What $26 Million Buys You in California

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A modernist hillside retreat in Topanga, a French country-style home in Santa Barbara and a renovated 1929 house in Pacific Grove.

The New York Times | Real Estate

Topanga | $2.6 Million

A modern house built in 1984, with four bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms, on a 1.5-acre lot

This house was designed to bring the rugged canyon landscape of Topanga indoors, with floor-to-ceiling windows in nearly every room. The seller, who bought it in 2018, gave it a makeover inspired by the Northern California community of Sea Ranch, cladding the exterior in naturally fire-resistant Kayu wood and adding radiata-pine floors to the interior spaces.

The property is about a five-minute drive from several of Topanga Canyon’s main gathering spots, including the restaurant Inn of the Seventh Ray and Topanga Creek General Store. Malibu is about 15 minutes away by car, as are the shopping centers of Woodland Hills.

Size: 2,827 square feet

Price per square foot: $920

Indoors: A steep driveway leads from the road to the front door, which opens into a bright eating and living area.

The kitchen, like the rest of the house, has pine floors and matching walls, with integrated appliances, including the refrigerator, concealed by wood paneling. An adjacent half bathroom has a white enamel sink. Beyond the kitchen is a living room with high ceilings, a cast-iron stove, clerestory windows and sliding-glass doors out to the deck.

One flight down a wood-lined staircase are three bedrooms, including a primary bedroom large enough to hold a queen-size bed and a desk, with an en suite bathroom that is entirely lined in white tile and has a large window overlooking the hillside. The two guest rooms share a bathroom with a walk-in shower.

The staircase continues down to the lowest level, where an open family room with a balcony could serve as a fourth bedroom. A full bathroom and a laundry room are off to one side.

Outdoor space: There are two balconies off the main level of the house, both with brick floors. One, reached through sliding-glass doors off the kitchen, has space for a dining table; the other, off the living room, offers sweeping views of the canyon landscape. A smaller balcony on the lowest level also has canyon views. The attached garage holds two cars.

Taxes: $33,024 (estimated)

Contact: Kerry Ann Sullivan, Halton Pardee and Partners, 310-621-2662; haltonpardee.com

Santa Barbara | $2,599,999

A 1933 French country-style house with four bedrooms and three bathrooms, on a 0.16-acre lot

This home was restored to its original French country design by the current owners, who installed a number of vintage and antique elements, including the circa-1880 Parisian mantel in the living room. The property is in the Upper East neighborhood of Santa Barbara, close to the Old Mission Santa Barbara and its rose garden. The beach is a 15-minute drive, as is the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Size: 2,435 square feet

Price per square foot: $1,068

Indoors: The discreet front entrance to this property is reached by following stone steps up from the sidewalk, passing through a gate and along a path in a landscaped courtyard.

The living room, at the front of the house, has a fireplace framed by the antique marble mantel shipped from Paris; the original wood floors have been refinished. Through this space is a dining room lined with windows and papered with a dark floral wallcovering; an Art Deco-style chandelier hangs over the table.

Just off the dining room is the primary bedroom, which has built-in shelving and enough space for a king-size bed. The en suite bathroom has a chevron-patterned tile floor and a double vanity topped with Carrara marble.

The large kitchen, opposite the front door, has more Carrara marble, on the counters and the custom cabinets. It also has a fireplace and a butler’s pantry with a door to the backyard.

A hallway off the living room connects the three additional bedrooms. The first, which has access to the backyard, is currently used as a home office. Directly across the hall is a bedroom with an en suite bathroom. At the end of the hall is the third bedroom, with a bathroom next door that has a porcelain soaking tub.

Outdoor space: Most of the outdoor space is paved in stone, and the backyard has ample space for dining and entertaining, with an original stone grill. The landscaping takes inspiration from the native plants of the Mediterranean, with lavender bushes and olive trees framing the patio. The attached garage has space for two cars.

Taxes: $30,156 (estimated)

Contact: Lucas Martinez, Compass, 978-505-9125; compass.com

Pacific Grove | $2.575 Million

A renovated 1929 house with three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms, on a 0.5-acre lot

This house is in the Asilomar section of Pacific Grove, named after the state beach and trail that draws surfers and hikers to the area. Half a mile away is the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary, a pine, cypress, eucalyptus grove that is home to thousands of migratory butterflies from fall through early spring. Point Pinos Lighthouse, which dates to the 1850s, is about five minutes away, as are a public park and a community garden. The heart of Monterey is a 10-minute drive, and Pebble Beach and Carmel-by-the-Sea are about 15 minutes away.

Size: 2,221 square feet

Price per square foot: $1,159

Indoors: The home’s entry is set off by a stone path that leads through the front yard. Up a set of wooden stairs is a frosted-glass front door that opens to the main living area, which has radiant-heated, polished-concrete floors.

To the right of the entry is a sitting area centered around a fireplace. To the left is an open kitchen with new stainless steel appliances, a dining area with a banquette and glass double doors out to a rear patio.

An office nook is tucked between backyard-facing windows, and a half bathroom is off one side of the room.

A short hallway leads to a staircase that connects the bedrooms to the living area. A few steps down is the primary suite, which has knotty-pine floors and glass doors out to the backyard; the en suite bathroom has a polished-concrete shower, a basin-style soaking tub and a double vanity with a blue-tile backsplash.

Upstairs, there are two bedrooms and a bathroom off a small landing. The bedrooms have more knotty-pine floors and access to a wood deck with space for a cafe table and chairs. The bathroom has a combination tub and shower, with windows overlooking the backyard.

Outdoor space: Directly behind the house is a paved patio. From there, a paved footpath winds through the backyard. There is plenty of flat space to hold play equipment, and at the center of the yard is a stone firepit. Mature trees surround the property, offering privacy, and the detached garage holds two cars, with additional storage space.

Taxes: $28,068 (estimated)

Contact: Arleen Hardenstein, Sotheby’s International Realty, 831-372-7700; sothebysrealty.com

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