Welcome to Zillow’s House of the Week. Our site is filled with information on homes for sale and apartments for rent, plus we have data on more than 100 million homes in the U.S., so lots of homes catch our eye.

210 Alvarado Rd, Berkeley CA
For Sale: $2,335,000

Situated in the hills of northern California, blue shutters and a red tile roof make this piece of Berkeley real estate look like it would be more at home among the lavender fields of Provence, France, rather than a half-hour drive from San Francisco.

Although the home was built in 1998, it looks like it dropped into place from a time machine from 1698.

“It’s a new house, it has a massive modern foundation, but because of all these old pieces — which are not just a little bit here and there — but are prominent to the structure, it feels like an old house,” said listing agent Peter Damm.

The home is currently listed for $2,335,000, and the price includes hundreds of French antique fixtures and accoutrements throughout the home, including:

  • the metal gate at the entrance to the property
  • Provençal roof tiles
  • the iron railings
  • arched kitchen window
  • spiral staircase in the detached studio

The most significant item is undoubtedly the floor tiles found in the living and dining areas of the main home. Once a part of a 17th-century monastery in Burgundy, France, one of the tiles has two unmistakable paw prints, a mark that neither Damm nor the current owners know the history of.

“My clients bought it from the person who built the house, so some of these things are anecdotal,” explained Damm. The story goes that when the mud tiles were being made, they would be placed in the sun to dry. Occasionally a wild or domestic animal would come by and step into the tile before the bricks were fully formed.

“We don’t have explicit knowledge of the exact animal or how it happened,” Damm said.

Rather than filling the home with historic pieces, the antiques in the home are integral to the structure. Even the wood beams in the ceiling, measuring nearly 12 to 16 inches thick, were reclaimed — found in an old barn in Canada.

“None of this is what you get at the local home-building supply store,” said Damm.

With current low mortgage rates, this unique piece of history will run a new homeowner $12,485 a month.

Have a suggestion for a Zillow House of the Week? Send a message to @zillow on Twitter or send us an email at

About the Author

Erika Riggs, the Zillow Digs manager, covers home design and trends.

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