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19 Sep
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What $2.5 Million Buys You in California

Julia Morgan, the first woman licensed as an architect in California, has a close association with the city of Berkeley, where she designed the Berkeley City Club; St. John’s Presbyterian Church; several structures at the University of California, Berkeley, campus; and this home, built for a zoology professor and his wife. Made primarily from old-growth redwood, it has had just three owners and was the recipient of a Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association Preservation Award in 2010.

The house is a few blocks from the university campus and Telegraph Avenue, putting it within walking distance of restaurants, coffee shops and a well-known records store. The Downtown Berkeley BART Station is 10 minutes away by car; driving to San Francisco takes about half an hour.

Size: 2,929 square feet

Price per square foot: $852

Indoors: A brick path runs from the street to the left side of the house, where the front door sits at the top of a wide set of steps.

Beyond the threshold is a foyer with wood-paneled walls and hardwood floors that continue into the living room. There, the home’s signature redwood trim is complemented by green walls that echo the green tile framing the fireplace. To one side of the fireplace is the entrance to a library with built-in window seats and a ceiling covered with woven material that the original owners found in Hawaii; to the other side are glass doors that open to an outdoor porch overlooking the garden.

The dining room is off the foyer, with another fireplace, this one covered by a decorative grate. Through a swinging door is a butler’s pantry that connects to the sunny kitchen, which has its original cabinets and a long, stainless-steel counter. A laundry room and powder room are also in this part of the house.

A staircase in the foyer leads to the three bedrooms on the second floor. The primary suite, at the top of the stairs, includes a large room with a fireplace, currently used as a den, and an enclosed sleeping porch with exposed ceiling beams. The attached bathroom has a combined tub and shower.

At the other end of the second floor is a guest room with built-in cabinetry and enough space for a king-size bed. A smaller guest room is nearby. These two bedrooms share a bathroom off the hallway.

Outdoor space: The porch off the living room steps down to a brick patio big enough to hold a dining table and chairs. The garden beyond is landscaped with wildflowers and native plants. Vegetables and herbs grow in raised boxes at the back of the yard.

Taxes: $31,188 (estimated)

Contact: Mark Hardwicke, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Reliance Partners, 510-501-0713; 2616etna.com

This house is in the hills of Brentwood, a neighborhood that is a few miles from the Getty Center and the hiking and cycling trails winding through Mandeville Canyon. Brentwood Country Mart, a barnlike complex with shopping and dining, is 10 minutes away by car.

The neighborhood is conveniently located in the city: about 20 minutes from Will Rogers State Beach and the offices of Century City. The main campus of the University of California, Los Angeles, is 10 minutes away, as is Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles, a Catholic liberal arts college for women.

Size: 2,108 square feet

Price per square foot: $1,184

Indoors: This home sits on a hill, at the end of a driveway, elevated from the street. The facade is white, with black shutters and a black front door that opens into a small foyer.

This space flows into a bright living room with exposed ceiling beams, a corner fireplace, built-in bookshelves and a wall of windows looking out at the backyard.

The adjacent dining room has a wrought-iron chandelier and access to a side yard. The eat-in kitchen, also in this part of the house, has white tile counters and a washer and dryer.

A hallway off the foyer leads to the bedrooms. The primary bedroom, at the far end of the hall, has access to a home office and a private outdoor space with an outdoor shower. The bathroom next door has a combined tub and shower.

Two guest rooms are across the hall. They share a bathroom off the hallway with trefoil-patterned tile floors.

Behind the house is a detached studio currently used as a home office.

Outdoor space: The yard is private thanks to mature hedges. Artificial grass helps keep water use low. The detached garage holds two cars.

Taxes: $31,192 (estimated)

Contact: Lisa Mansfield, Sotheby’s International Realty — Brentwood Brokerage, 310-993-2303; sothebysrealty.com


Cupertino has a number of homes built by the well-known midcentury developer Joseph Eichler. This one is across the street from Hyde Middle School and a few blocks from D.J. Sedgwick Elementary School and Cupertino High School, all highly ranked public schools. A shopping center with a Safeway grocery store, a dumpling restaurant and a bicycle shop is half a mile away.

The main office of Apple, the city’s largest employer, is less than 10 minutes away by car. Menlo Park, Mountain View and Palo Alto are all within a half-hour drive. Downtown San Jose and the San Jose International Airport are 20 minutes away.

Size: 1,516 square feet

Price per square foot: $1,641

Indoors: This house has retained its original layout, with a privacy wall and garage — with its original Eichler doors — visible from the street, shielding the front courtyard from view.

The front door opens into a tiled foyer. Straight ahead is a living room with skylights, a wall of glass facing the backyard and a large interior window looking into the combined kitchen and dining area. The kitchen has honey-colored wood cabinets, updated stainless-steel appliances and glass walls facing the front courtyard.

The primary bedroom is off the living room, with glass walls that offer a view of the koi pond in the backyard. The en suite bathroom has a walk-in shower with a glass door.

The three guest rooms are in a wing to the right of the front entrance. One, currently used as a den, has sliding glass doors that open to the front courtyard. All three share a bathroom at the end of the hall, which has a walk-in shower and wood vanity. A washer and dryer and a linen closet are off the hallway.

Outdoor space: A patio is directly behind the house. The backyard beyond is landscaped with a mix of rocks and drought-tolerant plants and includes a koi pond with a small waterfall. A sink and raised garden beds are in the side yard. The attached garage holds two cars.

Taxes: $31,104 (estimated)

Contact: Kevin Swartz, Atria Real Estate, 408-201-3849; atriare.com

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