Downtown Manhattan – One of the Many (Many) Things I Love About Manhattan Beach

By Keith KyleEvening in Downtown Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach is an idyllic place to live.  From near perfect weather, to spectacular beaches….from nationally ranked Manhattan Beach Unified schools to a fantastic sense of community….Manhattan Beach has it all.  These features also explain why Manhattan Beach real estate is so valuable and highly sought after.

One of the most recognizable and integral part to that small town charm and sense of community is the downtown area.  Lined with wonderful restaurants, chic shops, and a few “old school” beach bars, it’s a great place to be whether day or night.

Downtown Manhattan BeachThe downtown area is focused on the few blocks surrounding Manhattan Beach Blvd and as the primary street faces west and sits on a hill (technically a sand dune) it offers incredible views of the pier and ocean and enjoys a great ocean breeze that cools on even the hottest days.  Although it can get pretty overcrowded during the summer, as Manhattan is certainly a tourist destination, there is still enough room as most of the visitors eventually end up on the beautiful beaches just to the west of the downtown area.

Other parts of town such as El Porto (now known as North Manhattan) also offer a nice beach town feel, the downtown area certainly is the heart and soul of this charming beach community.

Downtown Manhattan Beach

 

Those trees, those trees, those wonderful trees

By Keith KyleManhattan Beach Tree Section Homes

One of the more popular areas in Manhattan Beach is the tree section.   It has a great community feel, sits west of Sepulveda (meaning it’s closer to the beach and no major streets need to be crossed to get there), offers some of the best schools in the state and larger homes than in the sand section.

So why is it called the tree section you ask?  It must be all of those trees…..

While there are more trees in the tree section than in other parts of Manhattan Beach, that’s not why the area has this unique name.  The name is actually derived from the street names.  Streets such as Walnut, Pine, Oak, Palm and Elm make up the bulk of the streets that travel north and south.

Regardless of the name it’s one of the more sought after neighborhoods in all of the South Bay.  Visit our tree section homes for sale page to see the current MLS listings.

Manhattan Beach median home prices continue to climb, experts point to schools – The Beach Reporter: Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach median home prices continue to climb, experts point to schools – The Beach Reporter: Manhattan 128 14th StreetBeach.

This was a recent article from the Beach Reporter regarding the rising home values in Manhattan Beach and some of the reasons for the rapidly increasing prices.

Manhattan Beach School Boundary Map

One of the most common reasons people want to live in Manhattan Beach is the quality of the schools.  One of the most frequent questions is what elementary school will a child attend depending on where they buy a home in Manhattan Beach.  Manhattan Beach Unified School District has 5 elementary schools, one middle school and one high school (Mira Costa).  See the map below to get a better sense of where the elementary schools are located and the boundaries of each.

Manhattan-Beach-Schools-Map

In general the hill section and south sand section neighborhoods attend Robinson Elementary, the north sand section and parts of the tree section attend Grand View, the eastern half of the tree section attends Pacific, the Manhattan Heights and Liberty Village areas (east of Sepulveda and north of MB Blvd) attend Meadows and the Mira Costa area of East Manhattan attend Pennekamp.  All are fantastic schools with incredible test scores and parent participation is second to none.

Are Manhattan Beach Starter Homes a Thing of the Past?

By Keith Kyle

Without question, Manhattan Beach is a “hot” real estate market.  As if the number of homes selling over list price with multiple offers doesn’t pose enough of a challenge to entry level buyers, the competition with builders and developers makes it all but impossible.  Whenever the market heats up to this extent it seems that every builder, investor and developer wants a piece of the action.  Whether it’s flipping a larger but older home, or knocking down the original bungalow to build an estate property, the potential profits are just too enticing for builders…..and that all but eliminates the opportunities for entry level buyers.

These builders are looking for just about any well priced home or piece of property and many get sold before they’ve even gone on the market.   The problem is that what these builders consider “tear downs” are the very same homes that many buyers would consider starter homes…and their entry into this high demand community.   What might be an affordable original 3 bedroom, 1200 foot home built in the 1940s priced in the low $900s, gets knocked down, quickly developed and soon comes to market as a $3.0M+ mansion.  Unfortunately buyers looking to get into this neighborhood are often young professionals or young families interested in the award winning schools, but are priced right out of the market.

128 14th Street -  2012  Sold April 2012 for $1,950,000

128 14th Street – 2012 Sold April 2012 for $1,950,000

128 14th Street  - Currently listed at $6,399,000

128 14th Street – Currently listed at $6,399,000

221 23rd Street sold at 1,013,000 in 2012

221 23rd Street sold at 1,013,000 in 2012

Listed for $2,999,000 2014

221 23rd – Listed for $2,999,000 2014

This isn’t the first time that this has been the struggle and it won’t be the last.  Buyers either need to be very patient and wait for these dramatic price increases (and almost instantaneous profits for builders) to ease up, or be willing to overspend a bit to compete with the builders when the home actually does make it to market.

For sellers the time is most certainly right, but they need to be cautious as more often than not they could likely get more money by listing the home and putting it on the open market than selling to a builder without any competition.

Looking for a Gated Community in Manhattan Beach?

By Keith Kyle

Many out of area and out of state buyers come to me looking for a nice gated community in the South Bay and Manhattan Beach.  Unlike many other areas, gated communities are few and far between in the Beach Cities and there’s really only one option in the luxury community of Manhattan.  Manhattan Village is the areas only real option with a combination of Estate Homes (SFRs), townhomes and court homes (clusters of townhome style units).  Ideally located just a short drive to the beach, Manhattan Village sits east of Sepulveda just north or Marine Ave.

Manhattan Village is a planned community and is the only gated community in Manhattan Beach. An exclusive retreat which provides a lifestyle many are surprised to discover in a beach community. The community consists of approximately 400 town and court homes and 122 estate homes. See our Manhattan Village Floorplans and Manhattan Village Map page. The village is landscaped in a park setting surrounded by trees, pools, spas, playgrounds, bike paths and a soccer field. The location in Manhattan Beach is ideal. Manhattan Village Mall is within walking distance, with Ralphs, CVS, Macys, fine restaurants, entertainment, the Manhattan Tennis Club as well as a number of fine hotels.

Manhattan Village has two primary security gates, one for the estate home owners and another for the townhomes and court homes.  The main gate is manned and access to the community is tightly regulated adding a level of safety on top of the already safe neighborhoods of Manhattan Beach in general.

The real estate market in this small gated community is usually very active with several homes often on the market.  Prices can range dramatically from the high $700s for a smaller, fairly original condition court home, to well over $2.0M for an updated larger estate home.  Visit our Manhattan Village real estate page for current listings or fill in our quick form to receive new Manhattan Village listings as soon as they come out.  Our email updates are, without question, the simplest way to search for a home in the area.

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What’s shocking to some is commonplace in Manhattan Beach real estate

By Keith KyleManhattan Beach Strand

One of the more challenging aspects of selling homes in the luxury community of Manhattan Beach, is the “sticker shock” many out of town buyers have when we first start searching for a home.  As one of the more expensive markets in the country, buyers are often unprepared for the type, size or condition of the home that they can get for their money.  Buyers inevitably compare the home they are selling to the home they are buying and without taking location into consideration, they find that they can often purchase something not even similar to what they’re selling.  The greatest surprise comes to buyers from states such as Texas in which they owned a 5000 foot mansion on acres of land for example and the $1.5M that they sold it for translates to  a 3 bedroom, 2200 foot townhome in Manhattan Beach with a lot measured in feet and not acres.

The reason for all of this, of course, is that it’s all about location….and the demand for that location.  There is such demand for homes in Manhattan Beach which offers great neighborhoods, ocean views, award winning schools, almost perfect weather, proximity to a world class destination beach, and near enough but far enough from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, that prices just continue to rise at an often incredible pace.  As there is no additional land to build on, even “fixers” or tear downs sell above market value as builders are eager to cash in on the demand for new construction luxury homes.

So what can an out of state buyer do?  Research the recent home sales in Manhattan Beach and current listings.  Getting comfortable with the fact that, although the prices are dramatically higher than other cities and states, these are the prices and the costs to live in such a high demand area.  Southern California has always been one of the most sought after housing destinations in the country and nowhere is that demand greater than life on the coast in Manhattan Beach.  Buyers that research values, prices and trends,  may still have that initial shock but just having an understanding that these are not “inflated” prices but just the values of the area and down the road when it’s time to sell, they’ll be on the other side of this incredibly strong market.

The chart below represents the median sales prices in Manhattan Beach for the past 2 years with a median price edging ever closer to the $2.0M mark.

Manhattan Beach Award Winning Schools – 2013 API Test Scores

By Keith KyleRobinson Elementary Manhattan Beach

Good schools are the cornerstone of good communities, and nowhere is that more true than in the Beach Cities and South Bay.  One of the most common reasons I hear for buyers wanting specifically to be in Manhattan Beach is for their kids to be part of this nationally ranked award winning school system.  Manhattan Beach schools have ranked as one of the top districts in the country.  While any test scores in the 900 is a tremendous accomplishment, Manhattan Schools generally far exceed those numbers on a regular basis.

With many home buyers searching for specific school districts, and sometimes even specific schools, the list below should provide assistance as to how they rate and compare with one another.  Contact us to determine what neighborhoods attend what schools.

API – Academic Performance Index
2013 Growth 2012 Base 2012-13 Growth Target 2012-13
Growth
CENTINELA VALLEY UNION HIGH 680 698 D -18
High Schools
Hawthorne High 640 678 6 -38
Lawndale High 725 756 5 -31
Leuzinger High 669 696 5 -27
EL SEGUNDO UNIFIED 892 894 D -2
Elementary Schools
Center Street Elementary 901 922 A -21
Richmond Street Elementary 910 908 A 2
Middle Schools
El Segundo Middle 906 891 A 15
High Schools
El Segundo High 880 889 A -9
HAWTHORNE 799 797 D 2
Elementary Schools
Eucalyptus 821 801 A 20
Jefferson 801 793 5 8
Kornblum 789 772 5 17
Ramona 818 816 A 2
Washington 793 775 5 18
York 758 781 5 -23
Zela Davis 809 815 A -6
Middle Schools
Bud Carson Middle 779 791 5 -12
Hawthorne Middle 783 781 5 2
Prairie Vista Middle 771 775 5 -4
High Schools
HERMOSA BEACH 937 946 D -9
Elementary Schools
Hermosa Valley Elementary 939 944 A -5
Hermosa View Elementary 934 961 A -27
LAWNDALE ELEMENTARY 806 809 D -3
Elementary Schools
Billy Mitchell Elementary 802 811 A -9
F. D. Roosevelt Elementary 755 777 5 -22
Kit Carson Elementary 749 773 5 -24
Lucille J. Smith Elementary 834 848 A -14
Mark Twain Elementary 871 880 A -9
William Anderson Elementary 796 805 A -9
William Green Elementary 819 799 1 20
Middle Schools
Jane Addams Middle 825 824 A 1
Will Rogers Middle 786 787 5 -1
MANHATTAN BEACH UNIFIED 935 940 D -5
Elementary Schools
Pennekamp Elementary 946 942 A 4
Grand View Elementary 966 969 A -3
Meadows Elementary 961 951 A 10
Robinson Elementary 965 971 A -6
Pacific Elementary 968 965 A 3
Middle Schools
Manhattan Beach Middle 943 959 A -16
High Schools
Mira Costa High 912 916 A -4
PALOS VERDES PENINSULA UNIFIED 925 924 D 1
Elementary Schools
Cornerstone at Pedregal Elementary 977 974 A 3
Dapplegray Elementary 934 936 A -2
Lunada Bay Elementary 941 942 A -1
Mira Catalina Elementary 919 919 A 0
Montemalaga Elementary 947 951 A -4
Point Vicente Elementary 954 947 A 7
Rancho Vista Elementary 943 946 A -3
Silver Spur Elementary 968 969 A -1
Soleado Elementary 966 948 A 18
Valmonte Elementary
Vista Grande Elementary 936 936 A 0
Middle Schools
Miraleste Intermediate 932 914 A 18
Palos Verdes Intermediate 951 956 A -5
Ridgecrest Intermediate 955 960 A -5
High Schools
Palos Verdes High 884 896 A -12
Palos Verdes Peninsula High 909 906 A 3
REDONDO BEACH UNIFIED 887 892 D -5
Elementary Schools
Alta Vista Elementary 946 929 A 17
Beryl Heights Elementary 942 952 A -10
Birney Elementary 917 927 A -10
Jefferson Elementary 936 941 A -5
Lincoln Elementary 910 913 A -3
Madison Elementary 910 906 A 4
Tulita Elementary 912 929 A -17
Washington Elementary 893 906 A -13
Middle Schools
Adams Middle 872 B B B
Parras Middle 907 921 A -14
High Schools
Redondo Union High 856 858 A -2
TORRANCE UNIFIED 860 869 D -9
Elementary Schools
Anza Elementary 916 918 A -2
Arlington Elementary 885 887 A -2
Edison Elementary 860 876 A -16
Evelyn Carr Elementary 813 834 A -21
Fern Elementary 844 864 A -20
Hickory Elementary
Howard Wood Elementary 842 846 A -4
John Adams Elementary 850 853 A -3
Joseph Arnold Elementary 899 907 A -8
Lincoln Elementary 894 897 A -3
Riviera Elementary 907 918 A -11
Seaside Elementary 902 915 A -13
Torrance Elementary 821 837 A -16
Towers Elementary 908 916 A -8
Victor Elementary 899 916 A -17
Walteria Elementary 906 909 A -3
Yukon Elementary 838 859 A -21
Middle Schools
Bert M. Lynn Middle 910 936 A -26
Calle Mayor Middle 908 928 A -20
Casimir Middle 859 862 A -3
Edward J. Richardson Middle 907 921 A -14
J. H. Hull Middle 800 826 A -26
Jefferson Middle 858 887 A -29
Madrona Middle 882 891 A -9
Philip Magruder Middle 846 827 A 19
High Schools
North High 807 815 A -8
South High 875 876 A -1
Torrance High 811 822 A -11
West High 868 873 A -5
WISEBURN ELEMENTARY 869 883 D -14
Elementary Schools
Juan Cabrillo Elementary 888 906 A -18
Juan De Anza Elementary 872 882 A -10
Peter Burnett Elementary 879 871 A 8
Middle Schools
Dana Middle 863 885 A -22
High Schools
Da Vinci Design 762 746 5 16
Da Vinci Science 816 799 1 17

Keith Kyle Homes Proud to Sponsor 2014 Hearts of Hermosa

We are proud to once again be a community partner with our local schools and sponsor of the upcoming Hearts of Hermosa.  It is a HOHfantastic event  attended by seemingly every parent in the school system and proceeds benefit the Hermosa Beach Education Foundation.  For more information visit the HBEF website.

Hearts of Hermosa 2014

Saturday, March 22, 2014

 

Schedule of Events: 6:00 pm  – Doors open 6:15 – 8:00  – Hors D’oeuvers, Music and Silent Auction 8:00 – 9:30 – Dinner and Live Auction 10:00 – 11:30  – Dance the night away

Thank you for supporting Hermosa Schools by attending HBEF’s annual Hearts of Hermosa event.

We will once again be at our private venue at the community center.  There will be no mobile bidding this year so be ready to bid old school style with pen and paper!

We will once again have four bars this year.  Pamilla will be serving tequila cocktails, Uncorked will be serving wine and champagne, Hot’s Kitchen will have a selection of craft beers and Hermosa Saloon will have premium cocktails.