Tiny House: Santa Cruz Bungalow Is Mere Blocks to the Beach

They say the key to a great house is location. Agent Linda Bailey also applies her own personal yardstick: "I always judge beach houses by [distance to] toes in the sand," she says.

This one-bedroom bungalow in Santa Cruz, CA, makes the cut: It's about three blocks to the ocean or "about a 5-minute walk," according to Bailey. It's on the market for $699,000.

The 446-square-foot pad is also close to Santa Cruz Harbor as well as shopping and dining options. "It's all walkable," the agent adds.

Despite the home's tight square footage, a recent price drop has led to multiple offers. While a hair under $700,000 isn't exactly cheap, the home's location is a huge factor, as is the rarity of homes so close to the beach. "They don't come up that much, especially under a million dollars," Bailey says.

One thing to keep in mind: This property can't be rented out, because the city places strict limits on vacation properties.

According to the agent, that limitation is one of the reasons the owner, who inherited the home, decided to sell.

While prospective buyers are mostly looking at the place as a second home, it could also work as a primary residence for a single person without a lot of stuff. Built in 1944, it's probably "one of the original beach cabins" constructed by farmers trying to escape the heat of central California, according to the agent.

One thing we know for sure: The tiny home is big on charm.

Surrounded by a white picket fence and colorful flowers on a brick patio, the inviting cottage includes a living area, a kitchen with dining nook, and a bedroom.

No dining room? No problem. You can head out back, which features plenty of space for cooking, dining, and lounging.

"It does have everything you need for a little weekend getaway, or even living full-time," Bailey says. While the home lacks a garage, given the lot space of over 2,000 square feet, that might be an easy add, she notes.

With or without a garage, the location is a huge draw. Just about two hours from San Francisco, vacationers come for the seashore and plenty of other activities, including surfing and whale watching.

The famed Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is also nearby: Thrill-seekers can't resist braving a ride on the heart-pounding Giant Dipper, a wooden roller coaster from 1924. Or, groove to music from Bands on the Beach every Friday night during the summer.

Of course, you could also choose to do nothing but head out the front door and take off your shoes.