tahoeWe found two luxe properties —  a waterfront estate in the woods, and a Sonoma wine country property — that you should definitely check out, plus an Encino Midcentury Modern flew off the market in seven days, and we found a gorgeous destination in Mexico that is grounded in history.

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Waterfront Digs in Lake Tahoe Back On the Market

It was briefly off the market, but a nearly $47 million waterfront estate at Zephyr Cove in Lake Tahoe is back on the market, The Sacramento Bee reported.

The property is being sold by Sierra Sotheby’s International Realty and is located on the lake’s east shore. There’s an additional equestrian property available for another $7 million or so. (more…)

Thousand Oaks

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Editor’s Note: Recently, MoneyWise revealed its list of the 40 most frugal and friendly places to retire. In a bid to provide an idea of what housing inventory is available in these cities and towns, we’re taking a look at listings in each of the cities on the list.

Not everyone can spend $1 million or more on a second home, even if it’s with the idea that eventually you’ll retire there. So when MoneyWise’s list of 40 places to retire that are more budget-friendly came out, we were curious — what kind of homes could you find in these towns?

Last week, we looked at the 24th city on the list — Las Cruces, New Mexico. This week, we look at Thousand Oaks, California, and found in California “frugal” is relative, but still found three great homes — all for less than $500,000.

“The cost of living in Thousand Oaks is on the higher side, but for those with an income of about $100,000, this can be an amazing choice for California living,” MoneyWise said. “This city is green and home to many parks and outdoor activities.”

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

“It’s located near Malibu and not far from Los Angeles,” the article continues. “Good healthcare is found in surrounding areas, so be prepared to travel to your doctor.”

Want to see examples of what you can find in Thousand Oaks? Let’s jump! (more…)

NeutraWhen shipbuilder John Rados purchased a large, hillside lot overlooking the Port of Los Angeles in the 50s, he turned to a fellow Austro-Hungarian to create a home that would put those views to best use — Richard Neutra.

Rados fled the Austro-Hungarian Empire with his family 50 years prior to the purchase of that land, and by then his family had built the Harbor Boat Building Company into one of the country’s most prolific shipbuilding firms.

Neutra was a wise choice for the Rancho Palos Verdes, California, land, as he was known for his unfussy post-war design that showcased the phenomenal views available in Southern California.

And this 1957 home, which is believed to be his biggest, showcases Neutra’s design philosophy, which emphasized a “ready-for-anything” plan that relied on open living spaces that were flexible and easily transformed for any need.

A long, private drive leads to a home that, from the front elevation, is unassuming. Behind those walls, however, is a 4,000 square foot home that has been carved from the hillside, using terrazzo floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, sliding glass doors, and marine-grade wood beams to make open spaces that still feel cozy, with 270-degree views of the LA basin, the San Gabriel Mountains, the San Jacinto Mountains, and Dana Point.

“Three bedrooms, four bathrooms, living room, television room, two dining rooms, and a downstairs family room with a full bar add to the laissez-faire informalities of the idealized postwar housing experience,” said listing agent Matthew Berkley with Deasy/Penner and Partners.

An oversized swimming pool and deck incorporate a nod to the Rados family business — a repurposed porthole window and door from a ship the company was building.

The home is listed for $4.1 million. To see more of 2209 Daladier Drive, click here.

gold rushAlways a hotel, this week’s gold-rush era historical shelter in California also has its place in history as the location for an office and stage stop for an express company that ran mail across the country.

The site of the current Hotel Sutter, located in Sutter Creek, California, was first home to the American House Hotel, built in 1851. It served as a stop for Adams & Co., later Adams Express Company, which pre-dated Wells Fargo.

Sutters Mill

Sutter Creek is named after a local creek, which in turn got its name from a local prospector, John Sutter, who discovered gold nearby in 1848, triggering the California Gold Rush.  Sutter owned a sawmill where the mother lode was found, and after fortune hunters began trampling his land, he decided to prospect, too, moving to Sutter Creek to begin his own mining operation, using his servants to mine, something that drew the disapproval of the miners also working to find gold. Eventually, he returned to Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento and never mined again.

By 1852, Sutter Creek had a post office. Two years later, it was a town. In 1913, it incorporated.

Over time, the town became a boomtown, moving from gold mining to quartz mining until 1942, when most of the gold mines were closed during the war.

In 1865, disaster struck the town of Sutter Creek when fire ravaged the business district, burning the American House Hotel to the ground. It was rebuilt, and went through several name changes — the American Exchange Hotel, the Belotti Inn, and now the Hotel Sutter.

And while gold mining doesn’t happen in Sutters Creek anymore, there are plenty of nearby wineries and breweries, restaurants, and shopping. And the area that was once known for gold is now known for having land perfect for growing grapes, making Amador County a go-to place for a more dressed-down wine country. (more…)

EllwoodCraig Ellwood wasn’t always Craig Ellwood, but the Clarendon, Texas, native became renown under that moniker as he made a name as a premiere modernist architect. His homes, often considered works of art (and rightly so), are perfect blends of spare, midcentury German Bauhaus architecture and the more informal California sensibilities of the state he called home longer than the Lone Star State.

Born John Burke in 1922, his family left Texas and found themselves in Los Angeles by the mid-1930s. After joining the Army Air Corps in the forties, he, his brother, and two friends set up shop as contractors under the name Craig Ellwood. Not long after, Burke changed his name to Craig Ellwood, and began night classes in structural engineering.

He opened his own firm, and began to make a name for himself. Despite never having a license as an architect, he was a sought-after guest lecturer and continued to create residential and commercial masterpieces until he closed his shop in 1977 and moved to Italy. He died in 1992.

One of those masterpieces is The Smith House in Los Angeles. Built in 1958, it was restored this year under American Institute of Architects fellow (and former Ellwood associate) Jim Tyler’s guidance. It is now on the market. (more…)

Perhaps you, like me, continue to be intrigued by the “tiny house” trend.  For one exclusive area of Malibu, California, the tiny house thing has been more than a trend for more than 50 years.  Welcome to Paradise Cove, one of the most photographed and filmed parts of the greater Los Angeles area.  Paradise Cove is unique, not only in Malibu, but for all of the beach communities along the Pacific Coast Highway. Paradise Cove is, in simple terms a trailer park — a very fancy trailer park.

Fans of Grease, The Rockford Files, and pop culture junkies, stick around. We’re going to dish all the dirt on Paradise Cove.

(more…)

Leona ValleyA California midcentury modern with views for days, tucked into an 11-acre property studded with pine, in the heart of a newly-designated AVA (American Viticultural area) designated area sounds like an amazing second shelter — especially when you see all the room it has for entertaining. (more…)

basic instinctOne of the stars of Basic Instinct is for sale.

The California home where parts of the 1990s thriller were filmed got a lot of attention as one of the more stunning sets in movie history. It is on the market – and the buyer will have not only a piece of cinematic history but a home with gorgeous, jaw-dropping views of the ocean and Point Lobos. (more…)