July 29, 2021

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What does $ 900,000 buy you in California?

Alameda, across the San Francisco Bay, is a popular landing spot for those looking for more space and easy access to urban amenities. This home is located in the West End, a laid-back neighborhood that is home to Alameda Point, a former naval air station that houses breweries and distilleries.

The property is across from Longfellow Park, which features a tennis court and playground, and a short drive from a ferry terminal, where passengers can reach San Francisco in about 20 minutes. Oakland is about a 10 minute drive and Berkeley 15 minutes.

Dimension: 1,131 square feet

Price per square foot: $ 791

Inside of: A paved walkway leads from the sidewalk to the front door. Beyond is a small foyer which opens into a living room with wooden floors.

Although the home has been updated by multiple owners, many period details remain, including a white brick fireplace and crown moldings. An arched window overlooks the street and a large door opens onto a dining room with an original built-in display cabinet and other wooden floors.

Across the dining room is a bright kitchen with stainless steel appliances and new quartz counter tops. Off this space is a laundry room with access to the courtyard.

The parquet floors continue from the dining room into a corridor that leads to a bedroom with sloping ceilings, a window facing the street and wardrobes along one wall. A second bedroom off the hall, roughly the same size, has its original door hardware and direct access to a bathroom with clawfoot tub and porcelain pedestal sink.

Behind the house, in the garage, is a bonus space that sellers use as a home office.

Outer space: Mature trees provide shade in the yard, which is planted with succulents and drought-tolerant shrubs. A paved patio in the center of the courtyard offers an outdoor dining area. The garage has a parking space; there is room for another car in the driveway.

Taxes: $ 10,476 (estimated)

Contact: Kate McCaffrey, Compass, 510-522-5223; katemccaffrey.com


This home is located in northwest Pasadena, about a five-minute drive from the Rose Bowl, where the University of Southern California football team plays and a monthly flea market is held, one of the largest in the country. Most of the houses in the neighborhood were built in the early 20th century and (like this one) have recently been renovated as young families move to the area.

Old Pasadena, a popular shopping and dining district, is a five-minute drive away; Dodger Stadium and downtown Los Angeles are approximately 20 minutes away.

Dimension: 988 square feet

Price per square foot: $ 910

Inside of: Part of this property’s recent upgrades included a front yard makeover with an emphasis on drought tolerant plants. A gravel path leads across the courtyard to the front porch, where the front door opens into a living room with gray hardwood floors and a large window overlooking the street.

An island divides the living area from an open kitchen with wall units and white appliances. Behind the kitchen is one of the three bedrooms in the house, currently used as a home office.

To the left of the kitchen there is a short hallway that leads to the other bedrooms. To the right is a sunny guest bedroom with a built-in wardrobe and slate gray wall; next door is a full bathroom with a combined tub and shower lined with white subway tiles. At the other end of the corridor is the master bedroom, large enough to fit a king-size bed and featuring a private bathroom.

Outer space: A paved back patio has canopies for shade and space for a few lounge chairs. A concrete driveway leads to a second patio, paved with gravel and large enough to accommodate a dining table. The courtyard is graced with more drought tolerant plants, including several rows of succulents and an orange tree. The garage, currently used as a gym, has a parking space.

Taxes: $ 11,424 (estimated)

Contact: Kevin Kelly and Joseph Cilic, Sotheby’s International Realty, 310-481-6262; sothebysrealty.com

Twentynine Palms is known as the gateway to Joshua Tree National Park, which includes parts of the Colorado and Mojave deserts. A popular weekend destination for hikers and campers, the park is approximately two and a half hours from Los Angeles and three and a half hours from Las Vegas.

In addition to tourism, the area’s economy is centered around the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, the largest Marine Corps base in the country, which is a 10-minute drive from this home. A five-minute drive away are a number of casual grocery stores and restaurants; Palm Springs and Palm Desert are approximately an hour’s drive.

Dimension: 3,860 square feet

Price per square foot: $ 233

Inside of: A wide driveway leads from the street to a lime green front door that opens into an atrium with a white-painted brick wall and built-in planter.

On the immediate left there is a laundry that connects to the kitchen; straight ahead is an open living area with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the pool at the rear and, beyond, the mountains. The seller is an interior designer, and the updates to the house have retained the original mid-century details, including the living room fireplace.

The living area flows into a dining area that overlooks a renovated kitchen with quartz counter tops and a window overlooking the front of the property.

A corridor extends from the right side of the foyer, leading to a wing of the bedroom. Down the hall is the master bedroom, which has windows overlooking the pool and a private bathroom and dressing area. Two other bedrooms off the hall share a bathroom with peach and orange tiles.

The lower level is reached via stairs off the corridor and also has a separate external entrance, so it could be used as a guest apartment. There are two bedrooms on this level (one of which is used as an art studio and craft room) and two full bathrooms. The living area has a wood burning fireplace and direct access to the pool.

Outer space: A covered porch, off the kitchen and dining area, has a fireplace and space for al fresco dining and entertaining. Steps lined with cacti lead to a pool surrounded by concrete, with a separate spa. In front of the house there is a covered parking space with two parking spaces; more parking is available in the driveway.

Taxes: $ 11,412 (estimated)

Contact: Colleen Hensley, Hensley Estate, Keller Williams, 760-533-1800; lists.kw.com

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