What You'll Pay for 3BR in MB

By Dave Fratello | March 29th, 2017

Literally everywhere in Manhattan Beach, there are little 3 bedroom cottages built as part of the first waves of construction in town.

The City Fathers had not quite imagined what we'd want here today.

Basements? Elevators? 3-car garages? Ha!

We can look at these undersized, original houses today as "obsolete" (in real estate lingo), but the truth is, they can have a long life. Many 1940s/50s homes were built solidly. The walls are good, the flooring is good and so on. A modern update can give one of these originals a chance to remain for another 20, 30 or 50 more years.

So if you're satisfied with a little cottage, what might you pay for one in different parts of town? Here are some examples:

1600 18th Street Manhattan Beach CA1600 18th (3br/1ba, 1000 sqft.) is a great example of our theme here.

It's a 1952 build, modernized in some ways (opened-up living spaces, very modern kitchen/bath) but not others... no second bath, no expansion at any point. 

The listing description said, "This darling home will steal your heart." And so it did for at least one buyer, who stepped right in and paid full price: $1.365M, within the first week. The sale has just closed.

Also in East Manhattan, 1509 Magnolia (3br/2ba, 1350 sqft.) boasts a recent remodel, although in this case, with a master bath added. 

Sold right after the remodel in May 2015 for $1.575M, now 1509 Magnolia is on the market asking $1.649M.

516 Marine Avenue Manhattan Beach CA516 Marine (3br/2ba, 1600 sqft.) is a slightly different case, a 1960 build that's got a remodeled kitchen but still some dated features overall per the existing photos. They're finishing more of a rehab project now.

This being the Sand Section, of course it's pricier: Asking $2.150M, which, by coincidence, is what the owner paid (off-market) in March 2015, viewing the property as a pure lot sale at the time.

Turns out, now people might rather take it as a house.

Incidentally, this one has been listed and re-listed and re-listed again, a total of 8 separate listings, since June 2016. This is evidently a tactic to make you think it's "new" each time, but the game apparently has fooled no one.

2616 Pine Avenue Manhattan Beach CALate last year in the Tree Section, 2616 Pine (3br/2ba, 1350 sqft.) sold for $1.749M

That's a 1956 original that recently got a thorough-going update. (So thorough that they saw fit to re-classify it as a 2014 build in the MLS listing.)

Right now the only Tree Section 3br cottage that fits in a similar category is the listing at 1900 Elm (3br/2ba, 1650 sqft.), which has less of a conventional floorplan and less of a remodel than some of the others mentioned here.

The (reduced) asking price of $1.699M for 1900 Elm makes it one of only 2 offerings in the Tree Section under $1.999M. The other is a 2br on Rosecrans.

1301 19th Street Manhattan Beach CAYou'll see echoes of the first East MB cottage that we mentioned in this post at 1301 19th (3br/2ba, 1400 sqft.), a new listing that's up asking $1.499M

It's a short walk from this home to 1600 18th, so the locations are comparable in that sense. This home does have a master bath and almost 400 more sqft., helping to explain the difference in price.

Going higher still, you might look at 101 S. Meadows (3br/2ba, 1700 sqft.), a picket-fenced cutie with a 1950 build date and some remodeling since.

Did you know that's commanding $1,000/PSF these days? List price: $1.699M.

1900 Wendy Way Manhattan Beach CATake a step down and you'll find 1900 Wendy (3br/2ba, 1650 sqft.), asking $400K less at $1.299M.

Wendy is touted as "probably the best value in Manhattan Beach at this time," which is the sort of thing that does tend to happen in Liberty Village and specifically on the Aviation side of Wendy, where this home is.

If it has a bit of a "rental" look to you, that's understandable: Maybe you've also seen that it is for rent at the same time ($4,500/mo.). 

That's a partial look at the current market for 3br homes. There's always going to be someone willing to keep and update original homes in MB, as they offer an entry-level opportunity for families who really want to be here, but can't go into the $2M-$3M+ territory just yet. That keeps our mix of housing stock diverse and interesting, and provides a reminder of the times that were for MB.


UPDATE: Right after this post went live online, a new example hit the market:

1134 23rd Street Manhattan Beach CA1134 23rd (3br/1ba, 1300 sqft.) asking $1.400M as an "as-is" or "land value" sale (6000 sqft. lot).




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