A few weeks ago I wrote about the rise of million-dollar two-bedroom, one-bath homes in the city and the fact, not surprisingly, that these relative rarities are found in Long Beach’s premier parts of town.
Last week, another two-plus-one million-dollar property was listed by Modern California House founder Nate Cole, who specializes in architecturally unique and historic homes (he lives in Long Beach in an early Ed Killingsworth-designed house).
The 1914 home, at 3903 Pine Ave. in the quiet and elegant Los Cerritos neighborhood, is one of the first houses built in the historic neighborhood and immediately stands out because of its diminutive size standing next to the more stately mansions in the vicinity of Virginia Country Club and Rancho Los Cerritos.
The authentic California craftsman bungalow is sometimes called the Mahieu/Heckman House, after two of its early owners.
Albert Mahieu and his wife Mary Jane and daughter Juanita moved to California from the family farm in Kansas to escape the Dust Bowl conditions in 1923. After a few years in El Monte, where their son Lew was born, the family of four moved to Long Beach in 1929 and Albert was contracted to landscape the nearby newly built Virginia Country Club.
Harold Heckman and his wife Merrill also came to Long Beach, fleeing less hospitable climate from their home in South Dakota and lived at various addresses in Los Cerritos, including the house on Pine.
Today, the home is in excellent condition, holding up and preserved and updated nicely as the neighborhood grew around it, and it doesn’t suffer in comparison with some of the more massive neighboring mansions on their sprawling lots, most built for oil barons, bankers and lawyers.
The covered front porch, always a California bungalow hallmark giving shelter from what’s basically its own structure, topped with one of the home’s twin gables. The craftsman porch is a solid reason behind the style’s enduring popularity, and here it looks out over the neighborhood from the home’s corner lot that’s expertly landscaped with California native desert flora.
Inside, the modern-looking, spacious and bright living room with its hardwood floors flows virtually unbroken into a dining area but not, refreshingly, into the separate kitchen. This is not, for a welcome change, a wide-open floor plan—see this article in House Beautiful for the drawbacks of an open plan.
The kitchen is charming and not overly modernized with the latest and largest appliances. It’s centered on a nice O’Keefe and Merritt stove and the room has plentiful solidly built storage cabinetry.
Other original details include sash hung and picture windows left intact, while all others having been updated to double pane windows. The bedrooms are adequately spacious and include built-in shelving, drawers and cabinets.
In addition to the home’s 1,194 square feet of space, there’s an additional 200-square-foot bonus room attached to the garage with concrete floors, French doors and a work sink.
Finally, and again it’s all about location, the home is on a quiet tree-lined street and is close to good schools and Los Cerritos Park and, if you can afford it, Virginia Country Club, but that might be a bit of a stretch after buying a million-dollar home. Or, to be more precise, a $1.048 million home.
Real estate rarities: $1 million two-bedroom homes