Here’s what $ 3.3 million buys you in California

The Palos Verdes Peninsula in the southwestern part of Los Angeles County is known for its panoramic ocean views and quiet, family-friendly neighborhoods. This house is in Palos Verdes Estates, a town whose master plan was completed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. in the early 1920s. A few blocks away is the coastal reserve of Palos Verdes Estates, a Cliffside park with hiking trails and views of the Santa Monica bay and coastline. The Palos Verdes High School, a well-ranked public school, is also within walking distance.

Los Angeles International Airport is about a half-hour drive; driving to downtown Long Beach takes about the same time.

Cut: 2,871 square feet

Price per square foot: $ 1,149

Inside: From the street, a path crosses the front yard to a paved porch large enough to hold a few chairs.

The wooden door opens into a vestibule. Turning right leads into a sunken living room with new hardwood floors and windows and a stone framed fireplace. Right next to this room is a small bonus space with another fireplace, framed in bricks.

To the left of the fireplace is a spacious dining room which also has new hardwood floors as do most of the main living areas. Beyond is a dining area nestled in a picture window; a few steps further is an updated kitchen with new stainless steel appliances, a farmhouse sink, a marble-topped center island, and glass doors leading out to a patio.

From the kitchen, a hallway extends to the master suite, where a barn-style door opens onto a bathroom with a tub and glass-enclosed shower. Closer to the kitchen, along the hallway, is a tiled utility room.

A second hallway, running along the foyer staircase, is bordered by fitted wardrobes. It leads to a guest bedroom with windows looking out to the side of the property; a full bathroom with a porcelain pedestal sink is next door.

On the second level there are two more bedrooms and a full bathroom. One of the bedrooms has a fireplace and both have windows facing the ocean.

Outdoor space: From the back deck, next to the kitchen, steps lead up to a lush back yard with a garden and mature trees. A private putting green is located on one side of the yard. The detached two-car garage includes a second level with an open space and a full bathroom, which can be used as a guest accommodation or as a home office.

Taxes: $ 41,916 (estimated)

Contact: Gary Kooba, Vista Sotheby’s International Realty, 310-722-2007;

In the towns that dot the Orange County coastline, proximity to the beach is appreciated, and in that regard, this Laguna Beach home shines – it’s within a mile of Shaw’s Cove and Fisherman’s Cove, where the calm water attracts a mix of families and avid swimmers. The property is a few blocks north of the Pacific Coast Highway, Laguna Beach’s main thoroughfare, so it’s also within walking distance of art galleries and casual dining.

The neighboring towns of Newport Beach and Huntington Beach are less than half an hour away. The main campus of the University of California, Irvine, is about a 15-minute drive.

Cut: 2,524 square feet

Price per square foot: $ 1,305

Inside: This house has a low front door, framed by palm trees, separating the sidewalk from the lawn. The covered porch has room for a bench.

Beyond the front door is the hall with high ceilings. To the left is a formal living room with a fireplace; to the right is a formal dining room.

A pantry connects the dining area to the kitchen, which was updated in 2020 with new Thermador appliances and stone countertops. The kitchen is open to a family room with sliding glass doors that lead to a side patio.

Behind the family room is a bedroom, currently used as a home office, and a bathroom with a tiled shower. Across the hall is a utility room with hardwood floors.

From the living room, a carpeted staircase with a wooden banister leads up to the second floor, which is also carpeted. Immediately to the right is the master bedroom, which has vaulted ceilings and a large private balcony facing the street. The adjoining bathroom has a double sink topped with marble, a dressing room and a built-in storage bench under a window.

Across the hall are two bedrooms of approximately the same size; each has a closet with mirror and its own bathroom (one with a shower and the other with a combined bath and shower). They share access to a balcony that spans the entire house.

Outdoor space: From the family room, floor-to-ceiling glass doors transform the side patio into an extension of the living space. The patio has wood floors and is large enough to accommodate a dining table. The balcony of the master suite and the one shared by the two upstairs bedrooms have room for lounge chairs; the second balcony is large enough to contain additional furniture. The adjoining garage has two parking spaces.

Taxes: $ 39,216 (estimated)

Contact: Amy Calvert and Tim Smith, Smith Group, Coldwell Banker Realty, 949-981-9047;

This house had only one owner, a family doctor who worked on the design with an architect after falling in love with Mill Valley in the 1970s. The intention was to showcase the natural surroundings, this resulted in many windows looking directly onto the trees, as well as the use of materials such as redwood, oak and Douglas fir. There are three fireplaces, custom designed by the owner, with antique mantels and trim.

The heart of Mill Valley is just over a mile, five minutes on foot or 30 minutes by car. The hiking trails of Muir Woods National Monument are nearby, and San Francisco is about a 45-minute drive.

Cut: 3,875 square feet

Price per square foot: $ 839

Inside: This house is at the end of a street and its long driveway winds past the garage, with brick steps and a patio leading to the front door.

Straight past the foyer is a living room with vaulted wooden ceilings, floor-to-ceiling redwood beams, and a fireplace framed by an 18th-century marble mantel imported from France.

Next to the living room is a dining room overlooking the deck. Across from the dining room is a kitchen with a commercial grade stove and a breakfast nook in a corner with windows looking out to the forest.

On the other side of this floor, next to the front door, is an office and a powder room. Further back is the master suite: in the bedroom is a fireplace framed with antique tiles and a carved wooden mantel; the bathroom has a double sink and plenty of storage space.

Two sets of stairs connect this floor to the other levels: above the main living room is a mezzanine sitting area with an interior balcony which opens onto the main suite; on the lower floor are three guest bedrooms (one with a fireplace) which share a bathroom with shower, as well as a bonus bedroom.

Adjoining the main house, but with a separate entrance, is a guest suite with a full bathroom and kitchenette.

Outdoor space: The main deck, next to the dining room and kitchen, is large enough for separate areas for dining and relaxing, and is connected to a brick patio which provides additional space for entertaining. A path from the patio leads to the driveway and the garage, which contains three cars.

Taxes: $ 49,404 (estimated)

Contact: Jonathan Marks, Compass, 415-307-0505;

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