What $3.2 Million Buys You in California

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This home sits on Benedict Canyon Drive, a winding road that leads from the heart of Beverly Hills to Mulholland Drive, considered by most to be the dividing line between Beverly Hills and the San Fernando Valley. Benedict Canyon and the streets right next to it are popular with shoppers looking for privacy and proximity to hiking spots like Franklin Canyon Park and Stone Canyon Reservoir.

This property is less than two miles from Mulholland, which puts it about a 10-minute drive from Sherman Oaks in the valley. It’s about the same driving time in the other direction to the Beverly Hills Hotel and the shops and restaurants of Sunset Boulevard.

Cut: 2,283 square feet

Price per square foot: $1,399

Inside: Behind the gate in the center of the fence facing the street of this house is a large lawn, with a paved path leading to the front door.

Sellers have added wall coverings from Wallshoppe to the foyer. Right next to this space is a powder room. Newly installed oak flooring continues from the entrance hall into a spacious living and dining room with a fireplace, oak built-ins and glazed doors that open onto the backyard and pool area.

Around the corner is a kitchen with soapstone countertops, a farmhouse-style sink, built-in banquette upholstered in pale green fabric, and glass doors that open to an outdoor patio.

To the right of the foyer is the master suite, which has an accent wall upholstered in a gray-toned tropical scene; space for an office in front of diamond-paned windows overlooking the front yard; and a private bathroom with a glass shower and bathtub.

Across the hall are two more bedrooms; they share a full bathroom with a walk-in shower. The attached garage has been converted into guest accommodations with a bedroom and a full bathroom.

Outdoor space: The backyard, accessible from the kitchen and living room, has a swimming pool with tiles to match those in the kitchen. The area around the pool is paved with stone and offers plenty of space for sunbathing. The outdoor dining area next to the kitchen is covered by a pergola. The driveway has room to park two cars.

Taxes: $39,936 (estimated)

Contact: Michael LaMontagna, Alexis LaMontagna and Jade Mills, Hilton & Hyland and Coldwell Banker Realty, 310-280-8080; hiltonhyland.com

This house was one of the town’s bell ringers during the 1976 bicentennial celebration, being awarded a decorative bell to inspire preservation efforts. It is in the Almond Grove neighborhood, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Los Gatos, popular for its proximity to shops and restaurants. Santa Cruz Avenue, a main thoroughfare, is a block away, with a juice store, brewery, wine bar, and restaurants serving a range of ethnic dishes. San José and Cupertino are 15 minutes away by car; Mountain View is about 20 minutes away.

Cut: 2,255 square feet

Price per square foot: $1,418

Inside: A white picket fence lined with flowering jasmine separates the front yard from the street, and steps lead to a covered porch big enough to hold a swing.

Beyond the front door is a living room with high ceilings, recessed lights, a black marble fireplace and a built-in entertainment center. To the left of the front door is a dining room with a door to the porch.

The dining room and living room spill into a bright, glass-encased kitchen with skylights, soapstone countertops, a wall of cabinets, and two ovens built into a center island.

A long hallway between the living room and the kitchen leads to a sunny guest bedroom connected to the master suite by pocket doors, making it a practical nursery. The master bedroom has high ceilings and glass doors that open onto a patio; the adjoining bathroom has a separate bath and shower. Across the hall is another guest bedroom; next to it is a bathroom with a combined bath and shower.

A separate guesthouse functions as a one-bedroom apartment, with a living room, kitchen, and full bathroom with shower.

Outdoor space: A small patio behind the main house can accommodate lounge chairs or a dining table. The nearby gravel area has two flower beds for gardening. Parking is available on the street in front of the house.

Taxes: $39,972 (estimated)

Contact: Greg Simpson, Keller Williams Bay Area Estates, 408-832-2323; gregsimpsonestates.com


This home is in Carmel Highlands, a part of town known for its quiet streets and scenic ocean views. It’s less than five minutes from Malpaso Creek Beach, which sits next to a sprawling piece of land that actor and former town mayor Clint Eastwood sold to the county. Carmel Beach is 15 minutes away, as is downtown, where restaurants and galleries attract a mix of year-round and weekend Bay Area residents. Monterey is 20 minutes away; San Francisco is about two hours away.

Cut: 2,398 square feet

Price per square foot: $1,332

Inside: A long driveway leads from the street to the garage. Behind an adjoining patio is the front door which opens to a kitchen with wood cabinetry and a stainless steel Thermador range. Next to the kitchen is an office with skylights and a wall of windows; a laundry room is at the end of a corridor which extends from the kitchen.

Beyond the kitchen is a dining room with hardwood floors and glass doors that open to a flagstone patio. Across the dining room is the main living area, which has a stone fireplace, window seat and glass doors that open onto another patio, with views of the ocean beyond.

Two en-suite bedrooms are on this level. One, off the dining room, has a private patio with a hot tub; the other, between the dining room and the living room, has a wood-burning fireplace.

Stairs lead from the kitchen hallway to the second level, which is configured as a large master suite. The bedroom has a balcony on one side and a large ocean view terrace on the other; the adjoining bathroom has a combined tub and shower.

Outdoor space: Places to relax outside include several patios, including one with a fire pit. There’s also a wooden deck built for yoga near a grove of mature trees. The attached garage holds two cars.

Taxes: $39,936 (estimated)

Contact: Vilia Kakis Gilles, Sotheby’s International Realty, Carmel Rancho Brokerage, 831-624-1566; sothebysrealty.com

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