December 8, 2022

What $2.2 Million Buys You in California

5 min read
What .2 Million Buys You in California

This apartment is at the back of a four-unit complex, insulating it from the hustle and bustle of the street. It is in a relatively quiet part of downtown Santa Barbara, with upscale restaurants and shopping. The public library, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and Alameda Park, which has a playground and a small botanical garden, are a few blocks away.

The University of California, Santa Barbara is about 15 minutes away by car; driving into Montecito takes about 10 minutes.

Size: 1,859 square feet

Price per square foot: $1,157

Indoors: There are two entrances to this unit: the front door, which opens into a foyer, and a private elevator from the secure parking garage, which opens into the first-floor hallway the second-floor primary suite.

To the right of the front door is an open living room with hardwood floors, a fireplace with a curved hearth and double doors that open to a balcony, one of two in the unit.

The living room faces the kitchen, with room for a dining table between the two spaces. The kitchen has dark wood cabinets, a center island painted bright green and stainless-steel appliances that include a Viking range, a dishwasher and a double-door refrigerator.

One bedroom suite is on this level, off the kitchen. The bedroom is sunny, with a wrought-iron light fixture; the bathroom has a walk-in shower and a vanity lit by two sconces.

The entire second level functions as a primary suite. The bedroom has another curved fireplace, an office nook, a walk-in closet with built-in shelving and a private balcony. The bathroom has a double vanity and a shower with a glass door.

Outdoor space: The balcony off the living room, on the unit’s first level, has a view of palm trees and room for two chairs and a cafe table. The balcony off the primary suite is slightly larger, with views of the surrounding rooftops and mountains in the distance, and room for a fire table and chairs. Two parking spots come with the unit; additional storage space is also available.

Taxes: $26,880 (estimated) and a $525 monthly homeowner association fee

Contact: Joe Parker, The Santa Barbara Group, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, 805-886-5735; thesantabarbaragroup.com

Miraloma Park, a quiet neighborhood about 15 minutes from downtown San Francisco, has many homes dating back to the 1920s and 1930s. This house is unique in that it was custom-built for the original owners, while most of its neighbors were constructed by the area’s developers.

Portola Drive, the main drag, is a couple of blocks away, with a CVS drugstore, a Starbucks and a family-owned organic market. This home is also close to Glen Canyon Park, a roughly 70-acre park with a deep canyon crisscrossed with hiking trails, and Mount Davidson, where trails lead up to the city’s highest peak.

Size: 2,015 square feet

Price per square foot: $1,092

Indoors: A short path leads from the sidewalk to the front door, cutting through a yard landscaped with succulents and rose bushes.

To the right of the entry is a living room with a white brick fireplace and corner windows facing the street. Beyond is a dining room with parquet floors and tall windows that fill the space with natural light. Off the dining room is a renovated kitchen with white cabinets, gray counters, stainless-steel appliances and a breakfast nook with a built-in bench.

To the left of the foyer are stairs leading to the second level. At the top of the stairs is the primary suite, which has a bedroom with a large, street-facing window and a recently renovated bathroom with marble tile covering the walls, floors and the combined tub and shower. Next door is a guest room big enough for a queen-size bed; it is connected to another guest room by a bathroom with quatrefoil-patterned tile.

More stairs lead to the third-floor loft, which could be used as a fourth bedroom or family room. This space has windows overlooking the neighboring rooftops and space for a television built into the wall.

Outdoor space: From the front yard, a path leads to an outdoor dining terrace sheltered by mature greenery. A small lawn, a deck and a gravel terrace are at the back of the house. The four-car garage is large enough to be reconfigured as an additional living space or a guesthouse.

Taxes: $27,504 (estimated)

Contact: Deborah Lopez, Compass, 415-533-5502; compass.com


San Juan Capistrano, in southern Orange County, is beloved for its easy access to well-known Southern California landscapes: The coastline at Dana Point is about 20 minutes to the west, and Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park, an expansive preserve with camping facilities and hiking trails, is about the same distance to the east.

This house is about a 10-minute drive from downtown San Juan Capistrano and the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano. An Amtrak station connects the city to San Diego and Los Angeles by train; driving to either city takes about 90 minutes.

Size: 3,000 square feet

Price per square foot: $717

Indoors: This house is on a cul-de-sac in a gated community. A white picket fence surrounds a garden near the front entrance, and the double front doors open into a foyer with a curved staircase.

To the right is a living room with high ceilings and a bay window facing the front garden. Beyond is a dining room with a crystal chandelier and glass doors that open to a patio.

Next to the dining room is a bright kitchen with stainless-steel appliances, including a Wolf range, a marble-countertop breakfast bar and a butcher-block center island. There is space for a breakfast table in front of a bay window overlooking the backyard.

The primary suite is on the second floor. The bedroom has a fireplace and enough space for a king-size bed; the attached bathroom has a steam shower, a separate soaking tub and a crystal chandelier. Two other bedrooms on this level share a full bathroom.

Another guest suite is on the first level, off a hallway extending from the foyer. The bedroom, which is large enough to comfortably hold a queen-size bed, is connected to a full bathroom.

Also on the first floor is a laundry room with an octagonal window and pale green cabinets.

Outdoor space: A pergola-covered patio off the kitchen is lit by hanging wicker fixtures. Around the corner, through a wooden arch, is a garden with a stone fountain. A path leads from the rear patio to a second outdoor dining space with a built-in bar and a grill. The attached garage holds three cars.

Taxes: $26,880 (estimated) and a $210 monthly homeowner association fee

Contact: Paul Brutoco and Bryan Gerlach, Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty, 949-929-6670; sothebysrealty.com

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