Bear Valley | $ 1.6 million
Built in 2008, this Norwegian-style chalet has one bedroom and two bathrooms on 0.4 acres of land.
Inspired by a 14th century Norwegian farmer on display in a Scandinavian museum, the current owner built this house using wood from redwood trees in the primeval forest and hired Norwegian craftsmen. I finished the details of the interior. Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, this place attracts skiers looking for powder snow and challenging slopes. Bear Valley is thought to be farther than ski resorts near Lake Tahoe, and many inhabitants travel on snowmobiles in the winter. During the summer, the scenic hiking trails are a big attraction.
The cities in the Bay Area are about three and a half hours away. Sacramento, Nevada and Reno are about two and a half hours drive.
size: 1,350 square feet
Price per square foot: $ 1,185
indoor: The driveway is long and ends with a pedestrian bridge leading to the hand-carved front door.
Just inside is a staircase with hand-carved railings inspired by the stairs of a 17th-century Norwegian church. They lead to the main level with radiantly heated floors, window walls and a sitting area fixed by a fireplace. There are two hand-carved beds in the opposite corner of this room, and there is additional sleeping space in the loft accessible by a ladder. Around the corner there is space for a dining table.
The radiantly heated floor leads to a double-sided refrigerator, a stainless steel sink, and a kitchen with windows overlooking the property.
The entry-level main bedroom incorporates a bed hand-painted with the same floral motifs that decorate doors and ceiling beams. The private bathroom has a hand-painted bathtub.
The second full bathroom is downstairs, next to the maintenance space with the new boiler.
Outdoor space: The builder of the house, a scientist and inventor, worked on the restoration of several Scandinavian labyrinths. There is one replica on the flat part of this parcel. The small patio, which connects to the main building and the stone hut, overlooks the Redwood Forest.
tax: $ 13,920 (estimated)
contact: Joel Barnett, Bear Valley Real Estate, 209-753-2334; Bearvalleyrealestate.com
Malibu | $ 1.59 million
Two-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom townhouse in a 1990 complex
This 21-unit townhouse complex is just off the Pacific Coast Highway and within a 5-minute drive from some of Southern California’s most famous beaches. The gentle waves make Paradise Cove, a family favorite, about 1.6 km (1 mile) away. The hotspot for surfing, Point Dumm, is 3.2 km away.
The top public schools, Malibu Elementary School and Malibu High School, are within a 5-minute drive. As with the San Fernando Valley, Santa Monica is about 30 minutes away.
size: 2,292 square feet
Price per square foot: $ 698
indoor: The front door of this unit leads to a corridor leading to the main living area. The powder room is right next to the entrance.
The sunny living room on the back of the house has two sitting areas. One is secured by a fireplace and the other is in the corner where you can see the lower entrance. There is also a dining table by the window overlooking the neighborhood.
The kitchen is located outside the living room and features a granite counter, gas range, private wine fridge and dishwasher.
From the entrance, another staircase leads to the guest suite with balcony and private bathroom.
The stairs lead to the top floor, where there is an open office that can be converted into a second room. At the end of the corridor is the Primary Suite, which has a fireplace, balcony, Jacuzzi tub and spacious bathroom with separate shower.
Outdoor space: The private courtyard outside the living room has a tiled patio and a stone patio with a bubbling fountain just below. The walls surrounding the courtyard are lined with tall hedges and flowering plants. The unit comes with a garage of two cars and is just a short walk from the communal swimming pool of the complex.
tax: $ 19,992 (estimated) and $ 995 monthly homeowner association fees
contact: Catherine Bindley, Bindley Team, Sotheby’s International Realty — Malibu Brokerage, 310-980-6448; sothebysrealty.com
Auckland | $ 1.595 million
2022 home with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms on 0.2 acres
The house is located on a hillside minutes from the center of the Montclair district, with a boutique wine shop, a shopping center with safeway grocery stores, and a park with tennis and pickleball courts. The Huckleberry Botanical Conservation Area is about a mile away with hiking and cycling trails that showcase an array of plants that bloom all year round.
Berkeley, downtown Oakland, is a 20-minute drive away. It takes about 1 hour to San Jose.
size: 2,500 square feet
Price per square foot: $ 638
indoor: From the street, the outer staircase leads to the main entrance, which leads to the main living space. The large wooden floor extends into a sitting area with a sophisticated fireplace and large windows overlooking the patio. The adjoining dining area has wide windows overlooking the surrounding greenery.
Beyond is a kitchen with a stove, an oversized central island illuminated by three pendant lights, and a stove with glass doors leading to the patio.
All four bedrooms are on the second floor. At the top of the stairs, the main suite has an office corner and a bathroom with a deep soaking tub, open shower and floating vanity. The other three bedrooms are outside the main corridor. They share a bathroom that combines a bathtub and a shower.
The third full bathroom is to the right of the main entry.
Outdoor space: The wooden deck outside the kitchen is large enough for a dining table or barbecue. The top few steps are another sitting area surrounded by mature trees. There are two garages and solar panels on the roof of the house.
tax: $ 24,372 (estimated)
contact: Devin De Amaral, Twin Oaks Real Estate, 707-567-7345; devin.twinoaksre.com