Weekend Opens (9/3-9/4)

By Dave Fratello | September 2nd, 2011
Yes, that was Summer volleyball you were watching and playing last week, and now suddenly they say the calendar has turned to Fall, the kids are in school, and it's basically time to decorate for Halloween.

Here's an idea for the long weekend: The Endless Summer is available on Netflix streaming. Watch it as an act of defiance.

Labor Day is not exactly a popular time to launch a listing, but as is often the case, just a few sellers are hoping that what little spotlight there is might come their way.

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

As usual, we appreciate it when readers share views on this week's featured properties. Let us know what you like, don't like or must have.

Sand Section

212 40th St. (3br/2ba, 1525 sq. ft.) is a total surprise behind that vintage 1920s exterior.

Inside you'll find a stylish, nearly magazine-worthy remodel that blends modern tastes, materials and finishes with the old-school look of the original cottage.

We were particularly surprised to see a nice second living room on the upper floor along with the bedrooms up there, squished under the arch of the roof.

The home was last purchased in June 2007 for $1.159m and was called "totally remodeled throughout" in that old listing, but there has clearly been additional work since then to further upgrade the home.

We always take special note when someone does the work to rescue an original house, rather than treating an old home as dirt plus a pile of old wood. Bravo to the past 2 owners here.

Location note: 40th St. may be the busiest street in El Porto Norte, on account of the traffic light at Highland that allows left turns.

212 40th St. is priced at $1.290m and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

228 23rd Place (2br/2ba, 1000 sq. ft.) wishes it could some day become a remodel something like 212 40th. In fact, it's partway there, but the next owner will need to decide how to finish it.

To be clear: This 1930s-vintage home was in the midst of a remodel, with flooring removed, a bath completely emptied of everything, wallboard and ceilings taken down, etc., when trouble began and the home headed for a foreclosure auction this past week. The auction was canceled and a new, pre-approved short sale price agreed upon: $825k.

The buyer will have a lot of work to do before moving in. Right now the home is almost all bones, though there is a working bath downstairs. A new kitchen has been framed and cabinets installed, but otherwise it does not qualify as a working kitchen, which could complicate financing.

228 23rd Place occupies almost a half lot (1200 sq. ft.) on an alley, and it gets some ocean views now from the little front balcony and from standing on the small roof deck crow's nest up above. Some folks will view this offering for the land and development potential, while others will like the idea of tweaking this and that about the halfway remodel to wind up with a custom – if small – refreshed home with some throwback style.

Buyer beware: Actually, this applies to all open-house visitors – the railing on the front balcony is perilous.

Recent trades of 228 23rd Place include:
  • June 2000: $580k
  • Aug. 2002: $701k
  • Sept. 2005: $1.170m
228 23rd Place is priced at $825k as a short sale and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.

200 Shell (3br/3ba, 1700 sq. ft.) is not exactly new this weekend, but they've repriced it by a lot since the start in March and re-listed it as well this week, hoping to draw some new eyeballs.

In Spring we said 200 Shell "may well be the fanciest custom build in El Porto Norte," and we'll stand by that. We also said then:

the home drips with higher-end detail at every turn. The entry steps are quality stone, all the doors are tall and thick, quality wood, and everything from windows to fixtures to exterior railings to – of course – the kitchen, exhibits quality and attention to detail.

A custom bonus in a thoughtfully produced home: The dumbwaiter – a nice touch in a tall home with a smallish footprint – releases its cargo in a logical, useful spot in the heart of the kitchen.
All that, plus quite nice ocean views from the top level, and a minimal number of steps to the surf.

200 Shell is newly priced at $1.499m, a drop of $300k from its launch, and is open Sun. 1-4pm.

3315 Alma (3br/4ba, 2625 sq. ft.) is also newly repriced this week and definitely worth a walkthrough, if only to see the unique style written up by Coastal Living magazine as "modern Balinese."

It's a compelling idea house with big views and even a little grassy yard (on Alma!).

When the home launched at $2.450m, MBC said we'd leave it to the market to decide if it's a 2.4-ish house.

3315 Alma is now down to $2.299m and is open Sun. 2-4pm.

Tree Section

3408 Poinsettia (5br/4ba, 3200 sq. ft.) is a 2000 build touted as "stunning," "fabulous" and "truly shows better than new" in the listing, which really raises the bar.

The exterior did not grab us as very special, but the tour inside did. In large part that's due to the décor, which is tastefully upscale and European, and partly it's the materials and some bonuses built into the house.

For instance, the travertine flooring doesn't look like every other speckie or remodel of the last decade – that's nice, polished stone. And the big back patio wasn't just hardscaped with concrete or cheap materials; it's quality flagstone, with a thoughtful layout that puts an eating table under a pergola but keeps other conversational areas open to a little sunlight. The master bath somehow feels more up-to-date than you'd expect even in a 10-year-old house like this.

Another bonus: Upstairs, right over the entry, is full-size "outdoor room" that faces west and might be a nice place to chill of an afternoon, even if it is quite a bit out of the flow of the home.
That's a lot to recommend the home, but we do note that most of the basic things that are striking about the house seem to have been the same when the home last sold, for $2.075m in Sept. 2006.

3408 Poinsettia starts at $2.075m, the same as the 2006 acquisition price, and is open Sat. & Sun. 1-4pm.


Enjoy your holiday weekend. We plan to by taking an extra day off. We'll be back up with new content on Tuesday.

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