Weekend Opens (9/13-9/14)

By Dave Fratello | September 13th, 2008
With the rush of new listings post-Labor Day, once again we have a nice selection of opens for the weekend.

It feels like we're going back to our roots here with this feature.

We're asking MBC readers who visit these homes to also report back. Tell us what you see, what you like, what you don't like, what you'd change if you owned a particular home, and so on. Use the comments here to discuss the homes we've highlighted.

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

Hill Section

301 Anderson
is on a small, quiet corner lot with ocean views in the Hills. That's the good news.

The home itself is sort of cobbled together, an older cottage plus a second building, both showing their vintage(s) – 1950s and 1970s.

There's some decent square footage – 3br/3ba and over 2450 sq. ft. A lot of stuff needs updating. But there's a traditional appeal here, the kind of thing that would be super-charming if it didn't come with a $2m+ price tag.

Important detail: Sellers paid $1.9m a bit more than 2 years ago, in Feb. 2006. They're looking for $300k more now, and we just don't see it. Starts at $2.199m. Open Sun. 1-4pm.

1042 2nd, which we've mentioned before, is a large, newer (2003) home with views of the city, not the ocean, owing to its location next to a commercial building and Sepulveda. (Talk about your views of the city.)

The location means a discount – and the owners got one, paying $1.460m in March 2004 – nice for 5br/4ba and 4400+ sq. ft. A few years later, they're asking almost a million more: $2.395m at present. Open Sun. 1-4pm.

Sand Section

Curiously, all of our Sand Section selections this week start with the number 33...

333 3rd St. is a nice South End Spanish remodel, pretty spacious with 4br/3ba and 2750 sq. ft.

It's not a walkstreet, but it is priced $400k below the substantially smaller home at 424 5th that we featured last weekend.

This starts at $1.999m, giving South End seekers a potentially superior option, all things considered. Open Sun. 1-4pm.

332 20th was described by MBC when it first hit the market in January as a "spectacular and special new Spanish home ... offering big ocean views and a warm, custom feel." It has 5br/5ba and 4200 sq. ft., plus elevator, on a full-size lot up at the top of the 20th St. walkstreet above Highland. It is splendid, plush, unique and offers great ocean views, plus back-door access to Live Oak Park.

This one has a lot going for it, but it's down almost $650k from its start in January, now at $4.154m after a few months off the MLS (we're thinking it was rented for the Summer, but no solid info). It is currently offered for rent at $15k/mo., so think about that, too. Open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.

3316 Crest is uptown contemporary beach living – an ambitious remodel that is cozy in parts (yes, very small BRs), 4br/4ba, 2100 sq. ft. on a half lot. Includes a separate rental or guest unit downstairs. Terrific ocean views upstairs, and a nice execution of the modern wood/steel/glass look. Priced at $1.995m. Open Sun. 1-4pm.

330 41st #B is a small condo (1br/1.5ba, 820 sq. ft.) in a recently renovated building located on Highland in El Norte. In no way is this our normal cup of tea, but this week it gets a mention anyway, thanks to that 33 at the beginning. Currently $799k. Open Sun. 1-4pm.

Tree Section

529 18th gets Mrs. MBC's nod this week largely due to location. And yet, location is also a challenge for this new Craftsman (see below). What a puzzle.

First, let's talk about 18th. Your blog author has labeled the segment west of Highland as one of MB's "Great Streets." Mrs. MBC doesn't disagree, but she still prefers the Martys Hill segment. It's that beach vs. 'burbs debate that is so familiar to MB residents.

Given a spacious (perhaps overly spacious) new 5br/5ba, 5600 sq. ft. home on the hill, the argument for the 'burbs carries more weight. You don't get this kind of space with an ocean view, but here you're just moments from the beach as well as the park and downtown. And 18th is a fairly low-traffic street with great breezes.

The hitch – this new home faces a parking lot and a somewhat ancient monstrosity of a building: the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club (click for their site). The institution has always perplexed us. Is badminton more important than the $6-$10m worth of land the building is sitting on? Is there something else going on that we are not even invited to understand? Regardless, the view of MBBC a net negative for this new home.

529 18th starts at $4.279m. Open Sat. & Sun. 2-4pm.

2610 Maple cannot be found online at this time, but this little starter with 2br/1ba and 1000 sq. ft. is available nonetheless in the "real world." Starts at $1.129m. Open Sun. 2-5pm.

Early coffee & donuts are the new pitch at 633 15th. The unusual open is Sunday 10:30am-1pm. It's a transparent attempt to get someone attending mass at American Martyrs to wander over and decide to spend $5.495m. Good luck with that.

Those who do wander will see that the home is vast but flawed. Some of that square footage is devoted to some kind of original, unimproved unit that could be described as servant's quarters. Much of the construction feels dated (90s) and some materials are far from high-end. Someone will love this house, but only after a big adjustment. Open Sun. 10:30am-1pm.

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