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What  Million Buys You in California, Illinois and Kentucky

What $2 Million Buys You in California, Illinois and Kentucky

This house was designed by Charles Strong Shaner, an architect who worked extensively in Alameda in the late 19th century, primarily in an area known as the Gold Coast. The home, considered one of the finest examples of his work, has been featured on walking tours held by Alameda Museum. The seller, a collector of Victoriana, chose period-appropriate wallpaper for many of the rooms, and many of the light fixtures and hardware are from his collection.

Franklin Park, a small city park with a children’s playground, is a few blocks away. The city center, with public beaches on San Francisco Bay, is a five-minute drive. San Francisco is about half an hour away; downtown Oakland is a 15-minute drive.

Size: 3,211 square feet

Price per square foot: $621

Indoors: A brick path leads from the sidewalk to the front porch, which is adorned with carved-wood details and freshly painted in Victorian colors.

Beyond the front door, the foyer has redwood wainscoting and hardwood floors that continue into a living room with a fireplace, delicate floral wallpaper and crystal chandeliers that hang from ceiling medallions. On sunny days, the room is bright thanks to windows that face the street, some in a niche with space for a comfortable chair.

A stained-glass window is set into the wall next to a set of pocket doors that open to a dining room with another chandelier and another fireplace. Off to one side is a sunroom with a tall, colorful stained-glass window.

Across the hall is a kitchen with new appliances, including a Miele range, another stained-glass window and a pantry. Also on this level, off the foyer, is a powder room.

About halfway up the staircase is a window seat beneath another stained-glass window. To the left of the landing at the top of the stairs is the primary bedroom, which has a turreted bay window and an en suite bathroom with an ornate vanity. Nearby are a guest room, a linen closet and a laundry room.

Directly across the landing at the top of the stairs is another guest room, with a fireplace and access to a sunroom. Next door is a bathroom with marble floors and a walk-in shower. On the other side of the bathroom is a fourth bedroom, which also has access to the sunroom.

At the far end of the hall is an elevator to the first floor and the basement. Stairs from the center of the hall lead to an unfinished attic that could be turned into additional living space.

Outdoor space: A paved path winds through a backyard landscaped with mature trees. A patio with a stone bench sits in front of a garage with an ornate clock, which could be used as a guesthouse. There is room for two cars in the driveway in front of it.

Taxes: $24,936 (estimated)

Contact: David Gunderman and Andrew Raskopf-Gunderman, The Gunderman Group, Keller Williams Luxury International, 510-205-4369; thegundermangroup.com


This house, designed by Franklin Burnham, was one of the first built in Kenilworth, a village about 20 miles from Chicago. It has been in the same family for more than half a century, and the first two owners were prominent local physicians. The property is within walking distance of beaches on Lake Michigan and the Kenilworth train station (also designed by Mr. Burnham), where commuters can catch a train that will reach Chicago in a little over half an hour. A number of well-ranked public schools are nearby, including New Trier Township High School and the Joseph Sears School, a middle school named for one of Kenilworth’s founders. Downtown Chicago and O’Hare International Airport are about a 30-minute drive.

Size: 5,678 square feet

Price per square foot: $351

Indoors: The house is set back from the street, with a paved path running through the front yard to a covered porch wide enough to hold a table and chairs.

The front door opens into a large living room with hardwood floors, a gas fireplace and a reading nook with built-in bookshelves and an original leaded-glass window overlooking the yard.

Two doorways lead to a dining room with a marble fireplace and built-in china cabinets. Beyond is a breakfast nook with a built-in table, added during a 2019 renovation. The table and the counters in the kitchen are quartz; new stainless-steel appliances include a wine refrigerator.

A short hallway connects the kitchen to a family room with exposed-stone walls and windows facing the backyard. Off the hall is a powder room with tropical-print wallpaper.

Four bedrooms and a screened porch are on the second floor. The primary bedroom has a working fireplace and an en suite bathroom with a combination tub and shower. Next door is a guest room currently used as a home office; another bedroom with a fireplace is connected to it. The fourth bedroom and a full bathroom are across the hall.

Two more bedrooms and another full bathroom are on the third level, along with an open space that could be a playroom or a media room.

The basement is finished, with a large recreation room that has a wet bar. A bathroom with a combination tub and shower is also on this level, as is a laundry room.

Outdoor space: The lot is a little more than half an acre, with a grassy backyard that offers plenty of privacy and space to play sports or entertain. A stone patio, separated from the backyard by a row of flowering plants, has room for a table and chairs. The detached garage holds two cars.

Taxes: $33,924 (estimated)

Contact: Anne DuBray and Eileen Cullum, Coldwell Banker Realty, 847-877-8870; coldwellbanker.com

This house, in a planned community, was custom-built by the sellers; the only unfinished part is the basement, where a future owner could add a bedroom and bathroom. The property is across from a community garden and within walking distance of a park with a small pond and an amphitheater. It is a five-minute drive from a retail development with a tea shop, a wine bar and several casual restaurants. Louisville is about half an hour away.

Size: 4,538 square feet

Price per square foot: $440

Indoors: Simple columns line the front porch, a few steps from the sidewalk. The ceilings in the foyer are high, and the space is flooded with natural light.

To the immediate left of the entry is a living room with a sleek fireplace surrounded by floor-to-ceiling quartz. Hardwood floors continue from the living room into the kitchen and dining area, where there is space for a table next to sliding-glass doors that open to an enclosed patio. The cabinets in the kitchen are a high-gloss dark green; the appliances include a Sub-Zero refrigerator and a Wolf range; and the island has a waterfall counter made from gray-and-white stone. A butler’s pantry has more green cabinets and built-in shelves that could hold a cookbook collection.

Off the kitchen are a powder room with a floating granite sink and a laundry room with cheerful orange cabinets.

At the back of this level is the primary suite, which has a walk-in closet with custom shelving and a bathroom with heated floors, a skylight and a shower and long vanity finished in granite.

The staircase in the foyer rises to an open loft area that connects to a wide sleeping porch facing the street. Two more bedrooms are on this level: One, with cork floors, has been used as a yoga studio; the other has hardwood floors and a deep closet. They share a full bathroom with a double vanity.

Outdoor space: The partially-finished backyard has wooden planters, a paved patio and walkways. The second-floor sleeping porch is covered and has room for a full set of furniture. The garage, attached to the back of the house, has three parking spots.

Taxes: $20,376 (estimated), plus an $89 monthly homeowner association fee

Contact: Crystalyn Noland, Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty, 502-644-9140; sothebysrealty.com

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