The Best Cliff May You’re May Be Overlooking

Sometimes we become so focused on a vision we have in our heads, that we fail to see what’s right in front of us, because it doesn’t “fit.” This is one of those houses — if you’ve been looking for a Cliff May, it probably doesn’t fit your mold. And that’s too bad, because it’s actually a great house.

This home has a lot of custom, bespoke touches. I think it’s obvious that this home was owned by someone who cared about design. The front door (cool enough for me to take a picture and send to my friends) is a standout. This home was owned by somebody who looked at their Cliff May as though it was the base, the foundation from which to create something that was their own. This also includes little unique alcoves, a custom fireplace treatment, and several skylights. It also means they added on.

Additions on Cliff May homes are a mixed bag, and that’s definitely true here. The biggest change is with the addition of a second living room. The space is absolutely useful — and the house still flows right. This home was originally under 1200 square feet — that’s small, no matter how you slice it. The extra space is definitely welcome, but it means the master bedroom is no longer the glass peninsula you’ve come to expect from a Cliff May. It also means the courtyard, the center piece of the Cliff May lifestyle, is much smaller.

This is one of those houses that isn’t perfect and most definitely has qualities that you will want to change. The kitchen with its original cabinets but dropped ceiling is unique and charming, but ultimately closed-off and a little dysfunctional. The living room addition reduces the courtyard and no enclosed gate means the front yard is open for all to see. But everything in this house works as-is. There may be things you want to do…but nothing you have to do immediately. This is huge, especially for those buyers wondering whether they will ever be able to get into the neighborhood. This is your house. Great square footage. Great location. It just needs you to open your mind a little.

3225 Lees Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90808 (MLS # PW16134727)

(all data current as of 6/19/2019)
Price $745,000
Beds 3
Baths 2 baths
Home size 1,617 sq ft
Lot Size 5,227 sqft
Days on Market 98
Status Sold
Originally designed by world renowned architect Cliff May, this expanded Long Beach "Rancho" features three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a den/office, a family room and living room in 1,617 square feet of living area. Recent improvements to the house include a tastefully remodeled master bathroom, new family room skylights, interior and exterior paint, designer lighting and numerous other cosmetic touches. This serene property sits in a quiet interior location within the Rancho Estates tract (the "Modern Mayberry"), a peaceful neighborhood characterized by tree lined parkways, great midcentury modern architecture, a strong sense of community and 800 acres of parkland. This is a special place to live - come and take a look.

Property Type(s): Single Family

Last Updated 9/29/2016 Tract Rancho (RNC)
Year Built 1953 Community 33 - Lakewood Plaza, Rancho
Garage Spaces 1.0 County Los Angeles
Total Parking n/a

Price History

Prior to Jul 20, '16 $785,000
Jul 20, '16 - Jul 29, '16 $765,000
Jul 29, '16 - Today $749,000

Additional Details

Lot 0.12 Area 33 - Lakewood Plaza, Rancho
HOA Dues 0 Parking Spaces: 3.00
Pool Description None Subdivision Rancho (RNC)
Utilities Sewer Connected,Sewer Available View Description None
Water Public Waterfront Description Fishing in Community


Air None
Appliances Dishwasher, Electric Oven, Garbage Disposal, Gas Stove, Microwave, Water Heater Centr
Basement Foundation: Slab
Construction Wood Siding
Fireplace Yes
Garage Driveway, Garage, Yes
Heat Forced Air
Interior Bathtub, Beamed Ceilings, Open Floor Plan, Shower, Unfurnished
Lot Description Back Yard, Yard
Style Modern, Ranch


Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

Listing provided by : Rochelle Kramer, Re/Max R. E. Specialists

(view all details for MLS #PW16134727)

The following two tabs change content below.
Stephen has lived and worked in a Southern California Cliff May home since 2005. He created the popular website as well as the Cliff May registry. As a real estate broker, he has had the opportunity to sell numerous Cliff May and other modern ranch homes throughout Southern California. Being a leader in the real estate industry, he has been elected by his colleagues to serve as President of the Pacific West Association of Realtors in 2015. When not working hard for his clients and raising the bar in real estate, he can be found exercising his cars on the backroads or backpacking in the wilderness.

Leave a Comment