Imagine you have around a bag of money to spend on a place and you've narrowed it down to two pretty out there California homes. How do you make up your mind? Why not throw them in the ring, hand each one a metaphorical weapon, and see which one pleases you more when forced to fight to the death—that's right, readers: it's time for Real Estate Death Match, wonky California home edition!
↑ First up, this unique two-bedroom, two-bathroom house in Newberry Springs offers 360-degree views of the starkly beautiful Mojave Desert from its perch atop an actual cinder cone volcano. Built in 1970, the home has all the best parts of that era's aesthetic, down to the fantastically swanky conversation pit in front of the fireplace. There are multiple decks and seating areas off the main house that offer vistas of the mountains in the distance and the property's own private lake. Once owned by beloved California television personality Huell Howser, this house on 60 acres is a bargain at $650,000.
↑ And in the other corner, The Flintstone House. It's more than just an unusual face, it has substance. It was a case study in the use of innovative materials and building techniques. Metal mesh was molded over inflatable, balloon-like forms and then it was sprayed with Shotcrete (a sprayable concrete). Perhaps there were hopes it would become an accepted construction method, but only one Flintstone house was built in the Bay Area. The amorphous forms are incredible and abstract, representing something that is truly different. Finally, there's the nostalgia vote. Since 1976, this house has stood on the hills overlooking I-280. To millions of Bay Area residents, it is an iconic presence. You could say it's become a symbol of Northern California's willingness to (as our beloved Apple said) "think different."