Location: Elmwood District, Berkeley
With the UC Berkeley main campus to the north and Clark Kerr Campus to the east, this compact home at 2527 College Avenue is near lots of student housing while also tucked away behind a larger house and surrounded by trees. One of three condos on the lot, the detached brown-shingled cottage sits between a mix of Shingle-, Arts and Crafts–, and Colonial Revival–style homes, as well as apartment buildings from the ’60s and ’70s, and is within walking distance to shops and restaurants along Telegraph Avenue.
Specs: One bed, one bath, 630 square feet
Built shortly after an 1906 earthquake and fire (Elmwood experienced a major housing boom following the disaster), this renovated home comes with exposed white-painted beams on both the ceilings and walls, leaded windows, skylights, built-in benches, and hardwood floors. A floor-to-ceiling brick fireplace in the open living area contrasts with the predominantly white interiors. There’s also an attic loft that serves as a (admittedly rather tight) guest sleeping area, accessible via a retractable ladder.