Berkeley’s ‘Harry Potter House’ is selling for $1.495 million


  • a417d 920x920 Berkeleys Harry Potter House is selling for $1.495 million

    Fantastically designed, this Storybook home in the Berkeley Hills has been dubbed “The Harry Potter House” by neighboring children

    Fantastically designed, this Storybook home in the Berkeley Hills has been dubbed “The Harry Potter House” by neighboring children


    Photo: Open Homes Photography

  •  Berkeleys Harry Potter House is selling for $1.495 million

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Fantastically designed, this Storybook home in the Berkeley Hills has been dubbed “The Harry Potter House” by neighboring children

Fantastically designed, this Storybook home in the Berkeley Hills has been dubbed “The Harry Potter House” by neighboring children



Photo: Open Homes Photography


In storybook style with a fairy tale setting, this 1929 Berkeley Hills home is listed for $1.495 million.

The home


Storybook style architecture is a 1920s phenomenon. Homes of this design were inspired by Hollywood’s love affair with fantastical old-world Europe. Hallmarks of this style (also called Provincial Revivalism, Fairy Tale, and Hansel and Gretel) include craggy gabled roofs, cobblestone, latticed iron, beamed ceilings, and sometimes irregular or uneven features that create a whimsical effect.

You see all of those hallmarks in 679 Cragmont Ave. The four-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom home offers 2,365 square feet of whimsy, so much so that it “has been dubbed the ‘Harry Potter House’ by local children,” says the official website.

The facade is brick under fanciful gables embellished with scrollwork and carvings (note the kitty cutout above the front entrance).


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Inside are more brick, tile, and hardwood. The living room features an over-size hearth and 12-foot beamed ceilings. The listing writeup mentions “artisan’s finger marks on the clay floor tiles.”

Fantasy takes a break in the kitchen where upscale modern features dominate.

On the upper level, nestled under a cathedral ceiling, is a master suite with its own freestanding fireplace and a “giant closet with a round window inspired by the movie ‘Christmas Vacation,’” according to the listing.

Balconies off bedrooms feature wrought iron and irregular, hand-carved mullion doors; these overlook the extensive back gardens.

There is also a garage and full basement.

The grounds

A Storybook home would hardly be worth its story without magic gardens. On this 5,985-square-foot lot, there are trees, fountain, topiary, rose garden, greenhouse shed, English “folly and deciduous trees.”

A brick patio, accessed by a medieval-looking door, offers its own fireplace under an arbor dripping with wisteria.

The location

Cragmont Avenue is a sylvan street in the Berkeley Hills, close to Tilden Park as well as the amenities of downtown Berkeley.

The deal

The last time this enchanted home sold was 1997, when its (seemingly magical, by today’s standards) price was $425,000. Fast forward to 2019, that price is $1.495 million.

With a 30-day sale-to-list ratio for this zip code of 121 percent, it seems the ending to this story includes new owners who bid quite a bit higher.


See the complete listing here.

Anna Marie Erwert writes from both the renter and new buyer perspective, having (finally) achieved both statuses. She focuses on national real estate trends, specializing in the San Francisco Bay Area and Pacific Northwest. Follow Anna on Twitter: @AnnaMarieErwert   


Article source: https://www.sfgate.com/realestate/article/Berkeley-Hills-Harry-Potter-House-is-classic-13845942.php

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