What Around $2M Has Bought Recently

By Dave Fratello | April 12th, 2016

Not to be dramatic, but there was a time when $2M could take you pretty far when shopping for homes in Manhattan Beach.

Now, a budget like that is going to involve some compromises. Take a smaller home. Plan a new build or major remodel. Or some combination thereof.

Here's a not-necessarily-complete list of recent sales somewhere near $2M, which illustrate the options at that price point.

As with every property referenced on the blog here, you can click any address for full listing details & photos.

2701 Pine Avenue Manhattan Beach CA2701 Pine (4br/3ba, 2300 sqft.) is a dapper Cape Cod on a corner in a mostly quiet part of the Tree Section. It has just closed for $2.200M.

Both the home and the lot are significantly smaller than is typical for the Tree Section. A 4br house would often be 3000 sqft. or so.

Instead, the lot is 3000 sqft., and the house is closer to 2000. The reason has something to do with the way a prior owner of a few adjoining lots here chose to carve them up differently. (He'd have a bit of a problem with the planning authorities today trying to pull that off.)

As we sometimes say, though, this is absolutely the most house it could be on this little lot, with a charming Cape Cod flavor, modern kitchen & baths, and "just enough" common space downstairs – an open formal living room plus a family room in back opening to the very small back yard/patio. 

Bonus feature: The deck over the garage offers treetop views and was showing with a nice set of outdoor furniture, like you might really use it.

1829 Elm Avenue Manhattan Beach CA1829 Elm (4br/2ba, 2200 sqft.) is a corner-lot home fairly close to Sepulveda.

Maybe that's a bit subjective, but for various reasons 19th feels that way, as it sometimes pulls "dive out" traffic off of Sepulveda.

This home was somewhat famously described on the MLS as "remodeled in 1972."

Well, it's due for another one of those remodels. With 44 years of maintaining the status quo behind it, this property will get a reboot now.

Closed price: $2.075M.

List price had been 4% lower at $1.999M. There was demand.

1016 John Street Manhattan Beach CA1016 John (5br/3ba, 3000 sqft.) is a project house, no doubt or dispute there.

The 1960s original is remarkably big. When we saw it, we experienced a typical 3br 50s/60s house upstairs, only to learn, to some surprise, that there was virtually another house right underneath. (More bedrooms, a big living room, a wet bar, etc.)

This one had to be taken by someone with vision to redo the existing property. The lot would be tough to build on new, with its steep downslope. But the potential is all there, and this is a pretty affordable option as things go in the Hill Section.

Purchase price: $2.365M, a little below the start price.

You could complete a nearly total modernization and be finished at $2.8M or so. (Your costs may vary!)

876 11th Street Manhattan Beach CA876 11th (2br/1ba, 1035 sqft., 6000 sqft. lot) is a nearby Hill Section fixer/lot sale that has just closed for $2.250M.

On this one, the lot size is just 350 sqft. larger than 1016 John, although on a marginally less busy street and a much more conventional lot/layout.

Across the street, on the market, is 873 11th (4br/4ba, 3500 sqft.) asking $3.359M currently.

3105 Vista Drive Manhattan Beach CA3105 Vista (3br/4ba, 2400 sqft.) is a relatively newer townhome (2003 build) with polished floors and nice kitchen/baths.

Just about a year ago this time, the home was listed at $2.300M and had a deal. But that escrow flopped, a new agent came in, and a long saga began.

For the next 10+ months, 3105 Vista sat on the market asking $2.300M and drawing no new offers. There were no public price cuts.

Finally, in late February this year, a buyer knocked, and knocked off $200K.

Closed sale last week: $2.100M

That's totally unlike all recent Manhattan Beach Sand Section townhome prices. Click to see our (constantly updated) list of recent townhome sales.

3520 Walnut Avenue Manhattan Beach CA3520 Walnut (3br/2ba, 2250 sqft.) is a head-to-toe remodel of a smallish house that's pretty far north and east in the Tree Section.

It came out at $1.695M and just closed a tick higher at $1.725M.

Take a moment to compare this one to 2701 Pine, the first property referenced in this post. Similar square footage, two nicely remodeled homes, more land at 3520 Walnut.

So why the $500K difference?

Location is the simple answer. From this vantage point on Walnut, views to the northwest are, very prominently, industrial. (The Chevron refinery, to be specific.)

The layout here is not quite as straightforward as 2701 Pine, either.

But if you take a home with a couple issues and make it very compelling, pricewise, look what happens: Multiple offers, a deal in about a week, and the mission is accomplished.

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