Weekend Opens (9/21-9/22)

By Dave Fratello | September 21st, 2013

It seems they're just not giving us what we want: More.

Inventory is down to 53 as we open the weekend. On the plus side, one of our reviews here (2009 Palm) isn't even on the MLS yet, but you can see it Saturday.

On the flipside, another review is for a home already in escrow.

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

East MB

1127 6th (5br/4ba, 3700 sq. ft.) is a very typical late-90s Caliterranean with a super nice pool and a location issue that will give some buyers pause.

Let's start with the house, which features the grand-entry living room, plenty bright, up front, flowing back to formal dining and the kitchen/great room in back. The flooring throughout alternates between travertine and a highly polished reddish hardwood.

The yard on this 7500 sq. ft. lot has been transformed with an impressive "lagoon-style" pool (per the listing). It's a quasi naturalistic setting that also makes for nice eye candy from the entertaining spaces.

Locationwise, you feel the nearness of Sepulveda from some rooms, and hide from it completely in others. There's just one residence between this house and commercial properties. The two frontmost bedrooms have some views of traffic buzzing by along Sepulveda. There did not seem to be too much noise when we visited, but it wasn't rush hour.

The other saving grace of the backyard pool, with its waterfalls, would surely be to drown out traffic noise.

Newer, move-in-ready homes in East MB have been climbing in price this year. 1127 6th starts at $1.999M, which may be an attempt to "price in" the location issue.

1127 6th is open Sat. & Sun. 12-4pm.

1813 23rd (3br/2ba, 1750 sq. ft.) just hit the MLS late last week – too late for MBC to review it then – and already has a deal in hand. So this weekend's open houses are more about showing off and pitching for "backup offers."

Still, if there's a place that should be showing off this weekend, it's probably this one.

All over Liberty Village, unless one of the original cottages was knocked down for a new build, you see the original homes with changes, additions, updates, etc., still echoing the 50s postwar originals, but with some new style or flavor reflecting the time of the re-do.

That's certainly the case here. The original has been opened up wonderfully – very recently – for a big, open kitchen/great room feel right in the middle of the house. The front living room at the entry is just enough for a cozy family room. The two (smallish) original bedrooms up front are improved and get a nice, modern hallway bath.

In back, they did the smart thing and added on a big laundry room and full-size master suite, with walk-in (live-in?) closet (it's big), and a modern bath. The master has double doors opening to the yard.

The kitchen shines with high style – glossy, white quartz counters, attractive wood cabinets and high-end appliances. From the original parts of the home all the way back, they've mixed the original hardwood flooring with new flooring in a seamless manner – it just looks like a bigger original floorplan; you don't see transitions or any hint of the fact that there's a recent addition.

The yard may be shortchanged a bit, but there's still something. All these original homes had garages tucked in back, with access along the side of the house. In modern times these garages become something else (storage, bonus rooms, etc.), while people park out front.

We assumed, last week, that this one would draw a lot of interest, and some comparison to 1509 Magnolia, a much smaller new remodel further west near Meadows school, which made a deal with a list price of $1.349M.

1813 23rd launched at essentially the same price, $1.359M, made its quick deal, but is still open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

405 Harkness (4br/4ba, 2300 sq. ft.) is a single-level house built, really, as a duplex of sorts. A connected, yet separate, mother-in-law's quarters features its own kitchen, living room and bath on one end of the house.

Beyond that you have a more standard 3br house with clear echoes of the 60s, and not too much of a yard. (The listing calls this 4br, but we saw just 3. This might mean they count the "family room" of the guest quarters as a bedroom. Color us confused.)

Custom paint colors dress up the bedrooms, but really just about everything could benefit from a reboot.

Not rebootable: Where the street inclines toward the north end of the lot, the house is dug down a bit to keep it flat. This puts the windows of one corner bedroom basically at asphalt level.

Bonus question: How is it that the listing photos show a blue house, and you actually find a yellow house when driving up?

405 Harkness starts at $1.398M and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

Tree Section

2009 Palm (4br/5ba, 4050 sq. ft.) is not on the MLS yet, but will be open Saturday as part of a "soft launch" as it edges toward the public market (perhaps) at some point soon. (As a result, there are no links now to additional photos.)

They're asking somewhat over $3M.

This is a big, custom house, built pre-ZORP in the early 90s, which means more interior square footage and a somewhat smaller backyard. (Mostly paved but featuring lots of green and a nice waterfall feature.)

The layout inside feels familiar, with a big 2-story formal living room and a spare bedroom up front, then formal dining and the kitchen/great room in back. Stylistically, the interior borrows a little from Mediterranean, 80s modern and, in places, a more elegant 21st-century modern. The folks who built it have simply updated it as styles have changed. It's hard to articulate what the current style is, though it's surely sharp inside.

Upstairs, one different feature is the master's completely separate sitting room. That makes it officially a "retreat." (The over-bed chandelier is a personal choice, easily reversible.) The master bath feels positively huge, and is perhaps the most modernized space in the home.

There are two kids' rooms on the upper floor sharing a jack-and-jill bath, and a large suit at the front, over the garage, which seems now to be in service as a second family room.

Location is ultimately what sells the house. This is mid-block on one of the Tree Section's prime, quiet streets. John and Palm. Palm and John. They're interchangeable, dream streets. This is a flat section chock full of great homes.

Recent comps in the neighborhood would include 1813 John (4br/5ba, 3545 sq. ft.), a custom, darling Cape Cod with a little pool in the yard, where the sale was reported at $2.999M in May.

The other neighborhood comp is 2200 John (4br/4ba, 3800 sq. ft.), a Craftsman-inspired inspired home with an open, more flowing layout and a darling yard, which sold for $2.875M in early August. (See: "Close the Books on 2200 John" for a bit more.) 

2009 Palm is bigger – on paper – than both of those, and starts at $3.150M. It is open Sat. 12-4pm.

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