A remodeled midcentury modern home in Berkeley, CA, has quickly sold for $4.37 million.
It first came on the market in early October 2020 for $4.35 million, but the sellers trimmed the price to $4,295,000 later in the month. Two months after that, the home wound up selling for over asking price, at $4.37 million. The property was one of the most expensive listings in the college town.
The residence stood out in other ways, which inspired a buyer to move in with a higher offer.
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The sparkling renovation by the sellers updated the 53-year-old home for the needs of the 21st century. The sellers picked up the home in 2015 for $2.45 million. It was designed in 1967 by Gerald McCue, then chairman of the University of California Berkeley’s Architecture School, who went on to become dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.
McCue built the residence for himself and his family. Over a half-century later, the home underwent another update to reflect the needs of a new family.
While retaining the spirit of the original design, the interiors were done anew. The loftlike living space measures 3,844 square feet and offers four bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms.
The open layout features walls of glass and a living and dining space that extends to a deck outdoors. The eat-in kitchen features clerestory windows, modern appliances, white counters, and contrasting blue cabinets.
Highlights include 13-foot ceilings and giant windows in every room, which offer San Francisco Bay views as well as an enviable indoor-outdoor flow.
Although the home features an open plan, it also offers a useful separation of space, with two offices and additional living areas that allow for a family or media room, an exercise room, and guest or children’s bedrooms.
Outdoors, the grounds in the Berkeley hills, on a flat lot in a woodland setting, feature “serene yet practical landscaping,” a garden, and living and dining space.
The “rare find” is also near North Berkeley gourmet shops and restaurants, and not far from the UC Berkeley campus.
Ann Arriola Plant and Lynn Signorelli of Red Oak Realty represented the seller. Elizabeth Behrens with the Grubb Co. represented the buyer.
For more photos and details, check out the full listing.
After years of admiring the home’s charming exterior, the owner made it her own.
When Rebecca Long Pyper fell in love with the charming Tudor on a quiet street in Idaho Falls, ID, she wasn’t in the market to buy a home — in fact, she was barely old enough to drive.
As a high school student, she’d pass by the storybook home with gingerbread trim and tell her friends how much she adored it.
“I always thought it was darling,” she says. “This is a love affair that goes back 20 years.”
Although Pyper left her hometown with no plans to return, fate eventually led her back to Idaho Falls in 2012 — just as her childhood dream home went up for sale. She and her husband, Lonnie, made an offer.
The couple soon discovered their new home had been occupied by at least 15 different owners since 1936.
“I felt like our home was a throwaway home,” she says. “Never a treasured home.” But that was about to change.
Pyper and her husband lovingly restored their home to its former glory — and then some. Throughout the house, they salvaged the original doors, hardwood floors and trim. They bumped the kitchen walls out 6 feet, but kept the windows the same size to welcome the sunshine in.
The couple considered both the home’s past and its future when restoring the hardwood floors. To keep the care low-maintenance, they opted to skip the staining and just sand the old red oak and fir floors by hand. And to preserve the history, they took their time with the job — it was an 80-hour labor of love.
Pyper wanted the home to feel like a preppy cottage steeped in history and charm, so she filled its cozy rooms with bright patterns and bold colors, like the olive green walls and trim in the master bedroom. Every detail represents a thoughtful design decision intended to bring out the home’s unique qualities.
Although years have passed since Pyper first fell for her home, it’s a love affair that’s only gotten better with time. And it doesn’t show any signs of waning with the next generation.
“I think the thing I like the very best is our house has a soul, and I think my kids can feel that,” Pyper says. “They are proud we saved a historic house … They love to share the story, too.”
There’s something soothing about looking at things that have withstood the test of time. Perhaps that’s why our regular peeks at the oldest homes on the market are so darn popular.
The 10 oldest homes available for sale this week date all the way to the establishment of the 13 ragtag Colonies. Each represents a long-standing commitment to the stories they have to tell and to all the people who took care of these homes through the years.
The list is topped by an estate on Martha’s Vineyard, MA, that was established in 1688. The James Allen House sits right next to Chilmark Pond and the Atlantic Ocean beyond.
The “newest” listing to crack the list was completed in 1760 and once served as a stagecoach stop. Today, it’s a lovingly updated family home with a living room where the tavern used to be.
Have a look at this week’s 10 oldest homes—we think they’ll serve as a refreshing antidote to today’s world.
Price: $4,195,000 Year built: 1688 James Allen House: Spread over 6 acres, this waterfront estate includes a private Atlantic Ocean beach and deeded access to a dock on Chilmark Pond. The listing notes that generations of the same family have lived in and loved this Martha’s Vineyard retreat.
The grounds are landscaped with stone walls, fields, lawns, and walking paths. Buildings on the property include a two-bedroom guest cottage, a one-bedroom bunkhouse, garage, and garden shed.
The three-bedroom main house has a number of fireplaces and is surrounded by lovely views of the water.
Price: $579,900 Year built: 1727 Antique Colonial: Updated and well-maintained, this three-bedroom historic home sits on more than an acre at the end of a quiet dead-end street.
Highlights include a four-season room, a large dining room space with water views of Mill Pond, and a family room with beamed ceiling, plus a pellet stove. There’s also a basement, as well as a freshly renovated kitchen and bathrooms.
Price: $1,550,000 Year built: 1734 All-inclusive estate: Enormous by every conceivable definition, this estate of over 31 acres is only 40 minutes from downtown Philadelphia. The main house is a six-bedroom stone farmhouse dating to the Colonial era.
The spread includes the main home, a guest home, and a barn converted into a contemporary office building. The eclectic offering also has such amenities as an in-ground pool, a tennis court, paths, natural pond, motocross race course, and a field of solar panels.
Price: $925,000 Year built: 1739 Westwood Manor: This landmark home sits on a hill, surrounded by views and 30 acres of crop land.
The three-bedroom main house is one of only two known brick 18th-century gambrel roof structures still standing in Charles County. The home has retained many of its original details, including wood floors, molding, and two staircases.
Price: $549,900 Year built: 1745 Lemon Hill Farm: Behold this four-bedroom Bucks County retreat, recently updated with a new kitchen and bathroom.
Only the second home to be built in the original village, it’s brimming with antique details, like the pie stairs, millwork, wide-plank hardwood floors and built-ins. The 2.5-acre spread includes a carriage house that has been converted into a garage with a loft.
Price: $895,000 Year built: 1746 Deacon Timothy Pratt House: A local landmark, this five-bedroom, center-chimney Colonial was recently renovated. It features a “treetop” third-floor bedroom suite with cathedral ceiling, exposed beams, sitting area, and private bath.
The half-acre property is listed on the National Historic Register and could be used as a bed-and-breakfast, according to the listing.
Price: $400,000 Year built: 1740 Commercial potential: The seller is looking for someone to make an offer on this historic three-bedroom home, which is zoned for potential commercial use.
The owner is currently expanding the home to create two more bedrooms, and has a written history of the place ready to pass on to a buyer.
The 4-acre spread may need some work, but appears to have investment potential, plus plenty of historical value.
Price: $998,000 Year built: 1752 Doremus House: This old home needs your finishing touches. According to the listing, the interior of this historic four-bedroom has been demolished and is ready for a new owner to finish the renovation of this classic property.
On more than 4 acres, it’s ready to be transformed into something special, and, for a development-minded buyer, the property has the potential to be subdivided.
Price: $849,900 Year built: 1760 Charles Russell House: This quaint, 4-acre property is bordered by stone walls and lilacs. The five-bedroom main house has wide pine floors, a walk-in pantry, and a sunroom overlooking the backyard.
The oversized attached barn has basement storage, plus a two-bedroom apartment with an updated kitchen and separate utilities.
Price: $445,000 Year built: 1760 Steere-Harris House: Restored throughout, this antique four-bedroom Colonial offers a spacious 2,922 square feet of living area.
It was once a stagecoach stop, and the family room once served as the tavern. There’s also an outbuilding formerly used as a wash house, as well as a post-and-beam barn being used as a workshop.
For buyers interested in growing their own produce, the listing notes that the fenced-in vegetable garden has incredibly rich soil.
“The scene: An Italianate villa in a once-fashionable section of Los Angeles. Its halls—once crowded with the bright, the beautiful, the celebrated. A window barred against the world…”
That’s how this iconic home in Hancock Park was described in the trailer for “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” starring the film legends Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.
The classic L.A. residence was built in 1928 and played a crucial role in the 1962 film. It was where the aging Hudson sisters lived, loved, and fought.
It’s been spruced up considerably since its cinematic turn and is currently on the market for the first time in 50 years. The asking price for this slice of silver screen history is $3,795,000.
The home offers five bedrooms and five bathrooms on 4,778 square feet of living space.
In addition, the quarter-acre lot features a saltwater pool and a detached two-story guesthouse with a cabana, as well as a full bathroom and sauna downstairs. Upstairs is a studio apartment with a kitchen, bathroom, and fireplace.
Most importantly, there are no traces of the dark, dreary interiors that gave the film its creepy vibe.
The classic black wrought-iron staircase railings do still exist, but they’ve been painted a cheery white. Most of the walls are also white and bear no evidence of the sad, patterned wallpaper seen in the movie.
A large kitchen is also stark white and features gray-toned granite countertops, stainless-steel appliances, and a bay window that looks out onto a colorful bougainvillea.
Above that bougainvillea might be the tell-tale window through which the young neighbor caught glimpses of an imprisoned Joan Crawford.
But even with all the changes to the interior, the front view remains the same.
And here’s a reason for that. The home sits in a historical zone, where changes to the facades of homes aren’t permitted.
However, fresh paint and classic landscaping have worked wonders. The arched entryway, red tile roof, and symmetrical windows are as elegant as ever.
The classic psychological thriller tells the story of two sisters, both former child actresses, one of whom is planning a comeback and has evil designs on the other.
Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, also in the twilight of their careers, starred along with Victor Buono.
Davis created her own makeup for her role as Baby Jane Hudson and was nominated for an Academy Award. The film received a total of five Oscar noms, and won one for Best Costume Design—Black-and-White. A tale based on the story behind the film’s conception was told in the 2017 series “Feud: Bette and Joan.”
A house in Idaho that looks as if it belongs on the cover of a book of fairy-tales is on the market for $8.95 million.
“I named it Storybook Mountain Estate because it is just right out of a storybook—fashioned after storybook type of architecture,” says the listing agent, Cindy Bond.
She tells the tale of how the owner sat down with her and brought out five small toy houses that looked like Christmas ornaments and placed them on a table in front of her.
“He put his hand out,” she says, “and said, ‘This was my inspiration. This is what I wanted to create and wanted to bring to life.’”
Five buildings are on the 30-acre compound on Gold Coin Lane in Sagle, ID, on the banks of Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho’s largest lake. They’re perched about 150 feet above the lake, with views of the Green Monarch Mountains and the lake from almost every angle.
“When you look at those views, you could be somewhere in Europe out looking over the ocean,” Bond says. “That’s actually one of the most fascinating things about Lake Pend Oreille: It’s such a large body of water that you’re sure you’re on the ocean. They’re just beautiful and magnificent.”
The land has about 800 feet of lakeshore, and a winding path leads down from the main house down to the waterfront.
“Once you’re down there, it’s just ultimate privacy. It’s kind of a small pebble beach. It’s pretty pristine,” Bond says.
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The five buildings include eight bedrooms, on a total square footage of 9,342 square feet. The project took 15 years to complete.
The main house is a storybook dream, with its turrets, stone, and archways.
Imported red clay tile floors run throughout the home, which has cozy nooks as well as large rooms perfect for entertaining.
The kitchen is built to take advantage of the views, and it features Thermador and Miele appliances, as well as a storage pantry and prep kitchen. The large, curved island and the countertops are granite.
A spiral staircase was built using quarter-sawn white oak and mahogany and connects the home’s three stories.
An iron spiral staircase connects the third and fourth floors and leads to a round room on top of a turret known as the Turret Aerie. For those who don’t want to climb the spiral stairs, an elevator connects all four floors of the home.
The master bedroom suite takes up more than half of the second floor, and includes a reading room, bathroom, closet, dressing room, and laundry room.
The lowest level has another kitchen, a home theater, a game room, and another bedroom.
In addition to the main home, the property includes four other structures: a two-bedroom gatehouse, a carriage house with one bedroom for guests, a one-bedroom boilerhouse carved into the mountainside, and the charming Dean Mine Cabin. That quaint, gabled structure has a water tower, water wheel, and gazebo.
The luxe property combines old-school style and modern conveniences.
“One of the accomplishments that the sellers were so proud of is creating something that was a perfect blend of modern quality but enchanting and kind of historic-looking,” Bond says. “It’s their fantasy that they created and made real.”
Although the property is extremely private and is adjacent to national forestland, it’s only 25 minutes from the town of Sandpoint, ID.
“What really draws people here is it’s a real town, not a tourist town—although it’s got tourist amenities,” Bond says.
She adds that the population in this area is sparser than in the adjacent Kootenai County, where you’ll find Lake Coeur d’Alene.
The house is accessible year-round, and Bond says he feels the perfect buyer would be someone who appreciates refined finishes and a magical setting.
“I don’t see someone living here with young children, because of the high cliff setting,” he says. “It’s going to be someone with an artful eye, who wants that pristine view and privacy, but still be connected when they want to be.”
For more photos and details, check out the full listing.
If you wanted to, you could drive straight through this home’s living room. But it’s too pretty for that …
Like many married couples, the Clarks have a lot in common: a last name, a first name (they’re both Kelly) and an affinity for wide-open spaces — which inspired them to build a 10,000-square-foot barn-style home on 30 acres of land in West Monroe, Louisiana.
But let’s back up. Kelly Clark (that’s him) and Kelly Moore-Clark (that’s her) wanted a change of scenery for their family. So when a friend put some land up for sale, they decided to make a move.
“We pretty much bought the property sight unseen because you couldn’t walk through it,” Moore-Clark says, referring to the thicket of overgrown trees and plants that carpeted the ground. “We bought the land and then crossed our fingers that, when we cleared it, we would find a spot to build the home.”
Spoiler alert: They found that spot. The perfect location sat at the back of the property on a hilltop, far from the main road.
They immediately began working with a team of designers to create a plan for their space. The blueprints were beautiful, but something didn’t feel quite right.
“We just couldn’t pull the trigger on it. … It was just a gut feeling,” Moore-Clark says. “I [felt] like whatever [was] supposed to be out here [was] supposed to be special.”
Then, Moore-Clark’s mother had an idea: Why not build a home that looked like a barn?
“I remember [my mom] specifically saying, ‘You could roll the doors up and drive through the house,’” Moore-Clark says.
And that’s when it all clicked. With the help of Moore-Clark’s father, a former army draftsman, they made a new plan, hired a team of subcontractors and watched their home begin to take shape.
“It was a very organic [building] process,” Moore-Clark says. “As the framers started framing it up, we would come into the room, and I would try to envision what our life [would look] like.”
Moore-Clark doesn’t have to use her imagination anymore. Today the couple, their three daughters, a dog, an old pony and 80 free-range chickens roam about the 10,000-square-foot home. And although they spend most of their time in a small fraction of the space, there’s plenty of room to grow. Three main areas, to be exact.
At approximately 2,250 square feet, the east side of the home is where you can usually find the family. This area includes the bedrooms, the living room/kitchen area and the bathroom.
Speaking of that bathroom: “I wanted it to be like a little greenhouse,” Moore-Clark says. Her vision for the bathroom predates the actual bathroom itself — she bought the tub before they started building.
Even though there’s room for dozens of bedrooms, the girls share one room, complete with custom-designed bunk beds.
And then there’s the breezeway. This is the second section of the home, and it’s around 2,000 square feet. The breezeway is an indoor porch area with roll-up doors and plenty of living space.
“Lots of playing happens in the breezeway,” Moore-Clark says. “[The girls] ride their bikes through it, put on musical events with their friends — ballets, plays, lots of things.”
Finally, there’s the west side, which contains an office space, a home gym, a shop, and a guest bedroom and bathroom.
“When people stay … they really have their own space,” Moore-Clark says. “You don’t even hear each other. It’s good for a little retreat.”
The home is good for a lot of activities that fall outside the ordinary — it’s hosted live music recordings, floral workshops and even a Christmas Eve church service.
So what compelled Clark and Moore-Clark to create a space so vast and so intimate at the same time? They’re not really sure. Yet.
“We feel like, one day, it’s going to be used for something interesting. … [It’s] a gut feeling.” Moore-Clark says. “We don’t know exactly why we built this place the way it is. But we knew it was right.”
If we were prone to groaners, we’d say it will be a moving experience when Bel-Air’s lavish Bekins house sells.
Originally built in 1934 for Floyd R. Bekins—an heir to the Bekins Van and Storage Co. fortune—the mansion has changed hands a number of times over the decades. It’s now on the market for a hefty $42.5 million.
The estate was originally designed by Oakland architect Claude B. Barton, who blended Georgian and Colonial Revival styles with the tall roofs of the French Norman style. The result is eclectic yet classic, and marked by elegant simplicity on the exterior.
The mansion has been updated throughout the years. Many of its intriguing period features remain, including ornate plaster moldings, wrought-iron doors, parquet floors, and wood paneling.
However, it’s also been renovated for 21st century life, with features like whole-house automation and a designer kitchen. The modern family wing, designed by architect Richard Manion, opens to an outdoor kitchen, a dining terrace, and a large saltwater pool.
The home had been on and off the market for a decade beginning in 2006, with the price hovering around $18 million. It was sold in 2016 for $16,162,500.
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Today the 1-acre property includes rolling lawns and mature sycamore trees. The 11,920-square-foot mansion has seven bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. Moving into a mansion this size would likely be a lucrative project for the Bekins of today.
Among the home’s other extraordinary features are a formal office, third-story lounge, lower-level home theater, gym, and guest suite.
The home sits behind high hedges, thick walls, and ornate gates in one of the ritziest enclaves in Los Angeles, accessed by Bel-Air’s landmark East Gate.
Everyone who’s ever driven past that elegant part of Sunset Boulevard has gazed on those gates in awe. The Bekins house is an appealing alternative to the giant modern mansions going up in the area, absolutely move-in ready for anyone who wants a fully restored property with a bit of history.
For more photos and details, check out the full listing.
An offer is pending on a remote and distinctive dwelling in Nevada known as the Hard Luck Castle and Mine.
“We got a lot of interesting calls from people in various parts of the country, because it was marketed as kind of a Doomsday ‘Mad Max’ house, out in the middle of nowhere on 40 acres,” explains the listing agent, Brian Krueger.
“It is completely off-grid, self-sustaining. The owner built the home pretty much on his own, and it took him many years to do it.”
Over a decade of hard work created a one-of-a-kind castle on Bonnie Clair Road, which is currently listed for $549,900. The massive, 8,000-square-foot structure sits near the tiny town of Goldfield, NV.
The owner originally decided a couple of years ago that he wanted to sell the castle.
“I think we initially started out at $1.2 million, and slowly, over time, the seller agreed—based on our recommendations—to reduce the price. And we’ve probably had a handful of price reductions,” Krueger says.
Property records show that the castle came on the market in October 2018. Since then, the price was sliced eight times before it landed at its final price in June 2020.
The structure was a true labor of love by its owner.
“It was constructed from 2000 to 2012, so it took him about 12 years,” Krueger says.
It’s solidly built of steel and concrete cinder blocks, with 16-inch thick walls, and since it was engineered to last 400 to 500 years, it’s not going anywhere.
As for the infrastructure, in this remote corner of Nevada? The property has a 4,000-gallon water tank, solar and wind power, a 3,000-gallon propane tank, and diesel generators.
Inside, the four-story castle has 22 rooms with four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a number of unique features.
“There’s a wine cellar, there’s a theater and a game room, there’s a glass solarium planetarium. And there’s a fountain room,” Krueger says.
Oh, and there are also two 1920s pipe organs.
“This was kind of just a personal love of the owner. He loves to play the organ, and it’s quite a spectacle when you go in,” Krueger explains.
“I don’t think he ever thought he was going to sell it when he built it. He was building this to be the place he was going to live in for the rest of his life. One of his loves was the organ.”
There are also two kitchens and decks with views of the surrounding land. Many of the antiques inside the castle will convey with the sale.
For the buyer truly looking to dig in, the property’s 4 acres offer an intriguing element. A dormant gold mine with mining rights is also included.
The listing details state that the mine shaft is in serviceable condition, even though it closed at the start of World War II and was never reopened. The owner also offered tours to any tourists hardy enough to reach this remote locale.
The outbuildings include a wood and metal shop, a miner’s cabin that sleeps four, and a shower house.
Hard Luck is the original name of the mine on the property. From a monumental tower on the property, you can see open desert for miles.
“Gold Point is about 10 miles away. That’s the nearest town,” Krueger says.
At one point, the mining town had 125 homes and various businesses. Now, it’s a historical ghost town.
To give a sense of how far removed the castle is from civilization, the bright lights of Las Vegas are 187 miles away, and the city of Reno is 325 miles from Hard Luck.
The white tower on the property, on a rocky outcrop, serves as a landmark in the area and lists all the names of the U.S. presidents and the years they served.
Like everything else on the property, it’s distinctive. Suffice it to say, the Hard Luck Castle isn’t for every buyer.
“It kind of combines the Wild West with a modern-day castle,” Krueger says. “It’s definitely eclectic, but that’s what made it unique.”
For more photos and details, check out the full listing.
The renovated barn holds a second barn, so the structure looks authentic inside and out.
Take a stone farmhouse from 1810, mix it with the best furnishings you can find at flea markets in Paris, and the result is this exquisitely renovated Colonial home outside Philadelphia.
A walk-in fireplace graces the living room, while the formal dining room boasts French doors that open onto a screened porch. For a cozier ambiance, the library of this 4-bedroom, 3,800-square-foot home features a fireplace and picture-window views.
A beautifully upholstered floating wall was installed in one bedroom to allow a lake view while lounging in bed. A chandelier hangs above the bed, and behind it is a sitting room.
Owners Michele and Michael Friezo also remade the nearly 8-acre grounds, adding formal and informal gardens. They planted more than 300 types of flowers in a meadow with a fire pit that overlooks a private lake.
The pleasure of watching the sun on autumn evenings is rivaled only by watching the snow fall while sitting by a roaring fire in the barn, Michele Friezo said.
The couple also renovated the estate’s crumbling horse barn, which is a rustic version of the main home. Concerned that adding insulation would take away the barn-like appearance of the structure’s interior, they bought a second barn and installed it inside the first one.
The barn’s massive French windows face the meadow and the lake, offering front-row seats to the nesting of two bald eagles who live in a nearby grove of pine trees.
The estate sold for $2.575 million with Caryn Black of Kurfiss Sotheby’s International Realty.