California, the third largest of the 50 states, is also one of the most diverse in topography. The Sierra Nevada Mountains reign through the east, to the west, a rugged coastline on the Pacific Ocean. The central region is lush green valleys, while the south is desert land. The north is heavily wooded and joins into the Rocky Mountains.
Of its 99.8 million acres, 27.5million is used as farmland. California is the leading producer of fruits, vegetables and nuts. The top exports are dairy products, flowers, grapes, almonds and cattle products. Its temperate climate is ideal for crop growth, making it a large exporter of wine also. Other products from the state include movies, computers, electronics and software.
Land in California is a hot commodity. Properties near cities like LA, San Francisco, San Diego and Pasadena are very expensive, with prices continuing to soar. Due to many celebrities in California, the amount of luxury homes is also higher than in other states.
Single family homes, condos, townhouses, high rises and commercial buildings are being built at a steady rate. In 2000, there were 12.2 million units, which is a growth of 9.2% over 1990s numbers. 11.3 million of the units were in cities and the surrounding suburbs. The median value is $211 thousand, but in large cities it is significantly higher, at or over 1 million dollars.