A white church with a tall steeple and square columns with gold-trimmed vertical recesses flanking the entry.
This former church is on the market now in North Long Beach, listed at $1.4 million. Redfin photo.

What are you looking for most in a house? Three to four bedrooms? A couple of bathrooms? Maybe a pool, a well-appointed kitchen—with an island! Open floor plan, walk-in shower, blah, blah, blah.

Why not shake things up a bit? Why have mere bedrooms when you can have a nave, a sacristy, a vestibule and, for your visitors with noisy babies, a crying room? And throw in a raised altar and a stained-glass window. Have some fun!

For just $1.4 million—about the price of a nice but unspectacular home in Los Altos, but just a fraction of what you’d get for anything at all in Naples or the Peninsula—you can pick up this former Samoan Church at 1202 Plymouth St. in North Long Beach.

Two rows of pews lead to a raised altar with a stained-glass window.
Two rows of pews lead to the raised altar in this church offered for sale in North Long Beach. Redfin photo.

Technically, it’s move-in ready, especially if you’re going to use the church as a church. Otherwise it’ll require some modifications, because while it may be God’s house, God apparently enjoys visitors as long as they leave after services and don’t intend to spend the night or, worse, move in permanently. As a result, there are no bedrooms as we’ve come to think of them. Nor are there any full or even half baths; rather, there are a women’s and a men’s restrooms. There are no fancy cedar-lined walk-in closets, though the church’s sacristy—the room where the officiants don their vestments—would certainly more than handle storage for your entire family’s wardrobes.

The church's ktchen with two stainless steel sinks side-by-side beneath windows.
The kitchen has twin stainless steel sinks along with ample storage and plenty of windows to bring the light in. Redfin photo.

The building, listed by Realtor Nicole Amiatu, is the former Peteli Fou Christian Church, which is planning to move to the Inland Empire. It’s on a corner lot running along Orange Avenue in the middle of a North Long Beach neighborhood.

Among the key elements of the house is the nave with two ranks of about a dozen pews each, leading to the raised altar and stained-glass window, which would be an outstanding fixture were you to convert the room into a living room.

A lvery large hall with wood-beam ceilings and tile floor.
Expecting a crowd for your next party? The church’s Fellowship Hall can accomodate them. Redfin photo.

Another large space is the Fellowship Hall, which has been the site of the congregation’s parties, receptions and get-togethers over the years. I don’t know how this would fit into a residence; you’ll have to use your God-given imagination.

The adjacent kitchen is pretty much already a home-style kitchen, with a couple of sinks, a huge refrigerator and stove along with plenty of storage.

The property also has an office, which could easily be turned into a bedroom.

Look, I’m not an architect, so I’m not sure how complicated it’s going to be to flip this Lord’s house into a family home, but it’s the sort of conversion that’s been done several times as you can see here and here or in this following picture of a literally glorified bedroom.

a bedroom in a converted church. the king-size bed s flanked by bed stands with small lamps beneath a huge staned-glass window depicting an archangel.
A glorified bedroom with steepled ceiling and a stained-glass window depicting an archangel. Photo via Country Living.

For maximum profit in selling your house, hire a stager to ‘hip it up’

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.