Weekend Opens (9/5-9/6/15)

By Dave Fratello | September 5th, 2015

Happy Labor Day to you. 

If you're around and in the market, there are a few new listings to go see, including one that may be an improbable sensation.

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

Don't forget, when previewing homes here on MB Confidential, you can click "Open All Images" right above the main listing photo to get immediate display of all the listing photos at once.

Sand Section

1508 Highland Avenue Manhattan Beach CA1508 Highland (3br/3ba, 1560 sqft) is a 1960s SFR that's received some updating over the years, at some point being split into two units with separate entrances.

The main home upstairs features a wide-open kitchen and living room with arching ceilings. You get a line of ocean view down a couple of streets across Highland.

The kitchen remodel holds up pretty well, stylistically and because it was solidly done. Flooring throughout the top floor is a newer wide-plank wood, though a bit scuffed here and there.

All 3br upstairs are of modest size; one gets its own bath.

Downstairs, what may have been a second living room originally now shows as a separate studio apartment with a kitchenette along one wall. (With no stove, just a microwave and small fridge, maybe we should just say it's a wet bar.)

Now, if you've got a map handy (or a map app), you know that 1508 Highland is not only on Highland but right near a busy intersection at 15th. It's also literally steps to downtown, and just across from the beach. With this older construction, minimal insulation and location right on Highland, the noise inside is considerable.

In the location lies the puzzle of establishing value here. At $1.600M to start, 1508 Highland is incredibly attractive.

Here is the total number of Sand Section single-family homes south of 30th St. with an actual garage that were sold in the past year anything near $1.6M: just 1. It was 420 21st St. (3br/2ba, 1465 sqft.) at $1.629M, a full 51 weeks ago.

The next two were both at $1.900M, and were, respectively, on an alley (217 Marine Place, newly closed) and a busy street (605 Valley).

So there's a lot of unexplored territory between $1.6M-$2.0M for a home like this one to fall as buyers come check it out.

1508 Highland starts at $1.600M and is open Sat. only from 2-4pm.

1322 Ocean (2br/2ba, 1225 sqft) is in a location you've probably never been, in a building you probably haven't seen or noted, tucked away quietly just steps from the sand, Strand and town. It's a bit of a quiet oasis.

Inside, this notably small, 3-story unit, sporting a 1970s build date, looks every bit the part of a modern beach pad. The luxurious modern finishes and details give you the sense of a very high-end hotel room in some tropical location.

The master gets ocean views from the bed and features a slick, sizable bath. The "second bedroom" is a smallish anteroom/living room just off the entry with sliding doors/walls that can close it off so a Murphy bed can drop down to make a private bedroom. A tight basement room shows with a TV and a couple seats as a private home theater.

The top floor features a sparkling, super sharp kitchen that's open to the bright living room with ocean views. And step out to the deck and up the spiral stairs for something even better: A deck that's bigger than any room in the house plus hot tub.

It's interesting how the property gets better the more you explore.

But there's a barrier to the average buyer: A start price of $3.495M.

That is a monster PPSF of $2,839/PSF, what looks like the kind of "false" figure you would normally find on a lot sale (tiny house, valuable lot). We scanned our most recent MB Market Update for other Sand Section sales with high PPSFs, and landed on 3300 Ocean (3br/4ba, 1850 sqft.) at $4.000M and $2,162/PSF. Even that's a tough comparison with a house 50% bigger.

There's no doubt about the pluses of 1322 Ocean, but where it falls pricewise will really be something to see.

1322 Ocean starts at $3.495M and is open Sat. and Sun. from 1-4pm.

East MB

1524 Mathews Avenue Manhattan Beach CA1524 Mathews (5br/6ba, 4675 sqft.) is an excellent example of current trends in new construction in Manhattan Beach.

A wide-open first level, beachy wide-plank flooring, white siding outside met by white walls and ceilings inside (not to mention white marble kitchen counters and white cabinetry)...

The back great room/family room opens to a sizable and sunny south-facing backyard – definitely what buyers prefer.

Upstairs, all the bedrooms feel positively enormous and have their own bathrooms. No one is shortchanged.

Mathews is the last street before Artesia and this home feels somewhat close to the high school, so there may ultimately be a location adjustment to be had. We'll see how buyers treat this one, where the build is unquestionable.

1524 Mathews starts at $3.295M and is open Sat. and Sun. from 1-4pm.

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