I Know Where You Can Buy A House In California For $255,000

Krista Marson
4 min readDec 14, 2023

You just have to be okay with it probably burning down.

Burning House, wikimedia commons

Okay, I kinda fell in love with Claremont, California, after recently attending their October Home Tour. I learned a lot about Claremont’s artistic history and how it embraced “California Scene Painting” (a regional style of painting developed by a group of American artists who flourished from the 1920s to 1960s). The leader of the Claremont faction was an artist named Millard Sheets, and he more or less established an artist community there after World War II when he invited other artists to work with him in his studio.

So, fast forward to 2023 and Claremont still embraces its artistic heritage. The city packs a creative punch for a population of 36,266 (as of 2019) with its plethora of art galleries, museums, and events. I spent a single weekend there and didn’t want to leave. Despite being in the “exurbs” of L.A., the city felt vibrant and well-connected. For commuters that needed to get into the city, the MetroLink was there to whisk passengers to downtown L.A. in one hour for $7. I couldn’t help but to want to live there, so I started to look at real estate the moment I got home.

To make a long story short, yes, I could afford to buy a property in Claremont, California, so long as I was willing to live on a hill. Like, way, way up a hill. Okay, I’ll call it a small mountain. A small, dry mountain covered in loads of grass. Okay, covered in loads of dry grass. Where it would be prohibitive or impossible to buy home insurance. Okay, I’ll start this sentence over. Yes, I could afford to buy a property in Claremont, California, so long as I was willing to live on a small mountain covered in loads of dry grass where insurance would be nearly impossible to buy. There. Doesn’t that sound appealing?

Mt. Badly is a short 11 miles (or 20-minute commute) from Claremont’s city center. A random drop on Google Maps reveals the terrain looking like this:

On the road to Mt. Baldy, Google Maps

Once you get to the area where the houses are, the landscape tends looks something like this:

A neighborhood at Mt. Baldy, Google Maps

A home recently sold here last month for $300,000, and it didn’t look too shabby:

46 Glacier Point, Mt Baldy, CA 91759, Zillow.

And this one (728 sq ft) went for $320,000 last September:

49 Ice House Cyn, Mt Baldy, CA 91759, Zillow

This house is currently for sale for $255,000 (although it’s only 474 sq ft):

47 Ice House Cyn, Mt Baldy, CA 91759, Zillow

And this one, sized at 1,700 sq ft, is being offered for $429,000:

943 San Antonio Creek Rd, Mt Baldy, CA 91759, Zillow

Ah, wouldn’t it be nice to live in the mountains? Too bad I’m too terrified to do so, especially in California. Gone are the days when one didn’t have to worry about such pesky things as wildfires. Yet, who are buying these properties? A quick Zillow search reveals that houses are being sold in this area — for quite cheap, I might add.

Who the hell is brave enough to buy these properties??? People who can afford second homes and won’t care when they burn down, that’s who.

It must be nice to be able to buy disposable properties…

My books Memory Road Trip (e-book or paperback) and Time Traveled (e-book or paperback) are both available!