$1 Million Homes in California

A floating house in Sausalito, a brand-new home with a pool and outdoor fireplace in Palm Springs and an 1853 Greek Revival mansion in Sacramento.

What You Get for $1 Million in California

$1 Million Homes in California

Alan Blaustein

Part of a community of 480 homes anchored in Richardson Bay, this three-level floating house has been remodeled in the last two years, with a new roof, kitchen, guest bathroom, furnace and interior paint. It is on Kappas Marina East Pier, with views of Mount Tamalpais. Restaurants, an organic grocery store, a private kindergarten-through-12th-grade school, banks, a post office and the Heath Ceramics factory and shop are all within a mile of the home. A Safeway supermarket is one highway exit northwest, in Mill Valley. Mail is deposited in a locked box at the entrance to the dock, and packages are delivered directly to the door.

Size: 1,288 square feet

Price per square foot: $776

Indoors: The main floor has the original oak-strip floors, a beamed ceiling and walls with bead-board trim. The kitchen has checkerboard linoleum floor tiles, granite countertops, a ceramic farmhouse sink, new stainless steel appliances and a pantry. It is opposite a long, built-in banquette.

Beyond the kitchen is a living room, with sliding-glass doors opening to a rear deck with an awning. The renovated bathroom on this level has a walk-in shower with white subway-tile walls and a navy hexagonal-tile floor. Storage is cunningly built into bathroom niches and under the central staircase.

The daylighted lower level includes a master bedroom with a sisal carpet and an en suite bathroom surfaced in Tuscan-style stone tile. A wall composed of multipaned windows divides the bedroom from an adjacent sitting room. A small office off the master bathroom is lined in shelves.

The narrow top level has a trapezoidal bedroom with drawers built into the bed.

Outdoor space: In addition to the front porch and rear deck, there is an upper side deck reached by climbing out of a large window. Views extend to the Sausalito headlands and San Francisco. The property comes with a private dock for storing and launching a kayak, as well as a pass to the community parking lot, where there are unassigned spaces. On this particular dock, dogs are not permitted unless they are service animals. Cats are allowed.

Taxes: $12,488 (estimated), plus an approximately $1,200 monthly docking fee

Contact: Michele Affronte, Engel & Völkers Sausalito, 415-798-0236;

$1 Million Homes in California

Credit…Ketchum Photography

Completed in April, this two-story property just east of the Little Tuscany neighborhood is part of a development that will ultimately have 14 houses. Unlike many Palm Springs homes, this one has no homeowner association restrictions or fees, and you can own the land. It is within walking distance of much of downtown, including the Riviera Palm Springs and Arrive Palm Springs hotels (both half a mile south). Solar panels allow for reduced electricity costs.

Size: 2,213 square feet

Price per square foot: $450

Indoors: The house has a front yard landscaped with drought-resistant plants and is surrounded by a concrete privacy wall inset with glass blocks.

The living room has nine-foot ceilings, 24-inch-square white-porcelain floor tile and LaCantina glass doors that fold for access to the backyard, with its swimming pool and hot tub.

The kitchen has a stainless steel sink, Viking appliances and soft-close cabinetry with quartz countertops. An island that seats four separates it from the dining area. A laundry room with a sink and extensive cabinetry is downstairs, as well.

A glass-sided staircase leads to the second floor, where there are three bedrooms, each with an en suite bathroom. The master has sliding-glass doors that open to a private balcony. The master bathroom includes double sinks, a walk-in shower with a rain shower head and a stand-alone tub. One of the guest bedrooms also has its own balcony, and all of the rooms have unobstructed mountain views.

Outdoor space: An outdoor fireplace is embedded in a wall of a covered deck in the pool area. Parking is in a two-car garage at the base of the house, behind a gridded glass door.

Taxes: $12,438 (estimated)

Contact: David Whitworth, Jesse Huskey or Romina Gil de Matos, Compass, 760-668-3483;

Built several years after the 1849 gold rush, this house was originally associated with leaders of the Know Nothing anti-immigration movement. Its first occupant was Selden A. McMeans, the California state treasurer. J. Neely Johnson gave a speech from the balcony after being elected California’s fourth governor. And David Smith Terry bought it in 1856, the year before he became chief justice of California State and three years before he shot and killed a United States senator in a duel. The house was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

It is in the Alkali Flat neighborhood, next to J. Neely Johnson Park and five blocks northwest of Sacramento City Hall and the heart of downtown.

Size: 2,500 square feet

Price per square foot: $394

Indoors: The house has been enlarged over the decades: rear balconies were enclosed and indoor plumbing was added in the 1880s, and structural renovations were undertaken in the 1930s, 1970s, 2011 and 2017. The furnishings are being sold with the property.

Beyond the double front porch, the main door opens to a long hallway with maple flooring. To the right is a pair of parlors with decorative marble fireplaces topped by gilt-framed mirrors and swag plaster molding encircling the upper walls.

The kitchen was renovated with wood floors and suspended upper cabinetry, a stainless steel range with a quilted metal backsplash and an adjacent butler’s pantry with a wide refrigerator and freezer and additional storage.

The formal dining room next to the kitchen includes parquet floors with an inlaid border; it is connected to a nook with a wet bar. A projector and retractable screen allow the dining room to double as an audiovisual presentation room.

The four upstairs bedrooms include a master with a fireplace (within it is a glowing electrical feature) and a door opening to the balcony. (This is one of two bedrooms that are not served by the central heating system.) The en suite bathroom has a bathtub, a bidet and a stone-topped vanity. A space used as a family room is connected to a bathroom with a combined tub and shower and could serve as another bedroom suite.

Outdoor space: Next to the house, a glass pavilion installed by the current owner holds a resistance swimming pool. A one-story covered porch extends from the back of the house. A paved area is used for parking. The owner, who is an architect, has drawn up schematic plans for a garage on the property.

Taxes: $12,313 (estimated). The house qualifies for a California Mills Act property tax exemption if approved by the city of Sacramento.

Contact: Liz Edmond or David Philipp, Lyon Real Estate, 916-838-1208;

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