He built a home for himself in California.
What does this mean?
Did he build the house? Did he have it built? Or maybe he bought a house and made it his home?
It can be interpreted variously:
He himself constructed his house.
He hired carpenters to constuct his house.
He developed a satisfying environment (friends, activities, pleasures).
I would opt for the first as the most probable, given the lack of context.