Real Estate

$1 Million Homes in California

What You Get for $1 Million in California

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Cameron Acker for Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty

San Diego | $995,000

A Queen Anne house built in 1897, with three bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms, on a 0.1-acre lot

This remarkably well-kept home has many features associated with Queen Anne style, including gables trimmed in fish-scale shingles and delicately carved railings framing interior and exterior stairs. It is about two blocks away from another notable Queen Anne house: Villa Montezuma, a historic house museum run by the city of San Diego.

Downtown San Diego, and the city’s Gaslamp Quarter, a major nightlife destination, are about five minutes away by car, as is Balboa Park.

Size: 1,331 square feet

Price per square foot: $748

Indoors: A wrought-iron gate wraps around the house, with a paved path leading to the stoop and covered front porch.

To the right of the foyer is a living room with original wood floors and window molding; an iron light fixture hanging from the ceiling; and doors leading to the foyer and the formal dining room topped with original etched-glass transom windows.

The dining room has a bay of windows facing the neighborhood and a stone-framed fireplace topped with a mirrored wood mantel. A door in the dining room leads to a kitchen with butcher-block counters, yellow cabinets, mint-green shelving and a white-enamel range with red-and-black trim. Off the kitchen is a half bathroom in the same yellow and mint tones.

A wide staircase leads from the dining room to the second floor. To the right of the landing is a guest room with yellow walls and white trim. A second door opens to a pink hallway with street-facing windows; it connects this bedroom to the primary bedroom, which has mint-green walls and white molding. At the other end of the hall is a full bathroom with a wood-paneled soaking tub and a porcelain pedestal sink. Next door is another guest room, large enough to hold a full-size bed.

Outdoor space: The lot is flat, with flowers planted along the perimeter. A flagstone patio that could hold an outdoor dining table is illuminated by an old-fashioned lamppost. There is also a shed that could be used for storage or turned into a garage.

Taxes: $12,432 (estimated)

Contact: Janna Hernholm and Matthew Hernholm, Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty, 619-985-4126;

Credit…Open Homes Photography

Berkeley | $995,000

A two-bedroom, two-bathroom condominium in a 1981 complex

This condominium is well positioned to take advantage of Berkeley’s unique food and drink offerings: A traditional Japanese dessert shop, a kava bar, several breweries and a vegan deli are all within a few blocks of the property. Ohlone Park, which has a children’s playground, is half a block away. The main campus of the University of California is also within easy walking distance, making the neighborhood appealing for anyone who works at the school, one of the city’s largest employers. The downtown Berkeley BART station, with trains going to Oakland and San Francisco, is about half a mile away.

Size: 1,302 square feet

Price per square foot: $764

Indoors: The three-unit condominium complex is made up of a Craftsman house facing the street and a two-unit structure behind it; this unit occupies half of the two-unit back building.

A stone footpath leads from the street to the unit’s front door, which opens into a small, tiled foyer. The living room beyond has hardwood floors, a cast-iron stove and an arched doorway leading to a kitchen with stainless-steel cabinets and a dining area with a tiled floor.

A carpeted staircase in the foyer leads to the second level, a lofted area that is open to the kitchen below. This space has large, treetop-facing windows and a door on one side that opens to a cozy bedroom with hardwood floors and a full bathroom.

A second set of stairs leads to the primary suite on the top floor. The bedroom has wood-and-glass doors that open to a private, covered balcony. A full bathroom and a laundry closet complete the suite.

Outdoor space: The backyard off the living room and kitchen has a flagstone patio for dining and a wooden storage shed. The yard is fenced, with mature trees that offer privacy from the neighbors.

Taxes: $12,432 (estimated), plus a $240 monthly homeowner association fee

Contact: Jodi Nishimura, Compass, 510-982-4438;

Credit…Brian Huffman

Altadena | $995,000

A midcentury-modern house built in 1948, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, on a 0.2-acre lot

Altadena, at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains just north of Pasadena, has a small-town feel despite its proximity to urban areas. A highlight of the fall and winter months is the stretch of Santa Rosa Avenue that becomes Christmas Tree Lane, one of the oldest outdoor light displays in the country, recognized by the National Register of Historic Places.

This house is half a block from Charles S. Farnsworth Park, which has grassy fields and a small amphitheater. Old Town Pasadena is about 15 minutes away by car, and downtown Los Angeles is about a half-hour drive.

Size: 1,292 square feet

Price per square foot: $770

Indoors: Steps wind through the front yard, landscaped with drought-tolerant plants, to a glass front door that opens into the main living area. This space stretches from the living room at the front of the house to the kitchen at the back. In the living room, a large window facing the street provides ample sunlight, and hardwood floors stretch into the dining area, which has a fireplace set into a gray wall.

The kitchen, separated from the dining area by a breakfast bar, was recently updated with new stainless-steel appliances and a blue-tile backsplash. Sliding-glass doors lead out to the backyard.

Both sides of the kitchen are open to the main hallway, which connects the entertaining spaces to two of the home’s three bedrooms. On the left side of the hallway is the primary suite, which has a bathroom open to the rest of the space, with a frosted-glass shower door and a floating vanity anchored to a wall lined with subway tile.

Across the hall is a guest room with a mountain-inspired mural; next door is a full bathroom with a combination tub and shower. The third bedroom, used by the sellers as a home office, is just off the kitchen, and connects to the laundry room.

Outdoor space: Behind the house is a flagstone patio partially shaded by a roof overhang. In a sunnier spot, there is room for a table and chairs, as well as a barbecue. The patio partially surrounds a square of grass, and wood steps lead up to the top of the terraced garden, which has another flat area and a storage shed. Mature trees in the yard’s corners offer more shade, and the attached garage holds one car.

Taxes: $12,432 (estimated)

Contact: Linda Seyffert, Deasy Penner Podley, 626-712-5194;

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