Friday, December 31, 2010

Manhattan Beach Homes Open New Year’s Weekend

With the exception of the Manhattan Village home shown below, the homes open for viewing this weekend are all repeats. Take a look at the links to the right for the Beach Reporter listings of open houses in Manhattan Beach and Manhattan Village. If you do view any opens this weekend, please post a comment to let us know what you think.

27 Lafayette Ct. Open SUN 2-4 ($819,000, 2br/2ba, 1557 sf, listed by Nina Michaels – South Bay Brokers). This Plan 2, 3-level, Manhattan Village townhome is not yet listed in the MLS. It was built in 1985 and last sold in 2006 for $880,000. The HOA fees for similar Manhattan Village townhomes are $475 per month.

If you are interested in this home or other homes in the South Bay, contact Janie Sue Nagy.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Weekend Open Houses in Manhattan Beach

If you can tear yourself away from those After Christmas Sales, there are four Manhattan Beach Homes that are open for viewing tomorrow. These are all repeats, but if you can’t imagine a weekend without visiting an open house, you can go see these. If you do go, please post a comment to let us know what you think.

21 Marin Ct. Open SUN 2-4 ($799,000, 2br/2.5ba, 1557 sf, listed by Nina Michaels – South Bay Brokers). See the October 15, 2010 Weekend Opens post for a description of this Manhattan Village listing.

533 24th St. Open SUN 2-4 ($1,095,000, 3br/2ba, 1746 sf, listed by Ken Adams – Shorewood Realtors). This listing is accepting backup offers, just in case. See the same October 15, 2010 Weekend Opens post as 21 Marin Ct. for a description of this Sand Section listing.

844 12th Ct. Open SUN 2-4 ($1,275,000, 4br/2ba, 1596 sf, listed by Jim Van Zanten – South Bay Brokers). The open house notice was published for this one and it is still listed as open in the MLS. However the listing was changed to canceled status during the week, rumored to return to the market after the holidays, but still open for viewing. It was described in the review of homes open last weekend.

4 Stratford Open SUN 2-4 ($1,599,000, 3br/2.5ba, 2924 sf, listed by Nina Michaels – South Bay Brokers). This Manhattan Village home was described in the August 6, 2010 open house previews. The current list price is down from an opening price of $1,649,000.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Scene Around Manhattan Beach #6

Have you seen this scene around Manhattan Beach?

If you can identify the location of this artistic brickwork, post your answer as a comment. Hint: it is in the Sand Section. Enjoy the satisfaction of sharing your skills of observation and knowledge of Manhattan Beach trivia.

About once a month this blog will include an eye-catching Manhattan Beach sight, and ask observant readers to identify the location. Find the answer among comments to this post, within a month.

The location of the severely pruned tree in Scene #5 from November has just been given in a comment to that post.

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Just in time for Christmas – A Bank-Owned Gift?

3121 Alma Avenue

If you are a bit handy or able to hire someone who is, you could get a deal on this Manhattan Beach REO. This 2,609 square-foot, ocean view, Tudor-style, walkstreet home sits on a 2,700 square-foot Sand Section lot. The listing states the home was “stripped of many amenities and needs to be put back together.” It is being sold “as-is.”

The asking price is $1.147M, which is nearly $1M less than it sold for in 2006, a reduction of almost 45% from the market peak. This property was last purchased for $2.075M in 2006. The owner tried to sell during the first half of 2009 for $2.199M, but that listing expired without a sale. So it became a summer rental. By then a Notice of Default had been filed.

The loan was with Santa Monica-based First Federal Bank of California, which was founded in 1929. First Federal Bank of California took the property back about a year ago for $1,757,436. But last December, that bank failed due to defaults on adjustable mortgages and was acquired by OneWest Bank. It looks like it took the bank some time to sort this one out. Ownership was transferred to OneWest Bank in March 2010. The property was just listed for sale, December 21st – one example of local shadow inventory coming to light.

This home is in a prime location close to the beach with ocean views. The home was originally built in 1947. It has since been remodeled and has 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. Over the 2-car garage, there is a bonus room which can be accessed via a bridge from the main house. There is additional off-street parking for 2 more cars. Click Here to see the listing information (courtesy of Rob Buchan – RE/MAX Execs).

The kitchen and baths were recently upgraded by the last owner, before it was listed in 2009. But then significant portions of the upgrade were removed. When I previewed the home there were workmen replacing missing items. These before and after pictures show some of what was removed and the current replacements.

The home is being made livable, but not with the same quality of finishes that were there when it was listed in 2009. The new vanity in the upstairs bathroom doesn’t quite fit the backsplash and floor finish of the previous cabinet. In the kitchen the cabinets remain, but light fixtures, appliances, faucet and other items were taken.

Here are a few comps to put the price into perspective.
  • 3417 Alma sold for $1.445M. It is a 2005-built, 2,005 square-foot townhome, so they really have just a half share of the 2,700 square-foot lot.
  • 2215 Alma sold for $1.490M. The 1,794 square-foot home was built in 1964 on a half lot. 
  • 2315 Alma is currently listed at $2.895M, but it is a double lot at 5,400 square feet. The 1940-built, Tudor style home is 2,022 square feet.
  • 2320 Alma is currently listed at $1.4M. It is an original beach bungalow (784 square feet, built in 1920) on a half lot (1,749 square feet).
If you are interested in purchasing this property or another Manhattan Beach home, contact Janie Sue Nagy.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Manhattan Beach Homes Open This Weekend

As we approach the end of 2010, there are fewer and fewer new listings. There were just 2 this last week: 329 21st Place & 1022 Duncan Place. Neither one is open to the public this weekend.

But there are some homes worth seeing that will be open. Below are reruns of a few opens in that pricing sweet spot, from $1.1-1.3M. See the Open House Lists (to the right) for additional Manhattan Beach and Manhattan Village homes that will be open.

If you go see any of these homes, share your thoughts by posting a comment below.

2913 Pacific Ave. Open SUN 2-4 ($1,100,000, 3br/2ba, 1888 sf, listed by Chris Plank – Shorewood Realtors). This home was built in 1962 and has been a rental. It has been spruced up a bit with new carpet and staged furniture, but could use a bit more help. The kitchen and baths are dated and access to the master bedroom is awkward.

The single-level home and 2-car garage take up most of the 4,704 square-foot lot, leaving a small, paved rear space and some grass in the front. The garage is attached, but there is no direct access between the garage and the house. This part of Pacific Avenue is one of the busier residential streets in the Tree Section.

922 11th St. Open SAT 11-2 & SUN 1-4 ($1,125,000, 3br/2ba, 1525 sf, listed by Jim Van Zanten – South Bay Brokers). This is a smaller, older Hill Section home on a large (7,500 sf), flat lot. The home has been well maintained as rental property, but has not been upgraded much over the years. The master suite addition is a plus, however the kitchen still has original tile. This property has potential. It has a one car garage, with the potential to add a drive along the side and a two-car garage at the rear of the property. It also has the potential to be razed and replaced with a home that looks like its newer neighbors. This one has been on the market since June and with 3 reductions, the price has come down $170K.

3309 Pacific Ave. Open SAT & SUN 1-4 ($1,249,000, 4br/4.5ba, 1596 sf, listed by Bruce Bogart – Keller Williams). This home was also a rental and has been looking for a buyer since 2005, with the same listing agent for the duration. The price began at $1.799M and has been working its way down. Since 2005, other homes of this vintage and lot size in this area of Pacific Ave. have sold between $1.2M and $1.3M. Check out a recent Manhattan Beach Confidential post and associated comments for this home.

844 12th Ct. Open SAT & SUN 1-4 ($1,275,000, 4br/2ba, 1596 sf, listed by Jim Van Zanten – South Bay Brokers). This one-level home was originally built in 1947 and was significantly upgraded in 2007. It last sold as a fixer in 2006 for $1,050,000. The current owners did not add square footage, but gave it a major facelift inside and out. A new bathroom was added for the master bedroom, but the expected walk-in closet is nowhere to be found. There is a bonus room/office off the detached 2-car garage.

The location has some pros and cons. It is on the drop-off/pick-up route for Pacific Elementary School. Traffic flows up 14th St. and down 12th Ct. On the plus side, the property is above and backs to a parking lot for a medical building, so backyard is more private with no neighbors behind. There was an accepted offer for this home soon after being listed, but it didn't stick and the property is still available.

For help buying or selling a home in Manhattan Beach or the neighboring areas contact Janie Sue Nagy 310-707-8762.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

3112 The Strand, Manhattan Beach 90266 - Ocean Front Fixer

Are you looking for an entry-level Strand property in Manhattan Beach?

3112 The Strand has just been listed for sale at $6.9M (by Debbie Walmer, Real Estate West). At this price, it is currently the lowest-priced offering on The Strand (not counting the half-interest listing for 1700 The Strand).

The current home is a duplex, built in 1968. The ground-level unit is a 3br/2ba rental. The upper owner’s unit has 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, office and family room. The master bedroom has awe-inspiring panoramic ocean views through floor-to-ceiling windows. The floor plan is a bit choppy and it looks like the upper unit had been split into multiple units in the past. It has a 3-car garage with off-street parking for 3 more cars.

But who cares? At this price, you are not buying the house, you’re buying the location. If the home was relevant, the price would be closer to $10M. The 3,829 square-foot lot is among the larger Strand lots. The listing proclaims this is “the most desirable section of The Strand” because there is no public parking in the vicinity.

This home last sold in 2001 for $3.2M.

Looking for a home in Manhattan Beach? Contact Janie Sue Nagy 310-707-8762.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Downtown Street Closure for Fireworks

The Annual Holiday Fireworks Festival on Sunday, December 12, 2010 at the Manhattan Beach pier draws a very large crowd and requires closing streets and rerouting traffic in and around the Downtown area. If you happen to be out viewing any open houses around the 4:00 PM closing time, plan accordingly. This information is from the City of Manhattan Beach.

The following traffic calming measures will begin at 4:00 PM on Sunday:
  • Southbound Highland Avenue will detour to southbound Valley Drive at 15th Street  
  • Northbound Highland Avenue and northbound Manhattan Avenue will detour to northbound Ardmore Avenue at First Street
  • Fifteenth Street will be closed to eastbound and westbound traffic at Valley Drive/Ardmore Avenue
  • Westbound Manhattan Beach Boulevard will be closed at Pacific Avenue

Friday, December 10, 2010

Manhattan Beach Homes Open This Weekend

There is only one newly listed Manhattan Beach home open to the public this weekend. See this MLS summary link for additional pictures and information about the home mentioned below. Additional open houses for older listings are available under the Open House Lists for Manhattan Beach and Manhattan Village to the right.

If you go see this home, share your thoughts by posting a comment.

2913 Pacific Ave. Open SAT & SUN 2-4 ($1,100,000, 3br/2ba, 1888 sf, listed by Chris Plank – Shorewood Realtors). This home was built in 1962 and has been a rental. So you could move right in and live like a tenant, but you would probably want to fix this one up. The kitchen and baths are dated and access to the master bedroom is awkward.

At first I was puzzled by the chain lock on the outside of the pocket door to the master suite, which is off the living room. Just what were they trying to lock IN? After some thought, I decided it was probably to keep small children or clever pets out of the rooms when no one was inside. But who knows?

The single-level home and 2-car garage take up most of the 4,704 square-foot lot, leaving a small, paved rear space and some grass in the front. The garage is attached, but there is no direct access between the garage and the house. This part of Pacific Avenue is one of the busier residential streets in the Tree Section.

For another opinion, see the pricing poll and review by Manhattan Beach Confidential.

So, would you like to purchase this property or perhaps another Manhattan Beach home? For help buying or selling a home in Manhattan Beach or the neighboring areas contact Janie Sue Nagy 310-707-8762.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks

The Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks Festival is this Sunday, December 12, 2010 at the Manhattan Beach Pier.

Events begin at 4:00 pm, when the Sketchers Snow Park and the Michael Stars Bounce Park opens. Santa will there to greet the kids at 4:00 and local bands will lead a holiday sing-a-long from 5:00-6:30.

The fireworks show (choreographed to seasonal music) begins at 7:00, but don't think you can just walk over a few minutes before 7:00 and find a good place to see the show. Downtown Manhattan Beach will be wall-to-wall people. Near the pier you can hardly move. Manhattan Beach Blvd. is roped off and folks begin staking out viewing territory with blankets and beach chairs much earlier.

It is a great show and the weather should be nice. Get there early, bring your chairs and a picnic dinner or order takeout from a downtown restaurant and make an evening of it.

Monday, December 6, 2010

1508 Oak Ave., Manhattan Beach REO For Sale

This Tree Section home has just been listed for sale for $867,000 by Leo Nordine Realtors. It is a banked owned home that has been recently remodeled to fix the damage done by the previous owner. You can compare the current state, shown in this video, with an earlier video post showing the condition, when foreclosed.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Manhattan Beach Open Houses This Weekend

New listings are getting scarcer as we approach the end of the year. This week’s open houses include a townhome in the Heights Section and 2 single level, Tree Section homes that were purchased as fixers in 2004 & 2006. The Tree Section homes are like belated flips, both are looking for an additional 20% over their purchase price.

See this MLS summary link for more pictures and information about the homes mentioned below. You can find additional Manhattan Beach open houses at these Beach Reporter links for Manhattan Beach and Manhattan Village. If you visit these homes, please add a comment to let us know what you think.

1420 12th St. Open SUN 2-4 ($699,000, 3br/2.5ba, 1413 sf, listed by Ben Vicini – Shorewood Realtors). The dark stained engineered wood floors and newer kitchen are nice upgrades. The kitchen has been remodeled with new cabinets and Corian countertops, but the appliances are older. Less obvious improvements include newer windows, roof and water heater. The entrance is on the lower level, which has an interior door to the 2-car garage. The laundry area is in the garage. The kitchen, dining room, living room and powder room are on the second level. (Note: the dining room chandelier seen in the MLS pictures has been replaced with a more modest fixture.) There is a large balcony off the kitchen and a smaller one off the living room. The top floor has 3 bedrooms. The master has its own full bath and there is a full bath off the hall. The 4-unit building was constructed in 1984. It does need to be painted and I would want to replace the track lighting in the living room and Hollywood bath lighting. HOA fees are $300.

844 12th Ct. Open SAT & SUN 1-4 ($1,275,000, 4br/2ba, 1596 sf, listed by Jim VanZanten – South Bay Brokers). This one-level home was originally built in 1947 and was significantly upgraded in 2007. It last sold as a fixer in 2006 for $1,050,000. The current owners did not add square footage, but gave it a major facelift inside and out. A new bathroom was added for the master bedroom, but the expected walk-in closet is nowhere to be found. There is a bonus room/office off the detached 2-car garage.

The location has some pros and cons. Because 12th Ct. is only a block long, you would not expect it to get much traffic. But it is on the drop-off/pick-up route for Pacific Elementary School. Traffic flows up 14th St. and down 12th Ct. On the plus side, the property is above and backs to a parking lot for a medical building, so there are no rear neighbors to peer into the back yard.

2912 Pacific Ave. Open SAT & SUN 1-4 ($1,599,000, 4br/2ba, 1874 sf, listed by Robb Stroyke – Stroyke Properties). This single level home is situated on a double lot, 80’ wide by 112‘ deep (8,960 sf). The current listing says the lot is divisible. Buyers who plan to demolish the current house and split the lot definitely need to verify that issue with the City of Manhattan Beach. Also buyers had better like that large tree in the front yard, which is protected by the Manhattan Beach Tree Ordinance. This property last sold as a fixer in 2004 for $1,340,000 and it was completely remodeled in 2005. Go see this one. It is a good value. The asking price is basically land value but with that huge yard you also get a nice, contemporary home that is move-in ready. The floor plan of the home is a bit unusual, but it works. However, I would replace the wall or at least add a door between the two adjoining bedrooms.

You can compare this property to another Tree Section home on a double lot at 2600 Pine Ave. That property is a fixer with no warranties on a sloped lot of the same size. It is currently offered for $1,749,000, down $50K from the debut price almost 3 months ago.

If you would like help to buy or sell your Manhattan Beach home, contact Janie Sue Nagy.

2010 Holiday Homes Tour - This Weekend

The 2010 Holiday Homes Tour started today. You have 2 more days to visit 4 specially selected beach homes that have been professionally decorated for the tour. Last minute tickets are $30.

Each year the Sandpipers philanthropic organization presents this fund raiser. Here is an opportunity for you serious snoops to see some fabulous homes and get decorating ideas. There is a shuttle to take you between the tour homes at: 3300 The Strand, 610 17th St., 504 N. Poinsettia, and 542 24th St. (Hermosa Beach). Read more.