19388 Beardsley Road in Los Gatos (Trulia)
In Los Gatos, California, John Lipka spent five years building his dream two-bedroom house in a hillside—only to reconnect with his high school girlfriend and move in with her instead.
With its earthen roof, the house at 19388 Beardsley Rd is reminiscent of a modern Hobbit house. It’s located in unincorporated Los Gatos, a more rural area between mountains and redwood forests southwest of Los Gatos.
Concrete was poured into place so that it could be built into the side of the hill that was 60 degrees behind it. The house’s 10-inch-thick concrete walls and 20-foot-tall retractable glass doors are surmounted by an earthen roof.
“It’s the only home of its kind in Santa Clara County,” said listing agent Cassie Maas. “It might even be the only home of its kind in more.”
Lipka owned the house next door as well as a vacant lot where he spent about five years designing and building the property as his dream retirement home. But by the time it was finally done earlier this year, another long-held dream came true — Lipka reconnected with his high school girlfriend and ended up moving in with her.
The 2,000-square-foot home is now on the market for $1,866,000, which is a relative bargain compared to the combined Los Gatos, where a loft of this size recently sold for $2.75 million. In Santa Clara County as a whole, the average monthly housing cost is close to $8,000.
“You get a lot for your money in the mountains,” Maas said. “Although the house in question is only minutes from downtown Los Gatos.”
Maas said the design of the house will also reduce heating bills because the thicker concrete walls create a constant coolness inside the house, even on hot days.
“I’m in a house that gets sun all day, and putting on blinds and blinds helps bring down the temperature in my house,” she said. “Now imagine if your house was completely covered by three feet of dirt.” In the winter, she added, the radiant heat can take a few days to warm the entire house, but once that’s done, the solid walls retain heat despite the many glass windows and doors.
Lipka also went for concrete construction due to its seismic integrity. “Of course, 100% guarantees cannot be given, but it is reasonable that the structure would be able to withstand almost any earthquake,” he said. “Any landslide would only require digging yourself up.”
The home has parking for up to 10 cars (including three in the 650-square-foot garage), a cast-iron bathtub in one of the two en-suite bedrooms, color-changing LED lights throughout and a color-changing fireplace. . The property also includes a creek, as well as hillsides in front and behind the house.
Mass has set a show date for September 10.
“We had very interested people,” she said. “No one has made a move yet, but that’s not uncommon for mountain lists.”
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