$900,000 Homes in California – The New York Times


This house is in the Park Hills Heights section of southwest Los Angeles, a 25-minute drive from downtown and a 30-minute drive from Venice Beach. Hyde Park Elementary School is within walking distance, and the main campus of the University of Southern California is six miles east. The neighborhood is a mix of single-family homes and, to the north, the larger estates of View Park and Baldwin Village.

The owner, an interior designer, was intrigued by the house’s distinctive wooden front door, which resembles that of her primary residence nearby. She soon discovered the two houses shared a builder, and began a renovation aimed at highlighting her new home’s Spanish style, including the addition of intricate Moroccan tiles that lead from an arched portico to the front entrance.

Size: 1,598 square feet

Price per square foot: $563

Indoors: The front door opens to an airy living room, connected to the dining room and kitchen by a series of wide, arched doorways added during the renovation.

The living room features a wood-burning fireplace opposite the front door. One picture window faces the street, while two others flank the fireplace. A pair of exposed beams run along the ceiling.

The dining room opens, through another arch, into a new chef’s kitchen with a breakfast nook and a space meant to be used as a small home office or work area. Wrought-iron light fixtures have been installed throughout the house.

A hallway leads to the master suite, where the bathroom includes a double vanity and oversized walk-in shower with a side-facing window. The deck and backyard are accessible through the master bedroom.

The owner installed a custom vanity in the guest bathroom to maximize space, and a deep bathtub surrounded by vibrant green tile.

Outdoor space: A sizable backyard includes a small deck and space for a firepit or garden. A detached garage sits to the side of the yard.

Taxes: $6,922 (estimated)

Contact: Obie Nwabuzor, Pacific Playa Realty, 310-200-4649; pacificplayarealty.com

A circa-1910 neighborhood in the hills of San Diego, Kensington has a small-town feel. Its main drag is a five-block collection of shops and restaurants illuminated by the neon “Kensington” sign, erected in 1953, designated a historic landmark by San Diego’s Historical Resources Board in 2008 and replaced, because of the cost of repairs, by a copy in 2010. This home is a five-minute walk from the heart of Kensington and about 10 miles from San Diego International Airport. The night life hot spots of the Gaslamp Quarter are about 15 minutes to the south by car.

Size: 1,156 square feet

Price per square foot: $774

Indoors: The living room is at the front of the house, with an original fireplace and built-in cabinets for storage and display. A new barn door separates the living space from the master suite, which extends to the back of the house.

In the master bedroom, a set of doors, flanked by another set of built-ins, open to a small balcony looking out into the canyon.

On the other side of the living room, a kitchen is equipped with recently replaced appliances and additional built-ins. A breakfast bar, dining nook and window seat offer a number of seating options.

Beyond the kitchen, a hallway leads to two smaller bedrooms and a white-tiled bathroom. The hardwood floors throughout the house are original.

Outdoor space: A tiered backyard offers ample space from which to enjoy unobstructed canyon views. Off the kitchen, a small deck includes space for an outdoor dining set.

Taxes: $6,802 (estimated)

Contact: Patrick Mercer, Mercer Properties, 619-846-2083; forsale.homesbymercer.com


Considered the gateway to California wine country, Santa Rosa is the seat of Sonoma County and has a population of about 178,000. This single-story house is 10 minutes from downtown Santa Rosa, the Charles M. Schulz Museum and the Russian River Brewing Company.

Rather than work with a traditional homebuilder, the owners contracted a Sebastopol-based designer who specializes in elementary schools to realize their vision of a contemporary space with midcentury influences.

Size: 1,895 square feet

Price per square foot: $474

Indoors: The house has 16-foot vaulted ceilings and clerestory windows intended to make maximum use of light from the south. The kitchen, dining and living spaces are laid out in open-plan style, with large windows facing the backyard and a Danish modern Rais fireplace dividing the living and dining areas.

In the kitchen, open shelving is set off by bright blue tile and quartz countertops. A cobalt-blue island offers additional storage and counter space.

A hallway leads to three bedrooms. One wall in the master bedroom is accented with gray-and-white-patterned wallpaper. In a guest room, wood-patterned paper covers one wall; a third room, styled as an office, is decorated with metallic wallpaper. Each bedroom has a ceiling fan.

The master bathroom includes a walk-in shower, while the guest bathroom is equipped with a 1950s-inspired rounded tub with shower. A laundry room, painted a cheerful green, contains appliance hookups and a stainless steel sink.

Outdoor space: The back doors open onto an 890-square-foot deck surrounded by grass and gravel landscaping. The oversized lot includes double-gated fencing, a two-car garage and gravel parking for additional vehicles or RVs.

Taxes: $6,743 (estimated)

Contact: Melissa English, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, 707-479-3261, or Michelle Gilbreaith, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, 707-708-1440; coldwellbanker.com

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