Location: Mendocino, Calif. Price: $995,000 The Skinny: This completely renovated early 1900s home in Mendocino Village has just jumped into the lead in the early running for Most Totally Adorable House of the Year, with its nautically themed loft master bedroom (it’s got an en suite clawfoot tub!) and impossibly quaint backyard writer’s retreat. Which is plenty cute, to be sure, but the kitchen’s blue beadboard cabinetry and the front yard rope swings with ocean views—not to mention the rustic nearby water tower—put it firmly over the top. Despite all this welcome whimsy, the brokerbabble tries to milk the place for it-was-a-dark-and-stormy-night melodrama: “And when those North Coast storms blow, you’ll be safe and warm snuggled up in front of a beautiful river rock fireplace with a front row seat as the drama unfolds outside.” Well, sure. Or you could be soaking in the clawfoot tub with a fleet of model boats and a bottle of grog, reenacting Nelson’s glorious victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, because in a house this twee, well, coffee and blankets in front of the fire betrays a pitiful lack of imagination. For those willing to rise to the challenge, the three-bedroom home—and its red outhouse door—is asking $995,000.