They've apparently been around for more than 3,000 years, but what are now known as cul de sacs continue to be popular places to live.
At least one historical account says evidence of these dead-end streets have been unearthed from Egyptian ruins circa 1885 B.C.
They also are believed to have been used in ancient Athens and Rome, probably more for defensive purposes or to accomodate walls built around communities.
The word cul de sac came to use in Europe about 200 years ago. In French, it can be politely translated as "bottom of the bag." That somehow refers to the look of such residential roads.
These type of streets were first used in the United States in a New Jersey subdivision in 1924.
In 1936, the Federal Housing Administration began encouraging their development as a way to reduce traffic and increase pedestrian safety in housing subdivisions.
In the 1950s, developers began to abandon the "grid pattern" for neighborhoods and cul de sacs have been with us ever since.
Some analysts say home buyers are willing to pay up to 20 percent more for a home on a cul de sac. Are you?
One home for sale on a cul de sac in Martinez is this four-bedroom, three-bathroom house at 926 Meadowvale Court that's listed at $695,000.
The house, built in 1978, is 2,256 square feet. It sits on a fifth of an acre and last sold in 2006 for $845,000.
You can read about more cul-de-sac homes in nearby communities on Pleasant Hill Patch and Concord Patch.
This information was provided by Rachael Hand, Broker Associate, Coldwell Banker and director for the Contra Costa Board of Realtors (DRE 01450616), 925-372-8080 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Properties featured in this article may be offered by a variety of local real estate firms.