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What $ 1.3 million buys you in California


This home is in a community of around 70 homes near Lake Almaden Park, a popular place for dog walking, fishing and picnicking. The lake is about a half mile from the property; half a mile in the other direction is the Westfield Oakridge Mall, which has a Target and a number of chain restaurants.

Downtown San Jose is about a 15-minute drive, depending on traffic. Los Gatos is less than 10 miles away, as are many hiking trails and wineries.

Cut: 1,650 square feet

Price per square foot: $ 787

Inside: Succulents and other drought tolerant plants line the cobblestone path to the bright red front door, which opens into the lobby. A powder room is right next to this space.

The open living space beyond has high ceilings, a fireplace and windows to the side of the property. Beyond the lounge area is a dining area separated from the kitchen by a breakfast bar.

The kitchen is spacious, with room for a breakfast table and sliding glass doors that open onto a side patio. The pantry is behind a frosted glass door.

On the second level, at the top of the stairs, there is a landing with an integrated bench. To the left is the master suite, which has hardwood floors, a walk-in closet and a bathroom with glass shower, a vanity with two sinks and lots of storage space. Across the hall are two more bedrooms connected by a full bathroom.

Outdoor space: The main outdoor space is a partially covered patio to the side of the house, which is large enough to hold a table and chairs, as well as a barbecue, and is surrounded by a wooden fence lined with plants. The attached garage has parking for two cars.

Taxes: $ 16,236 (estimate), plus a monthly fee of $ 55 for the homeowners association

Contact: Steve Armstrong, Fireside Realty, 408-499-1001; steve-armstrong.com

This building – designed by Frank P. Schneider, a mid-century architect responsible for a number of structures in Southern California – uses steel and glass to bring the outdoors inside: each unit has floor to ceiling windows that fill the rooms with natural light. It sits in North West Hollywood, within walking distance of the nightlife along the Sunset Strip, which can be seen from the rooftop terrace. Bars and restaurants along Santa Monica Boulevard are a five-minute drive away; driving to Beverly Hills takes about 10 minutes.

Cut: 1,395 square feet

Price per square foot: $ 896

Inside: The front door of this unit opens onto a fireplace with hardwood floors that extend into a sunny living room. Along the back wall, floor-to-ceiling windows open onto a long balcony with a view of Sweetzer Avenue.

At one end of the room is a sitting area; on the other side, in front of a mirrored wall, there is room for a dining table. A breakfast bar separates the dining area from the kitchen, which features granite counters and a mix of cupboards and open shelving. Slatted wood doors hide a washer and dryer, and another door connects this part of the unit to the bedroom wing.

Three bedrooms are off the hallway. The master suite at the back is large enough to accommodate a queen-size bed. It features floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding glass doors that open onto a private balcony. The private bathroom has a closet with mirror and a shower cabin.

The other two bedrooms share a balcony; between them is a bathroom with a combined bathtub and shower.

Outdoor space: The entire balcony space is covered, making it usable even on the hottest days. Each balcony has space for chairs and a small table. The shared rooftop terrace faces the Hollywood Hills and the unit comes with two spaces in a closed parking lot.

Taxes: $ 15,624 (estimate), plus $ 611 monthly homeowners association fee

Contact: Joey Kiralla and Michelle St. Clair, Sotheby’s International Realty, Los Feliz Brokerage, 213-304-4943 or 323-702-7001; sothebysrealty.com


Piedmont, nestled in the hills between Berkeley and Oakland, looks like a small town in many ways: this home, one block from bustling Grand Avenue, is a short walk from a grocery store, a hardware store and garden supply store. The area is popular with young families, thanks to its good public schools; Well-ranked primary and secondary schools are about a mile away.

Berkeley is about a 15-minute drive; downtown Oakland is 10 minutes away. The nearest BART station, MacArthur, is less than 10 minutes; trains travel from there to San Francisco in about 20 minutes.

Cut: 1,400 square feet

Price per square foot: $ 927

Inside: This home’s cheerful, peachy exterior is accented with white accents and a blue front door that opens to a fireplace. The living room is just beyond, through a vaulted opening, with original hardwood floors and fitted wardrobes flanking a fireplace.

An open door in the living room leads into a dining area with an elegant ceiling light that contrasts with 1920s details like a built-in china cabinet. Beyond the dining area is a kitchen with stainless steel appliances, a dining area and stairs to the lower level.

From the dining room there is a hallway which leads to the two bedrooms and the bathroom. At the end of the hallway is the master bedroom, which has windows on two sides and a farmhouse style door that opens to reveal a closet. The guest bedroom comfortably contains a queen-size bed. The full bathroom is in the center of the hallway.

The lower level of the house contains a bonus space that could be used as a guest bedroom, family room, or home office.

Outdoor space: A patio runs along the side of the house, with lemon trees and space for chairs next to the wooden fence. The attached garage contains a car.

Taxes: $ 16,224 (estimated)

Contact: Chami Kang, Compass, 415-696-3080; compass.com

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