Pick of the listings: A high-up Claremont house

This is one of the nicest listed houses I have seen in a while in Berkeley. Of course, you would expect it to be pretty fine with a $1.695 million price tag.

Nevertheless, high prices don’t always equate to appealing homes, and there’s an awful lot to like with this five-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom home at 90 The Uplands. There’s also one thing not to like — a potential deal breaker in fact — but we’ll come to that later.

The exterior of the 4,402 square foot, traditional-style home doesn’t give much away. It’s a little bland in fact. (And the listing photographs certainly don’t do the home justice — you need to see the thing up close and personal.)

But this is a spacious, light and well-proportioned house. The busily patterned granite countertop aside, the kitchen rates  in my all-time top 10 — for its size, style and aspect giving directly onto a large, terraced back garden. The living room is elegant with an imposing fireplace and huge window framing views of the Claremont hills. Upstairs, the bedrooms are generously sized and there’s ample storage space, including what might be the original large, cedar-lined linen cupboard (sigh).


There’s a whole apartment in the basement level too.

So what’s the big “but”. It’s the 52 steps you need to climb to reach the front door of the house. Forty-two too many in my view — however splendid the home awaiting you at the summit may be.