Shopping For a Home With a Fireplace... or Two

Wintertime is a nice time to curl up by the fire. The fireplace is a focal point of the room, especially over the holidays.

Here comes Santa Claus.

Our stockings are hung ‘round the chimney with care. And what if you don’t have a fireplace? My mom remembers growing up in a house without a fireplace, and they had a cardboard “pretend” fireplace they would pin up so Santa would have an entrance point. She remembers how excited her three younger brothers would be after the fireplace was “installed,” and Santa Claus had a clear destination point at their house.

If you don’t celebrate Christmas, I’m sure you still appreciate your fireplace this time of year as temperatures drop. There’s nothing nicer than curling up in front of the warm flames.

If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you must be careful not to burn on a “spare the air” day—you can subscribe to get an email alert for the “no burn” days by visiting this site: http://www.enviroflash.info.

The crackle of real wood burning is delightful, but a gas fireplace has a number of conveniences: you can turn it on and off easily, there’s no worrying about black widows in the woodpile, and no need to heed the “no burn” days.

So if you’re looking for a place to roast your chestnuts on an open fire, or to welcome Ole Saint Nick, here are some homes with nice fireplaces.


101 La Serena Ave. is offered by Rick Fiset of Re/Max Accord. This is a 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom plus 2 ½ baths home with 4,200 square feet and situated on a .35 acre lot. It is a large traditional home with curb appeal, lots of spacious rooms (the property website includes a floorplan), and three fireplaces: in the master, the family room, and the game room. The backyard has a pool and pool house, and the home sits adjacent to the Iron Horse Trail, and just a hop and a skip over the bridge on the trail to Hemme Avenue where Rancho Romero Elementary is located. Priced at $1,295,000. Visit the property’s website. For showings or questions, please call Rick at 925-362-0415.


490 Clipper Hill Rd. is my listing and is situated on an acre in a wonderful westside Danville location. It is just a half mile from downtown Danville, yet it feels like country on this one acre parcel of towering oaks. It’s a secluded and beautiful setting, accessed by crossing a charming wooden bridge over the creek. The home has two fireplaces: one woodburning in the family room, and a gas fireplace in a cozy nook in the living room. There are three bedrooms plus a loft on 2,700 square feet. The kitchen is equipped with stainless appliances, granite countertops, and a large center island. See the virtual tour. Priced at $1,000,000. Open Sunday from 1-4 p.m. or call me at 925-285-1728 for a showing.

San Ramon

9911 Brunswick Way is offered by Christina Beil of Keller Williams. Located near , this is a charming 4 bedroom, 2 bath home with 1,734 square feet and a fireplace in a lovely family room with vaulted ceiling. The climbing ivy on the front of the house adds to its curb appeal, and the fountain in the front adds to its charm. The kitchen has been updated with granite countertop and stainless appliances. The windows are newer dual pane, and the carpeting is new. See Christina's website for a full slide show of the property: www.ChristinaBeil.com. Offered at  $637,746. Please contact Christina with questions or for a showing at 925-407-8845.


2835 E Sugar Hill Terrace is offered by Sue McKinley of Golden Pacific Realty. Located in Dublin Ranch, this newer home (built in 2004) has 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths and 5,115 square feet on a .28 acre lot with beautiful views and fireplaces to curl up with in the both the family and living rooms. Situated across from the golf course and on a large lot, there are upgrades throughout the home including crown molding and plantation shutters. Priced at $1,149,888. See the virtual tour. For showings or more information, please call Sue at 925-413-2866


9999 Longview Lane is offered by Uwe Maercz of J. Rockcliff. This is a six bedroom gated estate with five bathrooms, three half baths, and more than 8,300 square feet on nearly four acres with four fireplaces. The style is French Chateau and this custom home has stunning grounds, an elevator, a private tennis court, a media room, a 450-gallon saltwater fish tank, a finished attic — and an indoor pool. See the virtual tour. Priced at $2,999,000. For showings or more information, call Uwe at 925-360-8758.

Michael Austin December 23, 2011 at 05:39 PM
We burn wood all winter with an EPA certified fire place insert. We do not burn on spare the air days (STA). We roll out a portable oil heater that costs .07 cents an hour at 700 KW an hour or .14 cents per hour at 1400 KW an hour. The EPA standard for emission rate is 7.5 grams an hour. Our EPA certified Home Hearth Technologies Quadra Fire 3100i ACT insert emission rate is 1.26 grams an hour. I recomend the following two sites for unlimited information for wood heating in compliance with California Regulation 6, Rule 3 while burning cleanly. BAAQAMD.CA.GOV and http://woodheat.org/woodpile/ the 1.26 grams our insert emits could be reduced to zero with a catalytic after burner. But there is no incentive to clean it up because STA days declare no wood burning. No matter if your unit burns clean. Site for inserts and wood stoves: www.quadrafire.com.
karyn wolff December 23, 2011 at 06:45 PM
Hi Michael - We have 2 fireplaces in our 60's ranch home 1 cannot be used per inspector cracked chimney and we use the other as often as we can. The room with the fireplace that works (a garage conversion into a family room ) the fire place is the only heat source so on STA days we begrudgling run an electric heater which kills our power bill in the winter. Whts type of portable oil heater do you use? also I am open to other heating ideas the fireplace insert is too costly -thanks Karyn
Michael Austin December 23, 2011 at 09:23 PM
Karyn, The unit I use in my family room on STA days is a kenwood unit. I purchased it at Home Depot. Lowes and Orchard Supply also carry these oil filled electric heaters. You can view the Kenwood at http://www.shopdelonghi.com. Check the kilowatt maximum setting on any heater you purchase. Usually 1500 is the maximum energy consumption for a heater. Determine your rate for energy use by: Subtracting current kilowatt hour consumption from the previous month kilowatt hour consumption to get your kilowatt hour usage. Devide KW hour usage into your total electric energy to get your per hour rate. Should be around .14 per KW hour. If you operate your oil heater at 68 degrees or higher you will be useing it at a rate of about .14 cents an hour. PG&E rate is generally 0.14 per KW hour. That is an appliance using 1400 KW for an hour. If the heater you are using is the only source of heat for you, you can get an exception from the BAAQMD\ to burn wood. If you have additional questions email tanya.rose@patch.com and ask her to forward you email to me.


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