What $ 1.5 million buys you in California


This house sits in the Carmel Valley, which was primarily agricultural land until the late 1970s. Since then development has been rapid, thanks to the area’s proximity to the University of California at San Diego. and the University City business district. The Del Mar Exhibition Center, a 1936 complex with a popular horse racing track, is about a 10-minute drive away. The beaches of La Jolla are half an hour away, and downtown San Diego is about the same distance.

Cut: 2056 square feet

Price per square foot: $ 727

Inside: The front yard is landscaped with succulents surrounding a low stucco wall with a wooden gate, which opens to an entrance courtyard with a stone fountain.

Beyond the front door is a hall with Spanish tile floors which extend into the open plan kitchen and living room. The kitchen has been recently updated with marble counters and a Wolf cooktop. Across from a butcher’s island is a dining room with sliding glass doors that open onto the aisle. On the other side of the kitchen is a living room with a fireplace, windows to the courtyard and a glass door to the courtyard.

To the right of the front door is a guest bedroom with built-in shelving; Across the hall is a powder room with Moroccan inspired tiles.

A staircase with a wrought iron banister and tiled risers leads to the three bedrooms on the second floor. At the end of the hall is a master suite with a balcony that overlooks the courtyard and the driveway; the private bathroom has a deep soaking tub and separate walk-in shower with more Moroccan tiles. Across the hall is a bedroom with wooden floors and mirrored closet. A full bathroom with blue tiles and a white pedestal sink connects this bedroom to the third bedroom, which has space for a double bed and a desk.

Outdoor space: Behind the house is a tiled patio framed by grass, with trees planted along the fence around the perimeter of the yard. The attached garage has two parking spaces; there is an additional parking space in the driveway. The house is in a community with a number of amenities including a swimming pool, fitness center, and playground; the use of these facilities is covered by the monthly fees of the owners association.

Taxes: $ 15,696 (estimated), plus a monthly owner association fee of $ 84

Contact: Jana Farella, Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty, 858-926-3060; sothebysrealty.com


Capitola is a quiet beach town about five miles from Santa Cruz, popular with San Francisco Bay and Central Valley weekends. Most of the homes are second homes or part-time vacation rentals. This property, on a corner lot near downtown, is within walking distance of Capitola State Beach, where there’s a pier surrounded by family-friendly restaurants.

San Francisco is about an hour and 20 minutes away; Fresno and Sacramento are about two and a half hours away.

Cut: 1513 square feet

Price per square foot: $ 991

Inside: A picket fence separates the front yard from the street, and a brick path leads to the blue front door. Beyond the threshold is a sunny living room with patio doors that open onto the patio at the front and a light blue fireplace that extends to the high ceiling.

Behind the fireplace is a dining room with a glass door which opens onto a terrace. It faces a cheerful yellow kitchen with a white tiled backsplash and a tiled breakfast counter that seats two.

To the left of the front door is a room with built-in shelves and a window seat; it is currently used as a den, although it can be used as a bedroom, as it has an en-suite bathroom with a shower.

On the second level, there are two bedrooms and a mezzanine office with built-in storage and a view of the living room below.

The carpeted bedroom on the landing has sloping ceilings and a window facing the street; next to it is a full bathroom with a white vanity and a walk-in shower. A small hallway runs from the landing to a master bedroom, also carpeted, with wooden ceilings and glass doors that open onto a small terrace.

Outdoor space: Sheltered by mature trees in the front yard is a patio large enough to hold a table and chairs. There is more outdoor entertaining space on the dining room deck, which has a wooden railing and is surrounded by landscaping for extra privacy. The attached garage contains one car, with room for another in the driveway.

Taxes: $ 17,256

Contact: Erick Fernandez, Keller Williams Realty, 831-247-0477; realtor.com


Ocean Front Walk, which stretches along Venice Beach and includes the famous Muscle Beach as well as basketball and beach volleyball courts, has long been a destination for people-watching and seaside dining This condominium is less than a mile from the beach and the Abbot Kinney district, which is home to upscale dining and shopping. Santa Monica is about a 10-minute drive; Malibu is half an hour away.

Cut: 1848 square feet

Price per square foot: $ 790

Inside: The building’s entrance courtyard is behind a wooden fence; beyond a glass door are stairs leading to this unit, on the second floor.

The main living-dining room is open, with hardwood floors, a brick accent wall and large windows. The ceilings are high, creating a wind effect when the windows are open.

The spacious kitchen, open to the main living space, has been updated by vendors with stainless steel appliances and a matching sink. The backsplash is white subway tile, with white cabinetry above and slate gray cabinetry below.

A barn-style door in the living room opens into the master suite, which has two windows and built-in shelving. The private bathroom has been updated with bronze colored hardware and a white porcelain tub.

Two other bedrooms are off a hallway that runs along the kitchen; both have en-suite bathrooms, one with a combined bath and shower and the other with a walk-in shower and Keith Haring-inspired wallpaper.

Outdoor space: Two closed parking spaces, covered with car shelters, accessible by a rear driveway, are allocated to this unit. Maintenance of the building and front yard is covered by the monthly homeowners association fee.

Taxes: $ 18,528, plus a monthly homeowner’s association fee of $ 500

Contact: Malyn Dahlin and Alice Cannington, The Agency, 310-773-1107, 310-804-5229; theagencyre.com

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