$430,000 Homes in California – The New York Times

The Four Percent


This condo is part of Legacy Villas, a 44-acre complex connected to La Quinta Resort and Club, a popular destination for golfers. The resort’s golf course and several others are within a five-minute drive.

The facilities at the complex include 12 pools, 11 hot tubs, children’s splash pads, walking trails and bicycle paths. Many residents are year-round, while others use their units as vacation homes or rental properties. A nearby shopping center, about 10 minutes away by car, has several grocery stores, including a Trader Joe’s, as well as a Target and a number of casual restaurants.

Size: 1,706 square feet

Price per square foot: $249

Indoors: This is an upper-level unit, with outdoor stairs leading from the sidewalk to the front door.

The foyer opens into a carpeted living room with a fireplace and built-in bookshelves. (The furniture is included in the asking price.) The ceiling is trimmed with dark wood beams that continue into the dining area, where French doors open to a balcony with mountain views.

The dining area is divided from the kitchen by a breakfast bar with a granite countertop. The kitchen has cherry-wood cabinets and a window over the sink that looks out on the mountains.

Off the living room is a hallway connecting the three bedrooms, each with an en suite bathroom. The first bedroom is large enough to hold a full-size bed; the second has a fireplace, a soaking tub in the bathroom, a laundry closet and a wet bar.

At the end of the hall is the main bedroom suite, which has a fireplace, a private balcony and a bathroom with a separate soaking tub and walk-in shower.

Outdoor space: Both balconies are shaded by roof overhangs, with Spanish-tile floors and space for a table and chairs. Two of the complex’s swimming pools are within a three-minute walk. The clubhouse, which includes a fitness center, is less than half a mile away, as is an on-site restaurant. This unit comes with two assigned outdoor parking spaces.

Taxes: $5,440 (estimated), plus a $741 monthly homeowner association fee

Contact: Sheri Dettman, Keller Williams, 760-668-2838; yourresorthome.com

San Rafael, the county seat and largest city in Marin County, is about 40 minutes north of San Francisco, with a population of around 58,000. Much of the area is open space: There are 19 city parks in San Rafael, and China Camp State Park, on the shore of San Pablo Bay, is about 15 minutes by car from this property.

The pink-stucco Marin County Civic Center, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and completed after his death, is also about 15 minutes away. It has appeared in a number of movies, and George Lucas credited it as the inspiration for structures in the “Star Wars” films.

Size: 804 square feet

Price per square foot: $535

Indoors: This unit is at the end of a row of four, with only one wall in common with its neighbor.

To the immediate right of the front door is a galley-style kitchen, to which the owner added an induction stove. The far end of the kitchen is open to a dining space connected to the main living area.

The living room, like the rest of the apartment, has hardwood floors installed by the owner. The windows, which face Marin County’s hilly landscape, have custom blinds and a built-in bench-style seat. There is also a built-in desk that creates a home office nook and sliding-glass doors that open to a balcony.

Grass Valley, a city of about 13,000, is in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. During the California Gold Rush, the Empire Mine and the North Star Mine — both 10 minutes away from the city’s quaint downtown — were among the state’s top-producing mines. Today, they are open to the public.

Lake Tahoe is about 90 minutes east by car; Sacramento is about an hour and 10 minutes southwest. This house is a five-minute drive from Grass Valley’s amenities, including restaurants, several B&Bs and an Art Moderne movie theater.

Size: 1,102 square feet

Price per square foot: $386

Indoors: This house sits on more than a half acre, set back from the street, with several mature trees in the front yard.

The door, bright red with a decorative inset window, opens to the living room. Like the rest of the house, the room was made over during an early 2020 remodel. At the center is a painted brick fireplace, and large windows face the front and side yards.

The living room flows into the dining area, which has an exposed-brick wall painted white. Hardwood floors continue into the kitchen, where the stainless steel appliances sit under quartz countertops and a white-tile backsplash. A sliding-glass door leads from the kitchen to the deck.

A hallway connects the kitchen to a linen closet and a bathroom with walk-in shower that has a frosted-glass door.

To the right of the front door is a bedroom with new carpeting and a closet concealed behind a barn-style door. Next door is a second bedroom, roughly equal in size, with a backyard-facing window. At the end of the corridor connecting the bedrooms is a bathroom with a black-and-white-patterned linoleum floor. The vanity, also new, has a marble top.

Outdoor space: Off the kitchen is a wood deck with space for outdoor dining. Steps lead to a guest cottage with a full bathroom. A second deck, with more room for lounging, connects the cottage to a garden shed. The detached garage has space for two cars.

Taxes: $5,015 (estimated)

Contact: Betsy Hamilton, Re/Max Gold, 530-263-9044; remax.com

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