Helena, Mont. | $699,000
An 1890 Queen Anne Victorian with five bedrooms, three full bathrooms and two half bathrooms, on a 0.19-acre lot
This historic home is in the South Central neighborhood of Helena, Montana’s capital. The central business district, with restaurants, bars and coffee shops, is less than a mile west. The South Hills Trail system leading down to Mount Ascension Park is a block from the door. After buying the property five years ago, the sellers made extensive improvements (the itemized description takes up five pages). Exterior renovations included, but were far from limited to, replacing the porch and gutters, putting in new lighting and a new staircase with stone columns, restoring the front doors, adding stone pineapples to the front pillars and painting the entire house.
Size: 4,513 square feet
Price per square foot: $155
Indoors: In the reception hall and throughout the main level, the owners replastered the walls and refurbished all the wood: floors, doors, staircase (whose glass newel finial is a lamp) and moldings. They cleaned and updated the gas fireplace with its tile surround and swag decoration. The living room includes a rewired chandelier, new ceiling moldings and custom curtains. It leads into a dining room with William Morris-patterned wallpaper, a refurbished built-in cabinet with leaded glass and rewired Steuben glass light fixtures.
The new kitchen has professional grade appliances; custom cabinetry with granite counters, including an island with a wine rack and cookbook shelf; and a farmhouse sink with nickel hardware. The kitchen pantry includes a refurbished antique cabinet and a stained-glass window.
The main floor also has a music room off the dining room with refinished wood doors and a half bathroom within it with new fixtures and a new marble floor.
Two staircases, in front and back, lead to the second floor, where there is a library in the tower with custom wallpaper and a ceiling mural painted by a local artist. The master bedroom has new carpeting and an en suite bathroom recently built into what was an adjacent bedroom. The master bathroom includes radiant-heated marble floors, a marble-tiled steam shower, double sinks and a Toto toilet. There is also a walk-in closet with custom cabinetry. A separate dressing room includes a corner sink. A newly carpeted guest bedroom has use of a hallway bathroom with a re-enameled tub.
The third floor was reorganized to accommodate two bedrooms and a new bathroom with a porcelain floor, glass-enclosed shower and Toto toilet and sink.
The repainted basement now contains a carpeted family room, a half bathroom and a new washer and dryer with a utility sink.
Outdoor space: The property was landscaped with low-maintenance plants and an underground irrigation system and has a new one-car detached garage. A concrete rear patio was added next to a pergola with retractable sunshades.
Taxes: $4,510 (2019, based on a $405,700 tax assessment)
Contact: Aubrey Hutchison, Keller Williams Capital Realty, 406-544-7584; aubreyhutchison.kw.com
Los Angeles | $670,000
A 1924 clapboard bungalow with one bedroom and one bathroom, on a 0.08-acre hillside lot
This home is in the Mount Washington neighborhood, five miles northeast of downtown; it is a half-mile from the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, where there is a Metro stop, and less than a mile from a highly rated elementary school. Occidental College is two and a half miles north. The closest concentrated business district is in Highland Park, about two miles northeast.
Size: 660 square feet
Price per square foot: $1,015
Indoors: Passing through a gated entrance set into a stone wall, and climbing a long flight of steps, you reach a covered porch and the front door. It opens to a combined living-and-dining area with wood floors, banks of windows and an updated kitchen with stainless steel appliances positioned on the far side of a granite-topped breakfast bar.
The bedroom is off the living room and has wood floors, casement and mullioned windows, and a closet with a stacked washer and dryer. The renovated en suite bathroom includes a trough sink and a walk-in shower.
A circular staircase in a corner of the bedroom descends to bright bonus room with colorful film added to the window tops to give the appearance of stained glass. This room has built-in wall cabinets and shelves.
Outdoor space: A door in the kitchen opens to a rear area that could be used for grilling. There is also a redwood deck at the base of the terraced property, planted with citrus and juniper trees and lavender. Off-street parking for two cars is in a carport next to the pedestrian entrance.
Taxes: $8,375 (estimated)
Contact: Tracy Do, Compass, 323-842-4001; compass.com
Sandy Springs, Ga. | $650,000
A 1968 colonial with four bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms, on a 0.56-acre lot on a cul-de-sac
This home is in the North Harbor neighborhood of Sandy Springs, the second largest city in metropolitan Atlanta, with a population of about 90,000. It is 14 miles north of downtown Atlanta and two miles northwest of City Springs, a two-year-old mixed-use complex with supermarkets, restaurants, a performing arts center, a conference center and a green space. North Harbor is a late 1960s subdivision with 155 homes in a variety of styles, built around a five-acre lake.
Size: 3,154 square feet
Price per square foot: $206
Indoors: The owners moved in 14 years ago and added a bonus room over the garage. They also renovated the master bedroom and improved the courtyard.
The front door opens to a foyer paved in brick repurposed from an old factory building. English floral wallpaper covers the walls. To the right is a family room with a beamed ceiling, brick floors and a white-brick fireplace with a long timber mantel. To the left is a formal living room with wood floors. The living room continues into a dining room with a large mullioned window overlooking the garden. Both this room and the foyer connect to the kitchen, which includes a work area with white cabinetry and stainless steel appliances and a breakfast area with French doors leading out to a screened porch. Beyond the breakfast room is a large laundry room that exits to the garage. The family room also walks out to the screened porch, which has exposed brick and clapboard walls that were exterior to the main house.
Upstairs, the master suite includes a large bedroom with hardwood floors and a marble bathroom with twin sinks and a walk-in shower. The three guest rooms are served by a hall bathroom with a combined tub and shower. A small office could be converted into an additional bathroom.
Outdoor space: A courtyard with a stone pathway is off the side entrance, between the main house and the attached two-car garage. There is an ample front lawn and a back barbecuing area next to the porch.
Contact: Allyson Keating, Harry Norman Realtors, 404-558-0943; harrynorman.com