2ba, 1700 sq. ft.) is smaller, and priced higher to begin at $2.3m.

But look past that anomaly for a moment. Here's a classic MB beach cottage, mostly updated and nicely decorated, opening out to the walkstreet beautifully to soak in the unique local lifestyle.

4th is not yet listed as an MBC "Great Street" like 7th, but it's mighty nice nonetheless.

Much of the block is on an incline, so your toys will tend to roll down to the neighbors' homes, but 329 4th is closer to the top. The listing notes that a prospective 2nd or 3rd story could have ocean views.

The current owners grabbed this little beaut for $1.85m in August 2004. Five years later, that $2.3m price is a markup of $450k (+24%). We're not seeing much like that these days, but then, there aren't many South End walkstreet offerings, either.

Open Sun. 1-4pm.

532 5th Place offers a dinky, 1930s-vintage house (2br/2ba, 900 sq. ft.) that is claimed to be "tastefully updated." It was so-so the last time it was offered in 2005. Absent interior pics, we'll need to see what they mean by "updated."

Exactly as does the listing for 329 4th, the description for 5th Place screams "Location, Location, Location!"

To which we say, yes, you're west of Valley, but that's an alley.

So, do you need little space, feel religious about beach proximity and want to spend about $1m? Here's your option. Starts at $949k, a sliver over the Jan. 2006 acquisition price of $923k.

Open Sun. 1-4pm.

Tree Section

721 36th is back.

For the first time, the owner is conceding that any sale will be at a loss.

Having acquired the new home (2006 build, 5br/5ba, 3450 sq. ft.) for $2.327m in those short-lived, but heady days of the Spring 2007 Rally, the owner tried to unload it at a modest markup in 2008 – seeking essentially $2.5m and $2.4m at different times.

Now, at $2.299m, you could call the list price flat, but we doubt the market is there right now.

Call it "stunning" and "exquisite" all you like, but remember what those other listings were saying about "location?"

So far we've heard only tepid remarks, and we have a sense that this one does not end on a great note.

Open Sun. 2-4pm.

500 14th (3br/3ba, 2250 sq. ft.) is a mid-century-style home with some recent remodeling that boasts proximity to parks, downtown and the beach. Not so eagerly touted in the listing: it's set just above busy Ardmore.

The owners paid $1.290m in August 2004 – mid-bubble. They tried to sell for $1.849m (+$559k/+43%) in Sept. 2007, took time off and tried again at $1.699m (+$409k/+32%) in April 2008.

Now it's at $1.499m, a comparatively modest markup of $209k (+16%) over a 2004 price.

Open Sun. 1-4pm.

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