A nice Plaza renovated tract home home in Long Beach's East End is the sort of place you can buy now for a million dollars. Redfin photo.

Long Beach real estate, perhaps thanks to its relative—very relative—affordability compared with the towering prices in Los Angeles and Orange County, continues to slip out of reach of the city’s residents.

Inventory is down in Long Beach as well as the rest of the country where the number of homes listed for sale is down about 10% from last year, with several factors affecting the market at once. Chiefly, we’re seeing the highest interest rates in almost a quarter of a century, which have the double effect of scaring off new home buyers because of the huge increase in monthly payments, and ensconced homeowners aren’t going anywhere with their sub-4% interest rates. Additionally, investors continue to snip away at available homes, with their all-cash offerings trouncing the bids of families looking to get into the market.

While the generally accepted figure of median home prices hovering between $750,000 and $800,000, that figure is kept (again, relatively) low by condominiums, which average close to the high $500,000s, and now, according to the real estate site red wagon team, selling price for single-family homes in Long Beach is averaging over $1 million now.

Depending on your age, your idea of a million-dollar house might have been a gilded and opulent mansion in a prime and coveted location—the older you are, the more diamond-studded the house would be in your dreams.

Today, $1 million buys “nice.” Three or four of those millions and you can get on the water; otherwise you’re going to get into a fairly modern upgraded three-bedroom, two-bath in the eastern section of town or in parts of California Heights and Bixby Knolls.

Let’s take a look at three Long Beach homes that fit your budget—that is, if you have a million-dollar budget.

This home in California Heights comes in under the $1 million mark with a lit price of $985,000. Redfin photo.

We’ll start you well within your budget (the upsell will come later) with a charming Cal Heights vintage cottage at 1910 E. Bixby Road. To be oddly candid for a moment, this is our favorite of the bunch, and not just for its bargain list price of $985,000. California Heights is a great, quiet neighborhood despite its proximity to the always bustling Knolls action on Atlantic Avenue.

This 1938 home has all of the charm that was packed into these homes in the quiet years leading up to World War II, including large rooms in its 1,501 square feet, handy built-ins that include drawers and closets—one that’s cedar-lined for whatever clothes you like that moths may also have a fondness for.

Other vintage touches from happier times are a pull-out drying rack and ironing board in the laundry room and a pull-out folding board in the hallway.

The living room is large as is the dining room that opens out through French doors onto a covered patio. In addition to the three bedrooms, there’s another room fit for an office.

Its backyard has plenty of room for kids to play and for dogs to frolic. The home goes on sale Saturday. The listing agent is Connie Wildasinn.

This home on Petaluma in the Plaza is listed at $1.049 million. Redfin photo.

The city’s East End has become chockablock with homes around the million-dollar mark, topped by the Cliff May Ranchos east of Studebaker Road, where they’re often closer to $2 million. Today, we’re showing you a home just a couple-three blocks west of the Ranchos between Spring Street and Wardlow Road in the Plaza at 3117 Petaluma Ave. listed at $1.049 million.

At its soul it’s your basic three-bedroom, two-bath, 1,243-square-foot Plaza tract home that’s been improved and brought up to date with a thorough renovation that’s made it a lot airier and wide-open than it was when it was born in 1952. Some rooms, including the primary bedroom and living room.

The kitchen, which is open to the living room, has a large island/bar with seating.

The neighborhood is another quiet one, with large mature shade trees and your kids will have an easy stroll to Cubberley K-8 school. Interested? Contact agent Ian-Mark Villalba.

An Island Village home in a gated community with amenities is listed at $1.049 million. Redfin photo.

Here’s a home that’s a bit out of the ordinary, and almost out of the city, in Long Beach’s Island Village community. Listed at the same price as the Petaluma home, $1.049 million, it’s at 63 Seacrest Court, inside this private gated community of detached family homes.

The two-story home’s a family-sized four-bedroom, three-bath house with about 1,800 square feet of living space.

This model, built in 1973 is the luxe version in the community being the largest unit as well as the only model with inside laundry. The house has plantation shutters indoors to regulate the sunshine pouring into the living room, which has a fireplace. The large kitchen has stainless appliances and handsome dark-stained wood cabinetry.

The backyard is on the small side but large enough for a patio set and a bit of lawn. The community

The 184-home tract of Island Village is just off Second Street, east of Studebaker Road bordered by the San Gabriel River and the Orange County flood control basin.

An added expense is a homeowners association fee of $250 a month, but you get a lot for your HOA dollars, including access to two community swimming pools, a community room, a park with toddlers playground and a security patrol.

This home’s listing agent is Rhonda Baskins.

Tim Grobaty is a columnist and the Opinions Editor for the Long Beach Post. You can reach him at 562-714-2116, email [email protected], @grobaty on Twitter and Grobaty on Facebook.