10 Things You Might Not Know About Carmel House Names

1. A common misconception is that houses in Carmel-by-the-Sea aren't numbered and don't have mail boxes or mail delivery. While that's true for most of the city (ZIP code 93921), some houses in ZIP code 92123 are numbered and do receive mail delivery, and some of those houses are located inside the borders of the city.

2. Since most houses aren't numbered, some owners display names for their homes. However, barely 3% of houses display a name, and about 15% of those are simply a family name. (Many of the numbered houses in the Carmel area outside the city boundary also have house names posted, but the counts on this page are only for those houses within the city limits.)

3. Here is an excellent interactive map of named Carmel houses. The story of how the map was compiled is on the front page of this edition of the Carmel Pine Cone newspaper.

4. At least 76 named houses have at least one other house elsewhere in the city with the exact same name. When you additionally ignore spacing (Dreamcatcher vs. Dream Catcher), punctuation (Sans Souci vs. Sans-Souci), abbreviations (Seventh House vs. 7th House) and simple modifiers (Last Resort vs. The Last Resort) then an even greater number (about 10% of named houses) are duplicates. Of course, counting other phonetic duplicates (Robbin's Nest vs. Robins Nest or Tuck'd Inn vs. Tucked In), or searching beyond the city limits, uncovers even more duplicate names.

5. The most popular exactly duplicated name is Garden House, used on four buildings.

6. Other names used by more than two houses are Sea Haven (3 homes), Sans Souci or Sans-Souci (4 homes), Seventh (or 7th) Heaven (four homes), and (The) Tree House/Treehouse (4 homes).

7. Casa… (Casa Carmelo, Casablanca, Casa La Playa, and so forth) and Sea… (Sea Castle, Seahorse, Sea Urchin, and so forth) are by far the most popular prefixes, used on 35 homes each.

8. By-the-Sea is used in at least 18 home names (with or without dashes, like Fore-by-the-Sea or Legacy by the Sea).

9. Carmel is well-known for its many examples of "fairy tale" cottage-style architecture, but less than about 6% of house names include the word cottage.

10. Although most houses remain unnamed, owners sometimes nevertheless post numbers indicating the home's position on its block, primarily to aid delivery services and visitors. Houses will sometimes just use a simple cardinal (1, 2, 3...) while the more elaborate signs usually indicate position relative to a cross-street, such as 1 NW of 3rd or 2 SE of 7th.