South Bay Real Estate Guide

South Bay Real Estate Guide

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SAND SECTION WALKSTREETS T here are many walk- streets in Manhattan Beach, primarily west of Highland Avenue. Most of the walk-streets in Manhattan Beach appear to have been constructed in 1913 in what is known as the Sand Section. The next phase of walk-street construction occurred between 1923 & 1924, again in the Sand Section, but east of Highland Avenue, between Valley Drive and Crest Drive, from 4th Street to 11th Street. The third phase occurred in 1928 when several of the original 1913 walk-streets were reconstructed and new walk-streets were constructed in the northern part of the Sand Section, between Highland Avenue and Alma Avenue, from 25th Street to 32nd Street. The final phase of walk-street construction was completed in 1969 when the Easterly half of 26th Street, between Vista Drive and Grandview Avenue, was constructed. It differs from the other walk-streets in that it is narrower and follows a unique serpentine path. Considering I wasn't selling Real Estate at the turn of the last century, I could only imagine what it may have been like to discover the untouched beauty of early Manhattan Beach. Nostalgic photos show expansive spaces and rolling sand hills reaching down to the beach. Photos show one main road cruising down the beach route, a few scattered beach cottages, a hardware store, a bath house and the blue Pacific Ocean. An era that was quieter, slower and a lot less stressful. And as for Real Estate prices? Cheap. Common asking prices ran a mere $250 to $400 per lot, depending on the location. Maybe it was a lot of money at the time, but still relatively pretty darn inexpensive for beach property. The city dwellers of Los Angeles would make the trek by Model-T Ford or by train to their summertime beach escape. Now nearly a century later, the trend is back. The increase in 2nd home buying in Manhattan Beach has continued to grow in the last 10 years. Nowadays, however, they are not likely coming from South Central Los Angeles, but from the West Side, the Valley, and many from even as far as Arizona; coming to discover a relaxing and much cooler escape. The walk streets are one of the biggest draws to the popularity of the Sand Section. If this isn't already your home, you can only imagine that it is like living in an era gone by. Picture stepping outside your front door and there is not a car in sight; just a pedestrian or two and kids playing in the street. It's reminiscent of the 1950s where kids played outside and neighbors were, well... neighborly. Whether you are living on the South end flat walk-streets which are most sought after by families where kids can congregate outside with their friends and avoid the traffic, or you are residing West of Highland where you can often enjoy panoramic vistas from Malibu to Palos Verdes to Catalina Island and beyond, or you're on the North End allowing you to shorten your commute to the city, the walk-streets are a luxury offered to very few people in the world. As many residents will tell you, it's like being on vacation 365 days a year. It is a place where you can park your car on Friday after work and won't have to drive again until the 7am commute back to reality on Monday morning. Walking has been re-discoverd in the Sand Section of Manhattan Beach: walking to breakfast, lunch and dinner is the norm, as is catching an evening stroll down The Strand to admire the latest sunset. Whoever invented the walk-streets of Manhattan Beach certainly had vision and I am sure today he (or she) is smiling down at the locals. Locals who have been blessed with Real Estate values that have beat the test of time. Even today, Sand Section properties are maintaining value and desirability. You can still expect to pay nearly $3 million for a South facing tear down West of Highland Avenue, and if you dream to own on the finest of all walk streets, "The Strand" you better be prepared to pony up well over $3 million: matter of fact, recently, there was one owner asking $30 million for his bit of ocean front Real Estate. If you don't own yet here yet, I would recommend to run, don't walk, as rumor has it there are no plans slated for any more ocean front or ocean close Real Estate in Manhattan Beach anytime soon. Knowing each pocket of walk- streets is essential to properly pricing a Sand Section home. When valuing Real Estate in the Sand Section of Manhattan Beach, there is no question it is one of the most unique markets in the country. I have provided a list of questions that must be answered before pin-pointing a home's true value. Even if you think you can figure it out, there is nothing more accurate than the market itself. The marketplace is the final determining factor of value. market activity for the SAND SECTION Average List Price = $2,800,000 Average Price p/sf = $750 # of Homes for Sale = 62 Months of inventory = 6.9 All statistics based on Trendgraphix reports, Nov 2011 THE ED KAMINKSY REAL ESTATE TEAM | EK@ITZSOLD.COM | WWW.ITZSOLD.COM 5

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