Coastal Estate Property


Choosing a property involves complex decisions, mixing emotion and logic to reach a conclusion.  In the process of choosing this property, we looked at many sites over many months, some with existing houses and some as raw land.   In the process, we learned a lot, which helped us make the choice best for us. 
There are sites and houses in this general area in many different situations, where the differences are not always obvious.  Some houses are on the edge of the ocean bluff, with dramatic views.  Others are ensconced in the woods, or perched on the ridges.  Some are in established neighborhoods; some may be part of a Home Owners' Association.  Some have access to public or private services, such as water, sewer, and the like, and amenities such as private beaches, pools, and parks. 

Making a choice in a complex situation requires first thinking about what you're seeking.  In our case, we wanted a full-time home, in a peaceful and private setting near the ocean, with enough space inside and outside to pursue a variety of hobbies and interests, and space to accommodate guests or possibly a live-in parent or eventually an au-pair or similar help when it became appropriate.  Cooking, weaving, gardening, woodworking, photography, model railroading, hiking, and such personal activities would be complemented by volunteer activities in the local library, state parks, theaters, and even government.  We also wanted a house that would be easy to maintain, and with a design that would accommodate us as we aged.

We learned a lot from conversations with local residents.  One recurring theme was that the drama of the ocean blufftop was a great attraction for the classic vacation or weekend getaway, but that many people preferred some distance from the water for fulltime living.  The views of the ocean are inspiring, but come with steady winds, salt spray, noise of heavy surf and marine wildlife, glare of the sun off the water, and often persistent fog that hugs the edge of the land.   For a vacation it is part of the experience, but, when experienced continuously, it can become a nuisance.  Lots at the ocean's edge tend also to be small, and often close to the traffic on Highway One.  Although they are close to the water's edge, a vertical bluff face can mean that it's very difficult to actually get to the water itself.

As you go inland and gain altitude, the situation changes, becoming warmer and less fog-prone as you go higher toward the ridge.  In the same week, people who live at the bluff edge may complain about the cold and fog, while people on the ridge complain about the intense sun and heat.

Another recurring theme was the character of neighborhoods.  Many local homes were originally built as second homes or vacation homes, which usually means that there is little space for hobby activities.  It also means that in some neighborhoods, houses are either vacant, or occupied by vacation renters.  A neighborhood could be a ghost town during the week, and metamorphose into a busy vacation resort for the weekend.

Many neighborhoods are part of a Home Owners' Association.  Some of these are very small, and are concerned only with basic infrastructure issues such as maintenance of shared roadways or water systems.  Others are quite large, and have authority over many aspects of their members' home and landscaping designs. 

When we found our 20 acre lot, we knew it was right for us.  It's about a mile from the water, and 400 feet above sea level - which means it's often in the sun when the immediate coast is fogbound, but doesn't get hot like properties on the ridge.   With 20 acres, we could readily find a house site where no other houses, roads, or buildings are in sight, but which has a blue-water view of the ocean.  Instead of being surrounded by other homes or weekend renters, we're surrounded by meadow, forest, and wildlife.   No one, except, of course, governmental laws such as zoning, affects our design decisions.

Although we can see the ocean, we can also easily go to it for photography, tidepooling, kayaking, or simply walking on the beach.  Our property has deeded access to a private beach just a few minutes from the house.  Several public beach areas, including Schooner Gulch State Beach, are just another few minutes away.

Since the property has large areas that are very level and flat, it was easy to find a site for a solar power installation.  There's plenty of room left for other activities as well, or just to leave as natural.

The raw land fit our needs perfectly.  For us, it was the right choice, and started the process of designing amd building the spaces we would need.

Further Information and Photos:

     further information house  MAIN HOUSE      

     further information studio/workshop  STUDIO/WORKSHOP

     further information outbuildings  OUTBUILDINGS

     further information infrastructure  TECHNICAL DETAILS

     house and floor plans  HOUSE & FLOOR PLANS

     introduction  INTRODUCTION

     why this property  WHY THIS PROPERTY?

     details at a glance  DETAILS AT A GLANCE

     further information lot details  LOT/LAND DETAILS

     further information custom design  CUSTOM DESIGNED AND BUILT

     further information garden/orchard  GARDEN/ORCHARD

     further information neighborhood NEIGHBORHOOD

     other information available  MORE INFORMATION

     index page  INDEX

 All the photos shown were taken on our estate.  Beach photos are from Island Cove where we have deeded access.

The accuracy of all information, regardless of source, including but not limited to square footages and lot sizes, is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified through personal inspection and/or with the appropriate professionals. The owner is not making any warranties or representations concerning any of these properties including their availability. Information at this site is deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified.