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What $900,000 Buys You in California

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This house is in the Valley Glen neighborhood of the San Fernando Valley, about half an hour by car from downtown Los Angeles, on the 101 freeway. The campus of Los Angeles Valley College, a community college that serves about 18,000 full- and part-time students, is two blocks away. The NoHo Arts District, a section of North Hollywood known for its small theaters, vintage boutiques and gastro pubs, is a 10-minute drive, and Ventura Boulevard, the Valley’s main thoroughfare, is about three miles south.

Size: 1,859 square feet

Price per square foot: $484

Indoors: A wide driveway leads from the street to the home’s double front doors. The foyer has hardwood floors, with a powder room to the immediate right. Straight ahead is a living room with white vaulted ceilings, a fireplace with a traditional plaster mantel and two sets of double doors to the back patio.

To the left of the entry is a kitchen updated with quartz counters and stainless steel appliances by the sellers, who bought the house in 2011. The kitchen connects to the dining room, and a wide, arched doorway connects the dining room to the living room.

A hallway off the living room leads to the two bedrooms. The guest room has a window facing the front yard, as well as space for a queen-size bed and a desk. The primary suite, at the end of the hall, has the original brass-and-crystal hardware on the doors and access to the back patio. The recently updated en suite bathroom has a soaking tub, a separate walk-in shower and new wood floors.

Off the dining room is a bathroom with a shower and a new vanity. Several steps beyond is the garage, which the sellers converted into additional living space, with a wall of built-in cabinets and shelves that serves as an entertainment center and sliding barn-style doors that open to the driveway.

Outdoor space: Off the living room and the primary bedroom is a paved patio with space for a barbecue and outdoor furniture. Beyond the patio, the backyard is landscaped in grass, with mature citrus trees along the edge. Two cars can fit comfortably in the driveway.

Taxes: $11,419 (estimated)

Contact: Kevin Tidwell, Rodeo Realty, 310-383-3623; kevintidwell.com

This house is in the Montclair section of Oakland, along the western side of the Oakland Hills. Montclair Village, a shopping district that includes a hardware store, several bakeries and a weekly farmers’ market, is a 10-minute walk (or a three-minute drive). The picnic spots and hiking and walking trails of a number of parks — Shepherd Canyon Park, Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve and Joaquin Miller Park — are a short drive away. Downtown Berkeley is about 20 minutes northwest; downtown Oakland is a 15-minute drive.

Size: 1,152 square feet

Price per square foot: $780

Indoors: A steep driveway leads from the street to the home’s entrance, with its redwood porch. The front door opens into a small foyer, with stairs on the left side leading to the second level and a powder room near the base of the staircase.

Through a wide doorway on the right side of the foyer is the open living space, which has hardwood floors, a wood-burning fireplace and two windows facing the front porch. A dining area faces sliding-glass doors that lead to the rear patio. A breakfast bar with room for three seats separates this space from the kitchen, which has been updated by the sellers. The appliances are stainless steel and the cabinets are white, with a white subway-tile backsplash. Next to the refrigerator is a small laundry nook with a washer and dryer.

Off the upstairs landing, a hallway connects the three bedrooms. Two of the rooms, roughly equal in size, have space for full-size beds and desks. At the back of the house is the primary bedroom, which has a private balcony that could hold a cafe table and chairs. The bathroom is off the main hallway, with a combination tub and shower.

Outdoor space: Sliding-glass doors lead from the main level to the deck, which has a small storage shed and space for a dining table and chairs. A low rock wall separates the deck from a sloped garden planted with succulents. The driveway can accommodate several cars.

Taxes: $10,518 (estimated)

Contact: Jenny Wang, Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty, 510-289-1022; sothebysrealty.com

Built in 1881, this Victorian house is near the heart of downtown San Jose, the largest city in Northern California and the center of Silicon Valley. A complex including the city’s convention center, children’s museum and performing arts center is about a mile and a half northwest, and the Winchester Mystery House, a Victorian-era landmark, is about 10 minutes away by car.

The home has an updated kitchen as well as new HVAC and electrical systems, plus solar power and chargers for two electric cars. Not included in the square footage are a partially finished basement and a tiny house in the backyard.

Size: 1,584 square feet

Price per square foot: $568

Indoors: Steps lead from the sidewalk to the covered porch, which is painted, like the rest of the exterior, in the exuberant colors common to homes of this era.

The front door, inset with leaded glass, opens into a foyer that connects the main living spaces. The sunny living room has original hardwood floors and a bay of street-facing windows. An arched doorway leads from this space to the dining room, which has crown molding and three windows facing the side of the property.

Connected to the dining room is the kitchen, updated by a previous owner. A garden window sits over the sink, and the area is large enough to hold a second dining table. Off the kitchen are a butler’s pantry and a laundry room, each with additional storage space.

A study that could be used as second sitting room is also off the entry, with windows facing the porch and a spiral staircase up to the second level.

Next to the study is the primary bedroom, which can be reached through the dining room. Storage is plentiful: In addition to a deep closet, there is a built-in armoire with drawers. The en suite bathroom, which can also be reached through a door off the kitchen, has a mint-and-black color scheme, with 1930s-inspired tiling and a combination tub and shower.

The second floor functions as a guest suite, with a sitting area at the top of the stairs and French doors leading to a bedroom with space for a queen-size bed. Another room on this level is large enough to hold a full-size bed or a desk. A bathroom off the sitting area has a claw-foot tub and a pedestal vanity.

From the kitchen, stairs lead down to a partially finished basement; half the space serves as storage and the other half contains a family room and a bedroom, plus a bathroom with a stall shower.

Outdoor space: The backyard is landscaped in grass, with a well-tended vegetable garden and several mature trees that offer shade. A stone path, framed by flowering bushes and potted succulents, leads to a tiny house with a bathroom and a small kitchen, plus a loft-style bed. The driveway has space for one car.

Taxes: $10,788 (estimated)

Contact: Meryle Sussman, Intero Real Estate Services, 650-208-3841; 1111salmadenave.com

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