A “boathouse” retreat in the hills of Los Angeles, a ranch house in Solvang and a 1964 home in Foster City.

  1. Todd Goodman, LA Light

  2. Todd Goodman, LA Light

  3. Todd Goodman, LA Light

  4. Todd Goodman, LA Light

  5. Todd Goodman, LA Light

  6. Todd Goodman, LA Light

  7. Todd Goodman, LA Light

  8. Todd Goodman, LA Light

This house in the hills above the Cahuenga Pass is one of the Boathouses, a group of homes built on small, steep lots. The architect, Harry Gesner, worked with Norwegian boatbuilders to create them, using glass walls and open floor plans to maximize space and natural light.

The property is less than 10 minutes from the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park and CityWalk, an outdoor shopping and dining center, in Universal City. Driving to Studio City or Hollywood takes about 15 minutes. Downtown Los Angeles is about 20 minutes away.

Size: 1,136 square feet

Price per square foot: $1,452

Indoors: The bright orange front door, framed by the carport, opens into the main living area, which has high ceilings; room for separate sitting and dining areas; a wood-burning Malm stove with a raised hearth; floor-to-ceiling windows; and glass doors that open to a deck with expansive hillside views.

Behind this space is a galley kitchen with stainless steel appliances, including a gas stove and a double oven built into the wall. A raised platform off the kitchen is big enough for a home-office setup or a workout area.

Both bedrooms are on the lower level, reached from stairs at the center of the house. The primary bedroom has a built-in bed, beamed ceilings and a slanted wall of glass looking out into the trees. The other bedroom is big enough to hold a queen-size bed. The full bathroom, also on this level, has a floating wood vanity and a shower with a glass door.

Outdoor space: The deck off the living room, which is big enough to hold chairs and a small table, is partially covered by a roof overhang and has a view of the Hollywood sign in the distance. The carport has one parking space and an electric vehicle charger.

Taxes: $20,628 (estimated)

Contact: Levon Arzumanyan, The Agency, 213-414-8088; theagencyre.com


  1. Zach Brown, Atlas Imagery for Sotheby’s International Realty

  2. Zach Brown, Atlas Imagery for Sotheby’s International Realty

  3. Zach Brown, Atlas Imagery for Sotheby’s International Realty

  4. Zach Brown, Atlas Imagery for Sotheby’s International Realty

  5. Zach Brown, Atlas Imagery for Sotheby’s International Realty

  6. Zach Brown, Atlas Imagery for Sotheby’s International Realty

  7. Zach Brown, Atlas Imagery for Sotheby’s International Realty

  8. Zach Brown, Atlas Imagery for Sotheby’s International Realty

  9. Zach Brown, Atlas Imagery for Sotheby’s International Realty

  10. Zach Brown, Atlas Imagery for Sotheby’s International Realty

  11. Zach Brown, Atlas Imagery for Sotheby’s International Realty

  12. Zach Brown, Atlas Imagery for Sotheby’s International Realty

This house is Alisal Ranch, a gated community with a clubhouse, tennis courts and a golf course. It is less than 10 minutes from the center of Solvang, a small city known for its Old World Danish-style architecture and windmills, as well as restaurants and wine-tasting rooms.

More dining options and wineries are in Santa Ynez, about 20 minutes away. Driving to Santa Barbara or San Luis Obispo takes an hour or so. Los Angeles is less than three hours away.

Size: 2,455 square feet

Price per square foot: $690

Indoors: A long paved path leads from the street across the front lawn, terminating in double doors sheltered by a roof overhand.

The front doors open into the main living area, which has hardwood floors; high, beamed ceilings; a fireplace with a simple wood mantel; and sliding-glass doors that open to the backyard. The dining area beyond has a wrought-iron chandelier and more sliding-glass doors.

This space connects to a spacious kitchen with white cabinetry; an orange tile backsplash; stainless steel appliances, including an electric cooktop built into the center island; and a breakfast area with sliding-glass doors that open to the backyard.

Off the kitchen is a den with a fireplace and a built-in entertainment center.

The two bedrooms occupy separate wings. The primary suite, off a hallway extending from the living room, has a dark gray accent wall, two large closets and a bathroom with a separate shower and soaking tub, as well as sliding-glass doors that open to an interior courtyard. The other bedroom, on the opposite side of the house, has a street-facing window and the use of the bathroom next door, which has a combined tub and shower.

Outdoor space: The spacious back patio has separate areas for dining and entertaining around a fire pit. The backyard is landscaped with grass and mature trees. The attached garage holds three cars.

Taxes: $21,192 (estimated); the house is also on leased land, adding a fee of $21,870 per year (this can be paid quarterly), which is fixed until 2033.

Contact: Patricia Castillo, Sotheby’s International Realty, Santa Ynez Valley Brokerage, 805-570-6593; sothebysrealty.com


  1. Courtesy of Rumana Jabeen

  2. Courtesy of Rumana Jabeen

  3. Courtesy of Rumana Jabeen

  4. Courtesy of Rumana Jabeen

  5. Courtesy of Rumana Jabeen

  6. Courtesy of Rumana Jabeen

  7. Courtesy of Rumana Jabeen

  8. Courtesy of Rumana Jabeen

  9. Courtesy of Rumana Jabeen

  10. Courtesy of Rumana Jabeen

  11. Courtesy of Rumana Jabeen

Foster City, a planned community about half an hour from San Francisco, was built in the 1960s. Most of the homes are within walking distance of at least one park; this one is less than half a mile from Erckenbrack Park, which has a small beach on Central Lake, and about a five-minute drive from Leo J. Ryan Park, a larger park on the same body of water, with a boat launch and walking paths.

The property is about a mile from a Safeway and a Costco. Driving to Menlo Park, Palo Alto or Cupertino takes about half an hour, putting it within easy commuting distance of major tech campuses. San Jose is about 45 minutes away.

Size: 1,570 square feet

Price per square foot: $1,067

Indoors: A brick-and-concrete path runs parallel to the concrete driveway, bisecting the front yard, which is landscaped with hedges and colorful flowers.

At the end of the path, sheltered by a roof overhang, is the front door, which opens directly into a living-and-dining space with high, beamed ceilings, new vinyl-plank floors, glass walls and expansive sliding-glass doors.

Beyond this space is an open kitchen and family room, combined during a recent renovation, with more glass walls and sliding-glass doors. The kitchen has new quartz countertops and stainless steel appliances; the family room has an original fireplace with a white-painted brick chimney.

The primary bedroom, off the family room, has carpeted floors, a backyard-facing glass wall and a door to the backyard. The en suite bathroom has a walk-in shower and a vanity with a Carrara marble counter.

The other two bedrooms are off a short hall extending from the dining room. They share a bathroom off the hallway with a combined tub and shower.

Outdoor space: The patio behind the house has plenty of space for a grill and a dining table. The backyard is enclosed by a wood fence and landscaped with grass and fruit-bearing trees. The attached garage has one parking spot; there is room to park another car in the driveway.

Taxes: $20,940 (estimated)

Contact: Rumana Jabeen, Keller Williams, 650-743-4503; rumanajabeen.com

For weekly email updates on residential real estate news, sign up here.

This post was originally published on this site