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Location: The Sea Ranch, Calif.
The Skinny: Perched just about as close to the ocean as a house can be perched while still remaining dry, this elegant, modern compound is located in The Sea Ranch, a planned community in Sonoma County that was established in 1963 by architect Al Boeke as a development that would preserve the area's natural beauty and eventually serve as mecca for the first wave of "green" building in the United States. Composed of a more-than-4,000-square-foot main house and a separate guest house, both built in 1990 and situated on 4.16 acres of oceanfront land, the property, listed for $3.8M, takes full advantage of its water views with vast windows and a wind-protected deck. The sloped wood-plank ceilings with recessed lighting are also a particularly nice touch.