What $ 2 Million Buy You in California

Berkeley | $ 2 million A 1932 five-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath house on 0.2 acre lot This house has been in the same family for ov...


This house has been in the same family for over 50 years and has been well maintained, preserving original details like stained glass windows and colorful 1930s tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms. It’s in the Thousand Oaks section of Berkeley, about a 10-minute drive from downtown and the University of California campus. The neighborhood’s main thoroughfare, Solano Avenue, about a mile away, is lined with casual markets and restaurants. Closer to home (about a five-minute drive or 10-minute walk) is the Kensington Farmers Market, where vendors sell local produce on Sundays.

Cut: 3,546 square feet

Price per square foot: $ 564

Inside: A short walkway connects the sidewalk to the front door, which opens into a bright lobby with arched doorways and Spanish tiled floors. Through glass doors to the left of the entrance is a living room with hardwood floors, a mint green ceiling, large windows facing the street and the rear of the property, a fireplace with a brick framing and original wood moldings.

On the other side of the foyer is a dining room with more wooden floors and a door leading to a sunny breakfast room lined with red and white tiles. The tiling continues in the kitchen, on the worktops and the backsplash.

Directly opposite the front door is a glazed veranda with a built-in bench offering views of the surrounding hills; an integrated bar; and glass doors that open onto a small patio.

A hallway leading to the kitchen and fireplace leads to the main level bedroom and bathroom. The bedroom has large windows and a deep closet; the bathroom next door has aqua tiling and a white tub.

Stairs lead from the foyer to a wide hallway on the second floor. At one end is a guest bedroom with a picture window; to the other is the master bedroom, which has hardwood floors and a walk-in closet. The adjoining master bathroom is tiled in pink and gray, with a combined tub and shower behind a frosted glass door.

Two more bedrooms are located off this hallway, one large enough to accommodate a queen-size bed and the other a little smaller; they share a full bathroom with a built-in linen closet.

From the kitchen, a staircase lined with yellow tiles leads to the lower level, which has a den with direct access to the backyard and a powder room.

Outdoor space: A balcony overlooking the second floor hallway, surrounded by a wrought iron fence, can accommodate a table and chairs. A patio off the main level family room leads down to a terraced back yard with plenty of mature trees for shade. The attached garage contains a car.

Taxes: $ 24,996 (estimated)

Contact: Ira and Carol Serkes, Boussole, 510-526-6668; compass.com


This mid-century home in the Hollywood Hills just north of the Sunset Strip is on the market for the first time, and although it has been renovated several times over the years, each renovation has retained its character. original. The property is less than 10 minutes’ drive from Coldwater Canyon Park, which has a playground and flat lawns, and 15 minutes from hiking trails that wind through Franklin Canyon. Nearby is also the Greystone Mansion, a popular location for weddings and film productions.

Cut: 2,574 square feet

Price per square foot: $ 758

Inside: Steps lead from the steep driveway to the main entrance, where the original wooden door is flanked by stained glass with a botanical motif.

To the right of the foyer is the living room, designed to cantilever over the site, creating the feeling of being nestled among the trees. The floors are hardwood; the walls and several built-in shelves are paneled; and the fireplace and hearth are framed in dark brown tiles.

Across from the living room is a hallway that leads to the kitchen on one side and the family room on the other; next to the hallway is a whimsical half bathroom with camel print wallpaper. The kitchen has hardwood floors and windows that face the hill; to one side is a dining room with similar views and more paneled walls.

In the family room, an exposed brick wall frames the fireplace and extends outside, past the sliding glass doors, to a patio.

Open staircases with wire balusters lead from the foyer to the second level, where all three bedrooms lead out to a carpeted hallway. Up the stairs is a guest bedroom currently used as a home office, with an en-suite powder room upholstered in a classic 1960s print of blue and green flowers to match the green vanity. Across the hall is the master suite, which has a private balcony with views of the Hollywood Hills and an en-suite bathroom with a long dressing table and original sunken red tub. At the end of the hall is a guest bedroom with its own sitting area; next to it is a full bathroom with a walk-in shower.

Outdoor space: A large patio off the family room has a hot tub and plenty of space for a dining table and barbecue. It is surrounded by mature trees which provide privacy without obstructing the view of the city. The carport has two parking spaces.

Taxes: $ 24,396 (estimated)

Contact: Maureen Erbe and Henry Blackham, Deasy Penner Podley, 310-275-1000; deasypennerpodley.com


Boonville is often referred to as the gateway to Anderson Valley, a region in southern Mendocino County known for its Pinot Noirs and sparkling wines, produced in large quantities. This house is located off Route 128, providing easy access to the region’s vineyards and tasting rooms. The highway is also the main route to the coast, and the communities of Mendocino and Little River are about an hour’s drive away. Santa Rosa is about the same distance; San Francisco is just over two hours away.

Cut: 2,128 square feet

Price per square foot: $ 938

Inside: From the street, a long driveway leads to a flat part of the property, where there is a garage and the two houses.

The first house has a wraparound porch, with an open plan living area behind the front door. The floors are hardwood and the vaulted ceilings are wood. The front part of the living room is currently used as a dining room, with a chandelier for lighting, a fireplace built into a wall and doors to the porch. Behind the dining area is a kitchen with black and white checkered floors and open shelving. A few steps further is a comfortable seating area by another door leading to the porch. From the kitchen stairs lead down to the lower level, where there are two bedrooms of roughly equal size with white painted paneled walls. A full bathroom, a powder room and a laundry room are also located on this level.

A paved path leads from the rear of the first house to the second house, similar in style and layout. Here, the seating area is at the front of the open plan space and the fireplace is framed in colorful tiles. Opposite the seating area is a kitchen with a Viking stove and open shelving. A hallway lined with shelves leads to the rear of the house, where there are two bedrooms, both large, with alcoves that could be used as home offices or reading nooks; each has a private bathroom with a walk-in shower.

Outdoor space: There is a wraparound porch on each house, offering views over the rolling hills of the property. A paved path connects the houses to an outdoor dining area that overlooks a hill dotted with trees. The detached garage can hold four cars and is equipped with solar panels. For fire safety, all three structures have metal roofs and concrete cladding.

Taxes: $ 24,936 (estimated)

Contact: Kevin McDonald, Sotheby’s International Realty Wine Country Brokerage, 707-391-3382; sothebysrealty.com

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