California Dream: Green House for Sale, $3.5M

Just an hour north of Los Angeles, the Ojai Valley is a modern day Shangri-La. With great weather and sunshine year-round, the semi-rural enclave borders the Los Padres National Forest and comes with a real Main Street.

At the forefront of many eco-building initiatives, Ojai is also a traditional haven for artists and musicians. Ojai homes for sale reflect that diversity, and range in price from a $60,000 trailer to the $9.3 million solar-powered hilltop retreat of actor and "Dallas" star Larry Hagman.

Spanish Revival, or a version of that look, is the predominant style.

Casa Verde (green house) stands out from all other homes for sale in Ojai. Here's why....
It's environmentally sensitive and equipped with efficient water, power, heating and ventilation systems. Offered at $3.495 million, the 3,973-square-foot, five-bedroom, five-and-a-half bath (plus outdoor shower) house on just over two acres comes from design/build firm Otis Bradley Construction. Bradley custom-built the all-cement, super-insulated house with innovations such as radiant-heat floors, Trex decking, and a grading of the hillside property that creates bioswales to help purify rainwater runoff.

"We designed it as reaction to the climate there," explains Bradley.
Not a typical Craftsman or Spanish, the house is angled toward the sun with a pitched, reflective metal roof that enhances natural ventilation. The roof's architecturally dramatic overhang also shades the house.

The living room and master bedroom are on the second floor and take advantage of the Topa Topa mountain and valley views, as does a shaded, outdoor deck.

The upstairs great-room combines living room, dining room and kitchen, and flows to the outdoors. And with so many windows, it basks in natural light.

Among the home's unique features is a downstairs bunkroom with two built-in queen beds, each with a built-in twin above. Those sleeping quarters are adjacent to a TV/game room which opens to an outdoor seating area and fire pit. It's designed to welcome not only kid guests but entire families. The property has a separate three-car garage and guesthouse. Flooring is concrete throughout and the Marvin-manufactured windows are dual-paned and coated for energy efficiency.

Ojai is known as a weekend getaway for Angelenos and has often attracted those from showbiz. Along with Hagman's showpiece, another multi-million Ojai home for sale with a Hollywood name: actor Malcolm McDowell's $3.55 million Spanish-style, which recently was renovated by his wife Kelley.

See more Ojai, California homes for sale at AOL Real Estate.
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