Take a Look at The High Tech Kitchen

Kitchens in high-end homes are not what they used to be.  We smart devices, wifi and connections throughout, the modern kitchen has a lot to offfer

Why You May Not Want to Get Overly Excited About That Manhattan Beach Foreclosure

By Keith Kyle1410 Ardmore Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach is a tough market to buy a home in.  In a town where starter homes start in the $1.5M range and builders are buying everything they can get their hands on, you can’t blame buyers for getting a bit excited about that rare foreclosure “opportunity”.  The problem is that the market usually determines what something is worth and in this town, true below market “opportunities” are rare.

The home at 1410 Ardmore, located right near downtown Manhattan,  certainly is a good example of something that’s too good to be true.  Originally listed at $800,000 in early December, this was never a realistic price as it was more than 50% of what it should have been listed.  Unfortunately buyers often think that because it’s a short sale, they just may get it at that price.  In this case, it certainly didn’t take long for them to get an avalanche of offers and on January 6th the home not only went pending, but the price changed from $800,000 to $1,800,000.  That’s a 125% price increase.

While there were endless buyers thinking they might just get the deal of the century, eventually the market dictates what homes are actually worth.

That doesn’t mean that great deals aren’t occasionally out there, but if it seems too good to be true….it is.

 Price: $1,800,000      Original Price $800,000

BED / BATH:   4/3,0,0,0
SQFT(src):   1,605 (A)
PRICE PER SQFT:   $1,121.50
LOT(src):   0.093/4,068 (A)
GARAGE:  /Attached
YEAR BLT(src):  1958
SALE TYPE:  Short Pay 




Sand Section Home Values Skyrocket – 2014 vs 2013

By Keith KyleManhattan-Beach-Strand

2014 saw huge gains in home values throughout Manhattan Beach but the sand section, the area closest to the ocean, surpassed previous peak values as demand skyrocketed.  The median home price in 2014 for the sand section was $2,277,500 with an average sales price of a whopping $3,111,263.  In all 112 homes sold in this highly sought after coastal community.

While 2013 was a strong year it contrasted considerably with 2014 with a median home price of $1,930,000 and an average sales price of $2,438,000.  The average sales price in the sand section increased year over year by and astounding 27.6%  in one year.

The sand section is the part of Manhattan Beach located closest to the beach and encompasses the oceanfront homes on “The Strand”.

Click here to see the homes sold in Manhattan Beach by month.

Manhattan Beach Half Lot Home Sells for $510,000 Over List Price!

By Keith Kyle2401 Manhattan Ave

If there was any doubt about the intensity of the housing market in the sand section of Manhattan Beach, the recent sale at 2401 Manhattan Ave should put those doubts to rest.

Manahattan Beach has been an incredible market over the past 2 years and, as realtors, we are used to seeing multiple offer situations and homes selling over asking price.  The recent sale at 2401 Manhattan Ave simply amazes, however.  Listed on October 27th, the home received immediate and overwhelming interest with multiple offers with most being over the asking price.  The home was fairly appropriately priced man-ave-lrat $2,495,000 (which would have been an unheard of number a year earlier) and sold for a whopping $3,005,000.  The location was ideal as it was a corner lot on a walk street allowing for somewhat unblockable views and just a half block to the beach.

The home, however, was certainly dated and sits on a “half lot” (1350 sq feet, meaning that it does not extend from the walk street to the alley which most homes in the area due….very much limiting the size of a home that could be built to around 2000 feet). As it was built in 1937 and given the condition it certainly appears that the home is going to be torn down with a new high end luxury home replacing it.  Given the incredible sales price and construction costs the owner is likely to be in the mid low to mid $4.0M range when manhattan-aveall is said and done…… for a 2200 foot home.  It shows just what location and a view is worth.

If this doesn’t show just how hot the Manhattan Beach market is, nothing will.

If 90% of Homebuyers Start Their Search Online…..

…Shouldn’t you work with a realtor that’s tech savvy?4020 Bluff Pl - Home-From-Patio

With the internet and social media becoming an ever larger presence in real estate, it seems critical that home sellers would use agents that know how to reach those buyers and specialize in marketing homes online.  Strangely enough that’s often not the case and many Manhattan Beach home sellers work with agents that no little, to nothing, about the power of online marketing.  The local audience and MLS are obviously great ways to market a home, but to reach national and international buyers, it takes a bit more effort and a great deal of expertise.  The difference can mean significant amount of interest and that can lead to a significant amount of money.  Before sellers hire a realtor they should make sure that they know the intricacies of the local market, are well connected, and have a top notch marketing strategy that not only uses, but embraces technology.

Luxury Flip at 3521 Poinsettia in Manhattan Beach Tree Section

By Keith Kyle3521-Poinsettia

While the world of luxury flips may be slowing a bit as “fixer” home prices are no longer much of a deal, there are still some beautiful properties coming to market and the home at 3521 Poinsettia is one of them.  This was tastefully remodeled with a very bright and inviting beach home style.  Open beamed ceilings, beautiful hardwood floors, entertainers kitchen and bright and muted colors throughout make for a wonderful beach style home.  Listed by Ed Kaminsky with Shorewood realtors, the home is marketed as a “cottage contemporary home” and features 3 bedrooms, 3 1/4 bathrooms (tax records indicate 2 bedroom 2 bath so buyer should verify), and according to the seller has 1700 sq ft.  Contemporary kitchen, with gourmet appliances, brand new cabinets, marble counter tops, wood ceiling and beautiful lighting. The home has great outdoor spaces and resides in the very sought after tree section neighborhood in Manhattan Beach and offers the epitome of the luxury beach lifestyle.

We're sorry, but we couldn't find MLS # SB14212903 in our database. This property may be a new listing or possibly taken off the market. Please check back again.

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.

Location, Location, Location…May Not Be As Much a Factor in This Market

By Keith KyleSand-Section

As a local Manhattan Beach agent, I represent many buyers in Manhattan and Hermosa Beach and have definitely noticed in the current market that the old standard “location, location, location” just doesn’t hold true at the moment.  In most markets buyers tend to be picky and don’t want certain streets, don’t want to be too close to commercial buildings, don’t like busier areas and are happy to wait until something better comes along.  While some of these factors still may be relevant, it’s certainly not the critical factor that it usually is.  Even “locationally challenged” homes seem to have little problem selling for top dollar.

Normally challenging streets such as Rosecrans, Pacific, Valley, Ardmore and Prospect don’t seem to be so “locationally challenged” at the moment.

Recent home sales and the prices they sold for have shown clearly that the demand for homes in Manhattan and Hermosa Beach is so high that people are willing to overlook sub A+ locations to live in the area.  Prices on these somewhat busy streets inlcude 2025 Prospect in Hermosa…a small 2 bedroom cottage for $870,000, 1929 Ava (fronting Ardmore) in Hermosa selling for $2.1M, 548 Marine in Manhattan Beach at $2.65M, 588 Rosecrans at $1,545,000.  All of these numbers would have been unheard of 18 months ago and many of these homes likely would have remained on the market for some time….but not these days.  Buyers should be somewhat cautious and remember that these market conditions won’t be around forever.  Sellers on the other hand likely will not see an opportunity like this again for quite a while and should take full advantage of the incredibly favorable market conditions.



Ultimate Luxury Living on Manhattan Beach’s Walk Streets

By Keith KyleManhattan Beach walk streets

For the ultimate in beach living that doesn’t involve living ocean front, the “walk streets” of Manhattan Beach offer it all.  These pedestrian only “streets” are only found in the sand section and almost always mean that the homes are within a few blocks of the beach.

What makes these streets so unique and so valuable?

Most sand section homes on full lots face the street in the front, homes on both sides and an alley in the back.  Fronting the street means the obvious challenges of car noise, parking challenges and a much higher level of traffic, especially in the summer.  Walkstreets front a sidewalk instead of a street making for a much quieter, safer, and community friendly situation.

Most homes on these streets are full 30×90 foot lots with some being half lots or partial lots.  There is great demand by builders for Luxury walkstreet homes in Manhattan Beacholder “fixers” or tear downs due to the premium location.  Homes generally start in the $3,000,000 for a lot value sale and most larger homes start in the mid $5,000,000s.  Views are often unprotected in this area and is an important consideration having great influence on values.  Future views are not guaranteed and should always be considered.  Due to the steepness of some of the streets there is almost always some type of ocean views looking down the walkstreet.  As there are still an abundance of smaller original homes, its’ not uncommon to have stunning west facing views from the entire top floor.

These fabulous homes are also a favorite of the rich and famous with numerous professional athletes and celebrities living in the neighborhood.

Unfortunately searching and finding homes only on walkstreets isn’t easy as there is no specific category on the local MLS to designate them.  If you would like to receive walkstreet listings please contact us or fill out our daily Manhattan Beach listing request and keep you notified anytime a new home comes on the market.

Will Manhattan Beach Sellers Unrealistic Expectations Lead to a Slower Market?

By Keith KyleOcean view homes

Regardless of market conditions sellers frequently think that their home is worth more than it really is.  Most sellers think their home is nicer than the one that just sold down the street and offer various details that make their home the most valuable one in the area.  That will never change.

But this market is different.  The luxury market of Manhattan Beach real estate really is hot and prices are going up, but are sellers taking those expected increases to unrealistic levels?   As Realtors we see what values, why, and try to use the latest sales information to see where things are going and how quickly. In this market,  however, sellers often seem to think that regardless of how their home compares with the latest home sale….theirs is better….and worth far more.

It seems in this local market that we’re starting to see homes sit on the market for longer and it may soon no longer be a “make me move” or “name your price” type of market.  As homes sit longer, inventory will rise and once the perception is created that buyers may be able to get a better price if they wait….they’ll likely wait.

Sellers need to be cautious not to overprice their homes and use the expert opinions of local real estate specialists to explain what the home is worth and why it may not be worth what the seller thinks it worth.

Affordability doesn’t seem to be a challenge in this slice of the luxury market, but overpricing may just lead to a slow down of this hot market and a flattening of prices.