Here’s What $3.3 Million Buys You in California


The Palos Verdes Peninsula, in the southwestern part of Los Angeles County, is known for its sweeping ocean views and quiet, family-friendly neighborhoods. This house is in Palos Verdes Estates, a city whose master plan was done by the landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. in the early 1920s. A few blocks away is the Palos Verdes Estates Shoreline Preserve, a cliff-side park with hiking trails and views of the Santa Monica Bay and coastline. Also within walking distance is Palos Verdes High School, a well-ranked public school.

Los Angeles International Airport is about half an hour away by car; driving to downtown Long Beach takes about the same amount of time.

Size: 2,871 square feet

Price per square foot: $1,149

Indoors: From the street, a path cuts through the front yard to a flagstone porch big enough to hold a few chairs.

The wood door swings open into a foyer. Turning right leads to a sunken living room with new hardwood floors and windows and a rock-framed fireplace. Just off this room is a small bonus area with another fireplace, framed in brick.

To the left of the foyer is spacious dining area that also has new hardwood floors, like most of the main living spaces. Beyond it is a breakfast nook tucked into a bay of windows; a few steps farther is an updated kitchen with new stainless-steel appliances, a farmhouse sink, a center island topped in marble and glass doors out to a deck.

From the kitchen, a hallway extends to the primary suite, where a barn-style door opens to a bathroom with a soaking tub and a glass-walled shower. Closer to the kitchen, along the hall, is a laundry room with tile floors.

A second hallway, running along the staircase in the foyer, is lined with built-in cabinetry. It leads to a guest room with windows facing the side of the property; a full bathroom with a porcelain pedestal sink is next door.

On the second level, there are two more bedrooms and a full bathroom. One of the bedrooms has a fireplace, and both have windows that face the ocean.

Outdoor space: From the rear deck, off the kitchen, steps lead down to a lush backyard with a garden and mature trees. A private putting green sits on one side of the yard. The detached two-car garage includes a second level with an open space and a full bathroom, suitable for use as guest quarters or a home office.

Taxes: $41,916 (estimated)

Contact: Gary Kooba, Vista Sotheby’s International Realty, 310-722-2007; sothebysrealty.com


In the cities that dot the Orange County coastline, proximity to the beach is prized, and in that respect this Laguna Beach house shines: It is less than half a mile from Shaw’s Cove and Fisherman’s Cove, where the calm water draws a mix of families and avid swimmers. The property is a few blocks north of Pacific Coast Highway, Laguna Beach’s main thoroughfare, so it is also within walking distance of art galleries and casual restaurants.

The neighboring cities of Newport Beach and Huntington Beach are less than half an hour away. The main campus of the University of California, Irvine, is about a 15-minute drive.

Size: 2,524 square feet

Price per square foot: $1,305

Indoors: This house has a low front gate, framed by palm trees, separating the sidewalk from the lawn. The covered porch has room for a bench.

Beyond the front door is foyer with high ceilings. To the left is a formal living room with a fireplace; to the right is a formal dining area.

A butler’s pantry connects the dining area to the kitchen, which was updated in 2020 with new Thermador appliances and stone counters. The kitchen is open to a family room with sliding-glass doors that lead to a side patio.

Behind the family room is a bedroom, currently used as a home office, and a bathroom with a tiled shower. Across the hall is a laundry room with hardwood floors.

From the living room, a carpeted staircase with a wood banister rises to the second floor, also carpeted. To the immediate right is the primary bedroom, which has vaulted ceilings and a large private balcony facing the street. The en suite bathroom has a double vanity topped with marble, a walk-in closet and a built-in storage bench under a window.

Across the hall are two bedrooms of about the same size; each has a mirrored closet and its own bathroom (one with a shower and the other with a combination tub and shower). They share access to a balcony that stretches across the house.

Outdoor space: From the family room, floor-to-ceiling glass doors turn the side patio into an extension of the living space. The patio has wood floors and is large enough to hold a dining table. Both the balcony off the primary suite and the one shared by the two upstairs guest rooms have room for lounge chairs; the second balcony is large enough to hold additional furniture. The attached garage has two parking spots.

Taxes: $39,216 (estimated)

Contact: Amy Calvert and Tim Smith, the Smith Group, Coldwell Banker Realty, 949-981-9047; search.smithgrouprealestate.com

This house has had just one owner, a family physician who worked on the design with an architect after falling in love with Mill Valley in the 1970s. The intent was to highlight the natural surroundings, which translated into lots of windows looking directly into the trees, as well as the use of materials like redwood, oak and Douglas fir. There are three fireplaces, custom-designed by the owner, with antique mantels and trim.

The heart of Mill Valley is a little more than a mile away — a five-minute walk or a 30-minute drive. The hiking trails of Muir Woods National Monument are nearby, and San Francisco is about a 45-minute drive.

Size: 3,875 square feet

Price per square foot: $839

Indoors: This house is at the end of a street, and its long driveway winds past the garage, with brick steps and a deck leading to the front door.

Straight ahead, past the foyer, is a living room with vaulted wood ceilings, floor-to-ceiling redwood beams and a fireplace framed by an 18th-century marble mantel imported from France.

Next to the living room is a dining room facing the deck. On the other side of the dining area is a kitchen with a commercial-grade stovetop and a breakfast area in a nook with windows looking out into the forest.

On the other side of this floor, off the front door, are an office and a powder room. Farther back is the primary suite: In the bedroom is a fireplace framed by antique tile and a carved wooden mantel; the bathroom has a double vanity and plenty of cabinet space.



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