What $1.9 Million Buys You in California

Table of Contents San Francisco | $1.899 MillionA Mission Revival house with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, on a 0.1-acre lotOjai | $1.895 MillionA mountain estate with four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a one-bedroom guesthouse, on a 2.4-acre lotSan Jose | $1.895 MillionA 1918 bungalow with four bedrooms and two […]

With its quiet, tree-lined streets and single-family homes just 20 minutes from downtown San Francisco, the Balboa Terrace neighborhood is popular with those who want to live in the city but enjoy the comforts of the suburbs. Aptos Park, a green space with a children’s playground and tennis courts, is a five-minute walk, and a light rail station is just half a mile away, at Ocean Avenue and Junipero Serra Boulevard. Stonestown Galleria, a shopping center with a Target, a Trader Joe’s and a movie theater, is a mile away.

Size: 2,550 square feet

Price per square foot: $745

Indoors: Steps lead from the front yard to a covered porch with a turret-shaped entry.

Hardwood floors flow from the foyer into a living room with an original stucco fireplace and a wide window facing the street. Through the living room is a dining room with a brass chandelier and windows that overlook trees on the side of the property. From there, two doorways lead to a bright kitchen. An adjoining breakfast room could be used as a home office; it has a built-in cabinet and glass doors that open to the rear deck.

Two bedrooms are on the first floor: One is off the foyer, with a window flanked by built-in bookcases; the other is at the back of the house, with a bay of windows overlooking the backyard. Between them is a bathroom with original 1930s tiles in shades of peach and brown.

The second level is configured as a large primary suite. Off the bedroom is a deck with views of the ocean on clear days. The bathroom has 1930s tiles in celadon and buttery yellow.

On the lowest level of the house is a family room with a working fireplace, space for sitting and dining areas, and access to the garage.

Outdoor space: The wooden deck in back is large enough to comfortably hold a set of chairs and a small table. Stairs lead down to a grassy backyard enclosed by a wood fence and landscaped with mature trees. The attached garage has two parking spots, but could be converted into additional living space.

Taxes: $23,736 (estimated), plus a $34 monthly homeowner association fee

Contact: Erin Thompson, Compass, 415-531-9626; compass.com

This property is in the hills above downtown Ojai, just off the freeway that connects this part of the state to the desert counties farther inland. It is well positioned to take advantage of the outdoor recreational activities popular in the area, with hiking trails and campgrounds 10 minutes away. Driving into town also takes about 10 minutes, and Ojai’s main streets are dotted with upscale restaurants, boutique hotels and tasting rooms serving wine from around the Santa Ynez Valley. Santa Barbara is 45 minutes away; driving to Los Angeles takes about an hour and a half.

Size: 4,722 square feet

Price per square foot: $401

Indoors: A long driveway winds from the street to the front of this house, and a steep staircase leads to the front door.

Hardwood floors continue from the foyer into an open living area with high ceilings and a stone fireplace flanked by large windows. There is room for a dining area in front of glass doors that open to a patio. On the other side of this space is an updated kitchen with stainless-steel appliances, including a Wolf range that has a green-stone backsplash that echoes the stone on the living room fireplace.

To the left of the foyer is the primary suite, which has a balcony facing the hills and an en suite bathroom with a combination tub and shower and a double vanity. Two more bedrooms are on this side of the house, each large enough to hold a queen-size bed; they share a full bathroom.

A guest room with an en suite bathroom is at the top of a short staircase off the foyer. Also off the foyer is a dedicated home office with a built-in desk.

A one-bedroom guesthouse with a full bathroom and a kitchen is a few yards from the house.

Outdoor space: A stone patio off the dining area and kitchen has a built-in barbecue. A low stone wall behind the house creates space for planting; beyond it is another wall that separates this part of the property from the hillside. The attached garage holds two cars.

Taxes: $23,688 (estimated)

Contact: Tyler Brousseau and Erik Wilde, LIV Sotheby’s International Realty, 805-760-2213 or 805-830-3254; sothebysrealty.com


The Hanchett Park neighborhood was developed in the early 20th century, and most of the homes there, including this one, date to the 1910s. The sellers expanded the house, adding a primary bathroom and a powder room, but retained original details like the tiled fireplace in the living room and a number of built-in cabinets. It is about a five-minute drive from downtown and 10 minutes from San Jose State University. The San Jose Municipal Rose Garden, where nearly 200 varieties of roses bloom each year, is a little over a mile away.

Size: 2,038 square feet

Price per square foot: $930

Indoors: From the sidewalk, a paved path leads to the house, set behind a small yard and a neat hedge.

The front door opens into a living room with two large windows facing the side of the property and a fireplace framed in Arts and Crafts-style tiles.

Through a wide doorway is a dining room with a built-in china cabinet and a door that swings open to a spacious kitchen with a center island topped in butcher block. A family room with a built-in entertainment center is just off the kitchen. Across the hall is a new powder room with a white porcelain pedestal sink.

A hallway runs from the living room to the four bedrooms on the other side of the house. At the far end of the hall is the primary bedroom, which has an en suite bathroom with a deep bathtub and a wood vanity. Across the hall is a guest room that the sellers use as a home gym; next door is a bedroom used as a home office. These bedrooms share a full bathroom off the hall with a fourth bedroom, large enough to hold a queen-size bed.

Outdoor space: The backyard is framed by mature trees, some of which bear fruit. A patio big enough to hold a dining table is halfway between the main house and the rear fence. The detached garage has parking for one car, a built-in electric vehicle charger and an adjacent sauna.

Taxes: $23,673 (estimated)

Contact: Corinne Raffanti, Sereno, 408-482-6115; tours.tourfactory.com

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