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Mid Century Modern Making a Splash

One things for sure, in every city across America you’ll find an abundance of 50’s ranch houses in great established neighborhoods and San Diego is no different. The post war Ranch style house is know for its sprawling lay out and horizontal orientation with the street, usually being single story and having an attached 2 car garage as this was the first decade where families actually had 2 cars. Low profile roof lines and fairly open floorplans are also indicative of this time period as are huge overhanging eaves and exposed beams. Sliding glass doors leading to outdoor patios were first introduced in this era as well. Looking at these homes makes you realize how perfect these traits align themselves with todays homebuyer, even 50 years later.  

Recently its become very popular to put the modern twist on these homes. Being in San Diego now I’m not sure if I’ll continue with the Craftsman Bungalow affair we had in Texas but with what I’m seeing done to these 1945-1968 Ranchers its looking pretty fun. You’ve got the large rooms, open beams and open floorplan. To get the modern element into the exterior all you need are aluminum windows, smooth stucco and some natural elements such as stained redwood or teak. These style homes already typically have minimal exterior ornamentation. Metal windows, dark wood and frosted glass, Bam. You got it. I really like this house a friend showed me this week during our property hunt, I’m so excited about this design style I think I’ll try my hand if I land a rancher. The interiors are semi-minimalist but Modern with clean lines, high end finishes and trendy material choices, no travertine here. Formica countertops were also introduced during this period but there’s a variety of other new materials of course that mimic the clean, smooth look for counters.    

Hopefully I’ll find the right house to transform into a Mid Century Modern project, were making tons of offers. REO’s, short sales, traditional equity sales and to private party non-mls stuff. Somethings bound to stick soon, stay tuned.

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  1. 10 Comment(s)

  2. By Curtis Gabhart on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    I agree with your thoughts Tom. You’ll probably triple the amount of properties you can buy if you add these to the mix and it really compliments your attention to detail.

  3. By Mike C on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    Sold! You have a client here!

  4. By Troy on Mar 18, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Tom, finding lots of great 50’s ranch style REO’s in Sacramento area too, When rehabbed, they have allot of character and some younger buyers really like them. Lost a HUD home this week, such a sweet deal, accepted our offer, and then after 7 days, Asset Manager realized (forgot) they had back-up offer for more money, no contract signed, only verbal approval, such a great deal, no recourse, but unethical for sure! Moving onto next deal, loving 1950’s 3/2’s with pools, they sell quickly in California in summer months. So many Bank owned deals up here, if you get tired of beach and need a deal up here, you now know an agent/Broker team who flips homes too.

  5. By Tom on Mar 18, 2011 | Reply

    Cool guys, thanks for the comments. @Troy, luck of the draw huh?, look at it this way, the more you dont get is just that much closer to the good one that you will get, right? Keep plugging, it’s persistence that wins everytime.

  6. By Matt Kearney on Mar 19, 2011 | Reply

    Hi Tom,

    We’ve got tons of those 50’s-60’s ranches up here in New England too. Most of the ones in my city are smaller, usually around 900-1400sq.ft. They make for really easy rehabs and the first time buyers always seem to love them.

    Nice post!

  7. By Halbert on Mar 23, 2011 | Reply

    Tom, I’m looking forward to seeing your solutions to a ranch. We bought one recently. Good bones, but some perplexing issues. What to do with that pink and yellow tile? Do we need a master bath? A walk-in closet? A water heater for each end of the house? What about those cool, but inefficient louvered glass windows? Do termites count as insulation?

  8. By Scott on Mar 23, 2011 | Reply

    Tom- Our company Residential Strategies, LLC has been flipping REO homes in San Diego for the past two years. I would really like to speak with you regarding expansion into Sacramento. Please e-mail me.

  9. By Troy on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Scott, would enjoy connecting with you as well, my partner and I are flipping in Sacramento area as well, looking to expand network with other investors and “trade deals” if possible as well as brainstorm. We have 2 deals goign currently, looking to do 1 per month. Send me an e-mail if your interested. troyreman@gmail.com. Didnt see your e-mail on blog. Thanks!

  10. By Leslie on May 27, 2013 | Reply

    Where is the resource list you blogged about ? Specifically the Sputnik ceiling light fixture. Great work on the renovation . Thanks

  11. By BobnAlabama on Jul 11, 2014 | Reply

    Absolutely stunning restoration! As a lover of both urban design and suburban privacy, I have come to admire mid-century modern homes as an amalgam of both.

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