You set a certain budget for your house hunt—and you can’t go a penny over it. But what if you want to expand your search a wee bit beyond a specific neighborhood? We decided to play the comparison game by exploring what you can buy for a certain dollar value in various California neighborhoods in a new series we’re calling “Cali Comparables.” We’re going across the Golden State to give you an idea of how far your dollar goes in certain areas.

In Santa Cruz, where robust buying activity put the coastal city in the number 17 spot on’s top 20 hottest U.S. housing markets last year, it’s a tale of typical California real estate woe: high demand, low inventory.  Although the sweet spot for what local real estate agents term “hot buys” are in the $500,000-$750,000 range, we decided to take a look at how much house you can afford in Santa Cruz with a budget of $1.4 million (or slightly over/under). Shall we review?

110 Quarry Ln | Santa Cruz, CA 95060 | $1,469,500

This elegant home is made for entertaining, with a dramatic formal living room and an open chef-grade kitchen, butler’s pantry, dining, and den area all linked by gleaming hardwood floors, custom cabinetry, wood trim on windows and doors, and access to a peaceful back patio, complete with its own built-in gas grill, sink, and counters. Upstairs are three spacious bedrooms, an office, and two full baths, including a spacious master suite with a ceiling fan, large closets, and a dressing/vanity area between the bedroom and bath area.

654 Spring St | Santa Cruz, CA 95060 | $1,429,000

This charming, lovingly maintained two-story home is nestled on the end of a quiet and private lane at the top of Spring Street. The mostly flat lot is approximately 20,000 square feet, with forest, valley and city views out over the Pogonip open space and down toward Harvey West Park. Spanning approximately 2,500 square feet, the house includes a functional kitchen with windows viewing out to the front of the home and an eat-in nook, as well as a formal dining room, living room with vaulted ceilings and cozy fireplace with an additional living area. There’s also a ground floor master suite with walk in closet, full bath and its own fireplace and deck, two more bedrooms and a full bathroom are located on the second floor. Another bonus? A custom concrete patio for outdoor entertaining, gardens, various decks and fenced spaces make good use of the large back yard.

114 Nanna Ct | Santa Cruz, CA 95060 | $1,399,999

This beautiful four bedroom, three and one-half bath house offers Monterey Bay and Peninsula views in front with a watershed view in back. Set on a quiet cul-de-sac, it’s just two minutes to Hwy 17 — making it a great commuter home.  Other pluses include two master suites with beautiful en suite baths at opposite ends of home. Most of the the living spaces are also located on the main level. There is plenty of space too, including 3,449 square feet and 1,030 square feet of decks with a hot tub. You won’t have to do much updating either, thanks to high quality construction and upgrades throughout, including a new Sub Zero refrigerator, two separate kitchen sinks, granite counter tops, Gaggenau convection oven, Miele dishwasher and GE induction cook top on quartz island.

Which Santa Cruz abode catches your eye? Let us know in the comments below. 

Click here for other homes currently for sale in Santa Cruz in the $1,375,000 to $1,475,000 range.

Click here to view other Cali Comparable posts from around the state.