Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Manhattan Beach CA Real Estate Home Prices and Trends Report

Manhattan Beach CA Home Trends Report

There's a ton of data available all over the internet for consumers to check home price, valuations, recent sales, market trends, and more. So I have to add mine too (of course) even though I am not, in general, a big fan of Automated Valuation Models  (AVM) such as Zillow. Or anyone else's for that matter. Here's why.

All of these AVMs use algorithms based on house size, lot size, square feet, age, bedrooms, bathrooms and other features available in the public (tax) records. The problem is that the computer crunching the numbers has not been in the house. So, there's just no way to know whether the roof needs replacing or the kitchen has been updated, or whether there is mold and extensive termite damage or brand new floors.

What these reports do provide is a good starting point for the discussion as to the value of any specific property and some over view of the market and trends based on actual sales and other activity.

To get my report for Manhattan Beach CA, visit and follow the directions. For a more precise and detailed analysis as to the value of your Manhattan Beach house and how to increase the value to sell for the highest possible price, contact me directly for a FREE no obligation consultation.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Modern New Construction Single Family House in East Manhattan Beach

Huge Master Suite with Fireplace and built - ins.
I previewed 1481 18th St in Manhattan Beach recently at a Broker's Open House. While it wasn't quite completed when I saw it, by the time you read this it should be ready to move in.

I was very impressed with this 5 bedroom, 4.5 bathroom East Manhattan Single Family House in MLS Area 146 (Heights/Liberty Village). Designed by renowned local Tomaro this 3 level 5277 sq ft house sits on a 7,000 sq ft lot and is priced at $3,999,000 which all things considered seems to be a very attractive price (these days) considering the quality of construction, attention to detail and other amenities.

The finishes are exquisite and include Italian limestone, French Oak hardwood floors, marble counters, a walnut breakfast bar, Thermador appliances, quartz, etc. The huge master suite has great views of the LA basin and mountains. plus a fireplace. All the upstairs bedrooms have their own walk in closets and bathrooms. There is a 3 car garage and downstairs another family room.

The list of features goes on and on but suffice it to say this is one you should see in person.

MLS Description 18th St House for Sale Manhattan Beach CA 90266

Listed by Shorewood Realtors. MLS SB15076723. Call for a private showing.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Should You Remodel Your Bathroom Before You List Your Manhattan Beach Home for Sale?

I've been sharing a number of home selling tips to help maximize your sales price. Most of my tips are relatively easy to do and inexpensive with high ROI. I'm also getting a lot of questions regarding bathroom remodels as in "is it worth remodeling my bathroom before I put my Manhattan Beach home on the market?"

My very general answer is that if a) any improvement helps you sell for a higher price, consider doing it, and b) if you can make a profit on your remodeling investment, consider it. But you also have to look at what your sales price as is will be and are you making your home that much more desirable.

So, as in most things real estate related, the answer is "it depends". But before we get to the "it depends" part of the answer, let's take a deeper dive into some of the considerations, questions, answers and design tips that you'll need to address in your bathroom remodel.

1) What dimensions are you working with? Take some measurements of what you have now and then look into what are the standard sizes for toilet bowls, bath tubs, vanities, etc. If your bathroom's size is not conventional, you costs may go up. If you are just updating the existing footprint with standard products, it can be a lot less expensive and a greater ROI.

2) Are there design elements you can keep (and keep your costs down)? For example, in older homes wall tiles may have several coats of concrete and wire lath. Removing these can be very labor intensive and cause costs to skyrocket. You may be better off retaining some features and updating others.

3) Buy some high end materials. Because bathrooms are usually smaller than let's say your kitchen, you can invest in some (but maybe not all) higher end materials.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Manhattan Beach CA Real Estate Market Trends

Months of Unsold Inventory
For all the talk about low inventory, there appears to be more homes available in Manhattan Beach than in the other Beach Cities. Buyer's frustrations may be more centered on the price points (high) or condition (either amazing or horrible with little in between).

Currently there are 53 active listings with 46 properties in escrow (MLS status either "backup" or "pending"). So far this year there have been 63 sales with 23 of those being logged in March and a rather paltry 21 in January and 19 in February. Seasonal softness most likely.

While there's no doubt that per the usual standard measurement - less than 90 days of inventory on hand, Manhattan Beach remains a "seller's market".  How much so depends in large part on whether you analyze the ratio of existing sales compared to sold properties or in escrow properties.

Absorption Rate
If we are looking at sold sales and for two months we averaged 20, then 53 appears to be 2 months plus of inventory which is very healthy compared to other local cities.

On the other hand if we are considering the 46 in escrow plus what we are seeing happening so far in March, a more reasonable measurement might be that we have about a month and a half of available inventory currently.

To digress a second, one of my favorite statements is that if you were doing a study on the relationship between tall people and income and only looked at NBA players your logical conclusion would be that you have to be tall to make any money. In other words, data, analysis, statistics is the map and not the territory in many instances.

In the case of inventory, what is going on now very broadly is that desirable properties that are priced right are selling quickly with multiple offers while others, for whatever reason, sit on the market and linger distorting the true data of availability.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Mid Century Modern House for Sale Manhattan Beach Tree Section

Mid Century Modern Ranch in the Tree Section
I like it. I like it a lot. And I'm not surprised by the new construction Mid Century Modern house that just hit the market at 2412 John St in the Manhattan Beach Tree Section (MLS Area 143) west of Sepulveda.

I've been predicting for a while that there would be a push back to the enormous MacMansions that were the de facto standard for new construction in Manhattan Beach for quite a while. And I've also been calling it that there will be more demand for Mid Century at the beach. This listing combines both of those thoughts. (And no I do not think I'm particularly clever.) Of course being only one level the living space will be less than the MacMansions. This house is 1890 sq ft per the builder with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths on a 5060 sq ft lot. Currently listed for $2.799M.

This property has some great authentic features such as transom windows, radiant heat, solar power and more. Just take a look at the pictures, they really tell the story.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

How Accurate are Zillow Home Valuations in Manhattan Beach CA?

Read this Book
Let me start by saying that unlike many Realtors, I like Zillow. I'm a Five Star Premier Agent with 55 published reviews. They have some amazing data and analysis. I just read their new book. Really liked it. Whether you are an agent a homeowner, buyer, or just interested in the market, you should definitely read it too.

Now that that's out of the way, let's get to the little secret that even their Zillow acknowledges (sort of). The "Zestimates" just aren't very accurate. At least not in the Beach Cities and certianly not in Manhattan Beach. Zillow says that the Zestimates are a good "starting point". I'm not even sure I would agree with that. They're maybe an indication of price. As long as the wind isn't blowing.

In the LA area, Zillow admits that only 36.8% of the homes sell within 5% of Zillow's value. That's not a very good track record in my humble opinion. Would you get on an airplane if 6 times out of 10 it got within 5% of your destination? I think not.

Here's some real life examples of recent (this week) Manhattan Beach sales.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Manhattan Beach Hill Section Mansion

Wow. What can you say about this one? "Own your own block in this prestigious area of the Manhattan Beach Hill section. Enter a secure gate to a private courtyard with swimming pool, Jacuzzi, Bbq and outdoor fireplace. Dramatic 2 story entry with limestone floors and custom high ceilings throughout. Huge family kitchen with state of the art appliances, butler's pantry, granite counters and breakfast bar, formal dining room, living room with custom designed ceiling, laundry room and 3 car garage with 3 additional spots in your driveway. Large, yet comfortable great room offers a 74" screen and surround sound. Custom wood beam ceilings and Lutron lighting system throughout. Downstairs "basement" boasts your choice of a perfect playroom, gym or theatre complete with a wine cellar. All 5 bedrooms are upstairs. The master suite offers a huge walk-in closet, double fireplace, sitting area and master bath with heated marble floors. This is a terrific family home located close to Manhattan Beach's downtown area with terrific shopping, outside seating areas and sophisticated restaurants. Make this your home and take advantage of Manhattan Beach's award winning schools." Listed by Shorewood Realtors MLS SB15011430. $6,499,000.

If you are not familiar with the Manhattan Beach Hill Section, think Beverly Hills with ocean views and surfing.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Real Estate Market Stats

If you've been trying to buy a home in Manhattan Beach CA 90266 in any price range you know how competitive it is. It is a very hot Seller's market with prices having gone up over 16% in one year and more increases set to come (but not at quite the same pace).

The median home value in 90266 is $1,856,800. 90266 home values have gone up 16.7% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 5.0% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in 90266 is $908, which is the same as the Manhattan Beach average of $908. The median price of homes currently listed in 90266 is $1,899,000 while the median price of homes that sold is $1,967,500. The median rent price in 90266 is $4,950, which is the same as the Manhattan Beach median of $4,950.

Friday, December 5, 2014

New Construction Homes for Sale in Manhattan Beach CA 90266

I've been writing about new construction homes in Manhattan Beach CA for a while now and find that this is a topic of interest to both buyers and sellers. Why is that? Most new construction will sell at a premium to resales and then the market adjusts accordingly. So the newly built properties become the yardstick and set the pace for the over all real estate market in any area.

Here's what's happening in the builder market right now.

228 38th St and 229 Rosecrans Place are a pair of attached townhomes offered by Mike Pennings in El Porto. These units are west of Highland, have great ocean views with disappearing sliders opening to the outside and all the amenities you would expect. The condo units are built on 35 x 90 lot and each is a 3 bedroom around 2100 sq ft. Pricing is $2.5M and $2.6M.

Next up is a Tree Section 5 bedroom 4.5 bath Cape Cod style single family house (SFR) that is approximately 3700 sq ft on a 5400 sq ft lot. 750 35th St is an amazing open and versatile floor plan with high ceilings, wide plank hardwood flooring, Sub Zero and Wolf kitchen. Priced at $3.275M.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Manhattan Beach Strand Homes: Beachfront Properties for Sale

It was a great week for beachfront home buyers on the Manhattan Beach Strand: 2 properties closed escrow this week. To put that in some perspective, previously this year there were only 2 other Manhattan Beach Strand homes sold and 2 in Hermosa Beach as well.

If you have never been to the South Bay Beach Cities and are not familiar with the "Strand", here's a little bit of background to get started.
A paved path, called The Strand, runs along the coastline from Torrance Beach in the south approximately twenty miles north to Santa Monica and stops at about Pacific Palisades. There are beachfront ocean view homes along The Strand in Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach CA.
Northward from Manhattan Beach there are no homes in beachfront homes in El Segundo CA but you will find beachfront housing in Playa Del Rey and other coastal communities to the north.
In South Redondo Beach, the homes the closest that you can own a home to the oceanfront is on "The Esplanade" which in general is set further back than The Strand. The bike and walking path continues after the Redondo Pier but not the houses. People may confuse The Strand with a "boardwalk." The Strand is not considered a "boardwalk," because it is not made out of wood boards.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Home Values in Manhattan Beach CA

Manhattan Beach Real Estate is highly desirable and many homes are currently selling at or above their previous highs. So how much is your home worth today? You can follow this link to find out or even better yet call me at 310 975 5139 for a personalized automated market valuation and sales price.
Visit for your free automated valuation or to tell me what it will take to make you move.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ocean View Contemporary Manhattan Beach Sand Section Townhouse for Sale

So every week in addition to numerous private showings of my listings and the properties my buyer clients are interested in I preview even more houses on the Broker's Open House tours in Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Redondo Beach. Sounds more like fun than work, right? Well for me it is because I love Real Estate and what could be a better way to spend your time than listing and selling homes in the Beach Cities?

My favorite new Manhattan Beach MLS listing this week is a 3 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom attached townhouse located at 2305 Bayview Dr in the Manhattan Beach Sand Section.

Years ago I lived on 6th and Bayview and it is really a great street so don't make the mistake of thinking it's just an alley and ruling this property out. It is one of the nicest contemporary townhomes you will find this close to the Strand.