What You Get for $1.5 Million in California
Pasadena | $1.489 Million
A 1908 Craftsman house with five bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms, on a 0.2-acre lot
Pasadena was once a popular winter destination for those from colder parts of the country, and is considered by many to have one of the world’s best collections of Craftsman-style homes. This one has retained much of its original exterior character, including the gabled roofline and covered front porch. It is in the Garfield Heights neighborhood, a few blocks from the designated landmark district of the same name. Old Pasadena, with its stores and restaurants, is about two miles away; downtown Los Angeles is a 25-minute drive.
Size: 3,246 square feet
Price per square foot: $459
Indoors: A low wall separates the front yard, landscaped with drought-tolerant plants, from the street.
Behind the Arts-and-Crafts front door, original to the house, is a family room with street-facing windows and a stone fireplace flanked by original built-in shelves. On the left side of the room, a doorway leads into a living room with more street-facing windows. Off this space is a bedroom with an attached full bathroom.
The living room is partially open to the eat-in kitchen, where the cooking and dining areas are separated by a granite-topped breakfast bar. The kitchen has hardwood floors and stainless steel appliances, with exposed beams running across the ceiling. French doors in the dining area open to the side yard. Also on this side of the house are a laundry room, playroom and half bathroom.
Stairs rise from the living room to a second-floor landing with a period-appropriate overhead light and space for a small sitting area. Off the landing are two bedrooms large enough to hold queen-size beds.
Down a short hallway are a full bathroom and a guest bedroom with a balcony overlooking the swimming pool. Across the hall is the primary suite, which includes a large bedroom, two walk-in closets and a bonus area that could be used as a workout room. The bathroom has a double vanity topped with marble, a walk-in shower and a vintage-style porcelain soaking tub.
Outdoor space: The back patio, reached through the kitchen, is paved in brick, with space for barbecuing and dining. Brick also surrounds the recently added saltwater swimming pool, which backs up to a small yard with three citrus trees. The detached garage has space for two cars, plus two charging stations for electric vehicles.
Taxes: $18,912 (estimated)
Contact: Tim Hartley, Deasy Penner Podley, 626-379-2549; deasypennerpodley.com
Long Beach | $1.495 Million
A 1954 house with three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms, on a 0.1-acre lot
This house was designed by Cliff May, an architect and builder credited with promoting the popularity of midcentury ranch-style homes in California, with their indoor-outdoor layouts and large expanses of glass. This one is in a tract of about 700 houses near El Dorado Park, home to playgrounds, a skate park, a golf course and a nature center, most of which are within walking distance. California State University at Long Beach is about a 10-minute drive; downtown Long Beach is 20 minutes away.
Size: 2,288 square feet
Price per square foot: $653
Indoors: The glass front door opens into an airy sitting room, part of a mid-2000s addition to the home that includes the entire second level. Two sets of glass doors open to a patio that is also accessible from the office and the main living room.
A doorway connects the sitting room to the office, which is connected by a hallway to the main living area. The living room has hardwood floors (like most rooms in the house), a white-brick fireplace, vaulted ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows that face the patio and the pool area.
Opposite the fireplace, a breakfast bar divides the living area from a kitchen with dark gray cabinets. A dishwasher and an oven are built into the bar; the stovetop is part of an adjacent counter, and the refrigerator is integrated into the cabinetry.
There are two bedrooms on this level. One, off the living room, has an en suite bathroom with a soaking tub. The other has a private deck and can be reached through the office (which has an attached bathroom with a walk-in shower) or through the sitting area in the entry.
The upper level could be used as one large suite. It has a kitchenette and space for a sofa at the top of the stairs; beyond is a bedroom with floor-to-ceiling windows, a private balcony and an en suite bathroom with a combination tub and shower.
Outdoor space: Between the addition and the original part of the house is a patio with a fire table and space for gathering around it. A concrete path leads from the patio to a long pool with a wood deck that offers room for lounging and dining; the deck can also be reached from the kitchen. The attached garage holds two cars.
Taxes: $18,984 (estimated)
Contact: Nate Cole, Suprstructur, 562-673-3550; uniquecaliforniaproperty.com
Albany | $1.495 Million
A Mediterranean-style house built in 1938, with four bedrooms and two bathrooms, on a 0.1-acre lot
Albany is a city of about 20,000, north of Berkeley, on the eastern side of San Francisco Bay. Many of its residents were drawn by the family-friendly neighborhoods and walkable streets.
This house is a few blocks from Solano Avenue, the city’s main thoroughfare. Memorial Park, an open green space, is less than half a mile away, as is Albany High School. The center of Berkeley is about 10 minutes away by car; Oakland is a 20-minute drive.
Size: 1,740 square feet
Price per square foot: $859
Indoors: The front yard is landscaped with succulents, and the driveway cuts a path to the front door, painted a cheerful blue that matches the trim on the exterior windows.
The door swings open into a small foyer, with a few steps leading up to the main living area, which has hardwood floors (like the rest of the house), a large, arched window and an original stucco fireplace with decorative tile trim.
Off the left side of the room is a short hallway that leads to a guest room currently used as a combination den and home office.
Through the living room is a sunny dining room and, beyond that, an equally sunny kitchen with plenty of cabinet space and a geometric-tile backsplash. Behind the kitchen is a breakfast nook with a built-in desk.
A hallway off the dining room leads to two bedrooms and a full bathroom with a porcelain pedestal sink.
The primary bedroom is at the back of the house, with a seating area facing the rear patio. The en suite bathroom has a separate shower and tub, trimmed in Spanish-style painted tile.
Outdoor space: The kitchen and the primary bedroom have access to a covered rear patio paved in tile, with space for chairs and a small table. A wood fence divides the yard from that of the neighboring house, with tall trees providing shade and privacy. The detached garage holds one car, and could be converted into an additional dwelling unit, a common alteration in the Bay Area.
Taxes: $17,496 (estimated)
Contact: Kathryn Stein or Betsy Thagard, the Green Planet Team, the Grubb Company, 510-717-2117; grubbco.com