$550,000 Homes in California – The New York Times


The wooden exterior of this house is a hallmark of the homes in the Sea Ranch community, reflective of the surrounding redwood trees. In early 2020, the owners did a renovation that preserved the original open floor plan, while updating the kitchen and bathrooms.

Sea Ranch residents have access to three community centers with swimming pools, one of which is about a five-minute drive from this house, as is the Sea Ranch Air Strip. The house is about a mile and a half inland, and several hiking trails are within easy walking distance.

Size: 1,474 square feet

Price per square foot: $372

Indoors: Wooden steps lead up to the entrance on the porch (there is also a side door). The front door opens into a small foyer off the main living space. To the left is a sitting area with wood-paneled ceilings, wood paneling along the far wall, a cast-iron wood stove and a window seat tucked into a corner. Large windows offer views of a grove of redwood trees.

To the right is a dining area separated from the kitchen by a breakfast bar with wood trim. During the recent renovation, the kitchen was outfitted with new appliances and recessed lighting, as well as a wet bar and an open pantry.

To the left of the entry is a bathroom with a walk-in shower and a washer and dryer. Carpeted stairs lead to the second floor, which has two bedrooms: a guest room at the top of the stairs and a master suite with built-in shelving and a combination tub and shower with a tree-facing window.

Outdoor space: The deck, which looks out onto redwood trees, is accessible from the living room and from two sets of exterior stairs. The driveway, with space for two cars, can be partially obscured from the street by a wooden screen.

Taxes: $6,863 (estimated), plus a $240 monthly homeowner association fee

Contact: Hanne Liisberg, Liisberg & Company, 707-785-3322; liisbergandcompany.com


This full-service building is one of a number of luxury condominium high-rises near downtown Los Angeles. Originally built as commercial space in the late 1980s, it was converted into a condo with 228 units in 2006. Amenities include an outdoor pool and spa and an indoor gym and recreational spaces.

The building is a five-minute drive from a number of attractions: the Staples Center and L.A. Live complex; Grand Central Market, a more-than-100-year-old indoor food hall; and the Broad museum. City Hall and the downtown court buildings are 10 minutes away.

Size: 790 square feet

Price per square foot: $696

Indoors: The front door to the unit opens into a small entryway with a coat closet off the main living area.

The right half of the open-plan space is dedicated to the seating, dining and kitchen areas, with large windows offering views of downtown Los Angeles. A dining nook is tucked into a corner of the living area, while a galley-style kitchen with granite counters and new stainless steel appliances runs along the opposite wall. Between the kitchen and dining nook is space for a sofa and chairs, with a glass room divider separating this part of the unit from the sleeping area.

Behind the divider is space for a queen-size bed. On one side of the sleeping area is a closet; at the back of the room is a door to a spacious bathroom with a combination tub and shower trimmed in blue tile. The bathroom also has a washer-and-dryer hookup.

The flooring throughout the unit is bamboo.

Outdoor space: On the 17th floor of the building is the Sky Deck, an outdoor space with a heated infinity pool and spa, a barbecue, cabanas and an outdoor dining area, all with panoramic views of the city. Amenities on the second floor include a gym, conference center and media room. This unit comes with two unassigned parking spaces in the building’s garage.

Taxes: $6,986 (estimated), plus a $921.49 monthly homeowner association fee

Contact: Olivia Noh, Compass, 213-999-3068; compass.com

This house was built by Gordon Wiser, a contractor who worked on a number of large-scale Bay Area projects in the mid-20th century, including Treasure Island, the Carquinez Bridge and the Richmond Shipyards, a major local employer in the 1940s and 1950s. Today, the Richmond Shipyards are part of Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park, a 15-minute drive from this house. The 2,789-acre Wildcat Canyon Regional Park, a popular hiking spot, is five minutes away, as is the Richmond BART station, with trains running to Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco.

Size: 1,056 square feet

Price per square foot: $520

Indoors: A red concrete path winds from the sidewalk through a yard landscaped with drought-sensitive plants.

The front door opens directly into the living room, which has a wide, arched window facing the street, a fireplace trimmed in bricks painted robin’s-egg blue and original hardwood floors that continue throughout the house.

The living room flows into a dining area illuminated by an antique fixture. To the right of the dining room is a doorway to the kitchen, which has blue linoleum floors and a breakfast nook surrounded by a bay of windows. The kitchen cabinets are original to the house. A door in the kitchen leads to a lower-level garage with a washer and dryer.

A short set of stairs in the dining room leads to the second level, where there are two bedrooms and a bathroom with peach-colored tiles and a separate tub and shower. The guest room is large enough to hold a full-size bed; the master bedroom, across the hall, has a street-facing window. A linen closet is built into the hall between the bedrooms.



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