What $3 Million Buys You in California

on Jul18
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Once a winter retreat for wealthy East Coast and Midwest residents looking to escape the cold, Pasadena is one of Southern California’s most architecturally eclectic areas, with Craftsman estates, Spanish Revival bungalows and more modest postwar ranch houses. This home was designed in a romantic Mediterranean style, with a manicured lawn, low hedges and a bubbling stone fountain.

It is about a 10-minute drive from Old Pasadena and closer still to the Huntington Library, with its art galleries and botanical gardens. Studio complexes in Burbank, Universal City and Studio City are within half-hour drives, and downtown Los Angeles is 20 minutes away.

Size: 3,016 square feet

Price per square foot: $993

Indoors: The door that faces the street opens into a private, walled courtyard with an outdoor fireplace and a stone fountain. The door to the house is at the back of a covered patio that runs along the side of the courtyard.

It opens into a foyer with original black-and-white marble checkerboard floors and a powder room next to a staircase with a wrought-iron railing. To the right is a formal living room with French doors that open to the courtyard.

To the left of the foyer is a formal dining room with original walnut detailing, elaborate wainscoting and access to the front courtyard. The adjacent sunroom, which has a graphic black-and-white color scheme, opens to the pool area.

The dining room is connected to a kitchen that has stainless-steel appliances from Viking and Sub-Zero, a pair of ceiling fans and an adjoining eating area. A laundry room is off the kitchen.

All three bedrooms are on the second floor. The primary suite includes a walk-in closet in what was once a sleeping porch and a dramatic black-and-white bathroom with two porcelain pedestal sinks and a combined shower and tub.

In one guest room, a former sleeping porch has been converted into an office nook; in the other, the sleeping porch serves as a sitting room. These two bedrooms share a bathroom off the hallway.

Outdoor space: The front courtyard is a natural spot for entertaining, with easy access to the living and dining rooms. A pergola-covered patio off the sunroom faces the swimming pool, which is surrounded by strips of grass and mature hedges. The garage has two parking spots.

Taxes: $37,740 (estimated)

Contact: Ted Clark and Heather Lillard, Compass, 626-817-2123; tedandheather.com


The original owner of this home, Andrew Thomas Hodge, was a Chicago businessman who belonged to the Chicago-Fair Oaks Association, which encouraged businessmen like him to move west for the economic opportunity and easy living. The house is about a mile from the center of town, where there are quirky coffee shops, taverns and a park that hosts the annual Fair Oaks Chicken Festival.

Fair Oaks Bluff, a hiking spot along the American River, is a five-minute drive or a 10-minute walk. Downtown Sacramento is about a half-hour drive.

Size: 4,632 square feet

Price per square foot: $647

Indoors: A gate at the street opens to a long driveway that winds past a stable to the garage. A stone fountain sits in front of the house, and behind it are steps that lead up to a wide covered porch.

The front door opens into a foyer with hardwood floors. Just off this space is an elegant wood-paneled library.

To the right of the foyer is a living room with high ceilings and one of several crystal chandeliers in the house. Through a wide doorway is a dining room with a fireplace.

A few steps beyond is a kitchen with a pressed-metal ceiling, a double oven and a Wolf cooktop. The adjoining breakfast room has a built-in banquette.

Across a short corridor is the family room, which has a bay of windows overlooking the expansive lawn. A powder room is also in this part of the house, as is a laundry room.

Three bedrooms are on the second floor. The primary suite includes a sitting room with a fireplace and a bathroom with a walk-in shower and deep soaking tub overlooking the backyard. At the other end of this level are two guest rooms that share a bathroom with a separate tub and shower.

A fourth bedroom with its own bathroom is on the third floor.

Outdoor space: The back porch is at the end of the first-floor hallway. It steps down to an area with a round pool and separate spa. The pool house, which has its own bathroom, could be used as an exercise studio. The property also includes a vegetable garden surrounded by a wood-and-wire fence and a three-car garage.

Taxes: $37,440 (estimated)

Contact: Rich Cazneaux, Coldwell Banker Realty, 916-212-4444; eastsac.com


This house sits on a wide street a little more than a mile from the heart of Redwood City, where attractions include the San Mateo County History Museum, housed in a 1910 courthouse, and the Fox Theater, a 1929 venue that combines Gothic Revival and Moorish Revival styles.

The Spanish Revival campus of the public Sequoia High School, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is about a mile away. San Francisco is a 40-minute drive or about an hour away by Caltrain.

Size: 2,967 square feet

Price per square foot: $1,010

Indoors: A brick wall surrounds the property, enclosing a front yard planted with mature trees.

The front door opens into a living room with original hardwood floors, a fireplace with a wood mantel and tile surround, built-in cabinetry and French doors that open to a wood deck.

To the right of the living room is a dining room with another fireplace and more original woodwork and cabinetry. It connects to a kitchen with Douglas fir floors and a windowed space for a breakfast table. Both the kitchen and living room have access to a sunroom that doubles as a laundry room and workout space.

One guest room is at the front of the house, through original pocket doors in the living room. It is connected by a walk-in closet to a bathroom that has a separate tub and shower. This bathroom is shared with another guest room next door.

The primary suite, on the second floor, has a sloped ceiling, an attached sitting room that may once have been a sleeping porch and a bathroom that has original green-and-black tiling and a stall shower with a frosted glass door etched with swans. Across the landing is a guest room with an elaborate diamond-paned window and a private terrace.

Outdoor space: In addition to the front yard and the deck off the living room, there is a patio at the side of the house, where a dining table sits beneath a pergola. The detached garage has two parking spots.

Taxes: $37,476 (estimated)

Contact: John Shroyer, Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty, 650-787-2121; sothebysrealty.com

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