Year of the Landlocked Half Lot

By Dave Fratello | May 13th, 2014

In a year that's seen very limited real estate inventory in the Sand Section of Manhattan Beach, there's one quirky subcategory where choices have been almost overflowing.

That's half-lot homes with no garage, fronting walkstreets. These homes are called "landlocked" when there's no garage or access to a street or alley. It sounds pretty inconvenient. And such homes are rare.

But this week, the third one to hit the market in the past several months emerged: 329 9th St. (2br/2ba, 900 sq. ft.).

This one is an example of owners doing pretty much the most you could possibly do on the lot. Thanks to a gorgeous modernization, this 1940s original lives like today, with wide-open living spaces, a true master and second bath. (Click the address to see the photos, and try "Open All Images" to see them all quickly.)

The front walkstreet patio is inviting, and location-wise, it's hard to pick something better. Quiet, but close to down and beach, it's going to check the boxes for people who can tolerate the lack of a parking space or storage. (That buyer is not too hard to figure out – most won't be making this a primary residence.)

Asking price: $1.700M.

The first one of these in recent years to come to market and sell was 124 17th (2br/1ba, 880 sq. ft.), way down next to the water. It was nicely remodeled, though in more of a Spanish style, not like the beach cottage in the new listing on 9th.

It was a pretty big question what that home on 17th was worth, especially in light of several restrictions on the plot and its neighboring back half lot. To join them and fully redevelop the land as a full lot is basically impossible for a decade or more. So those properties sold separately.

124 17th emerged at $1.499M, and sold over that at $1.540M. (See "It's Worth What They'll Pay.")

The second of the landlocked half-lots to come to market was 333 8th (1br/1ba, 765 sq. ft.), now in escrow.

This one, also, was not like the others – fully built of brick, this home is the smallest of the bunch and features a series of small rooms, freshly painted and carpeted, but really wanting a true refresher, we'd think.

333 8th listed in mid-April at $1.200M and had a deal fairly quickly.

Quirk: The same agent has been involved in all 3 of these half-lot, landlocked properties. Who knew there was a niche market like that?

The newest listing is also the highest-priced of the bunch – so far. But we've learned that conventional math doesn't seem to apply, even with the evident restrictions of a property like this. They'll do well, that's the only thing that's certain.

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