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Help, the realtor just made me cry....

by Cheri last modified Aug 19, 2010 11:12 PM
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Help, the realtor just made me cry....

Posted by Cheri at June 11. 2010

And my house is not even for sale!

We are planning to add an addition, and asked a realtor in to help make sure we were not spending too much on our house, and pricing ourselves out of the market, for any future sale.  She had her mind made up before walking into our cool house.  She hated the house, and told use that "1950's houses are out of favor" and the only way to make this house worth the money we would want for it after the upgrade was to raise the roof grade, and make the front have a more upscale look. 

 

She apparently only works with people who want new, suburban homes.

 

But, the front is a bit boring.  So, what can we do to jazz it up a bit?  We had thought of adding fake under the window there to continue the limestone on a bit..... or building a wall and adding a courtyardy thing.....or some sort of architectural feature that would add some interest to the front.  

 

The inside of the house is all angles and glass, and we have redone with stone, bamboo, concrete and fun colors. 

 

Any sugggestions that would add something to the front that would add a more midcentury feel (house built 1953) without spending a bunch of money?  And then I can send the realtor an nanernaner card when I sell it?

 

(to the right, off picture is an attached 2 car garage, and stone garden in front is a bit overgrown this spring)

 

 

 
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Re: Help, the realtor just made me cry....

Posted by Ted Cleary at August 19. 2010

Hi Cheri,

I was just noodling around looking at Modern stuff when I came across your forum post.  (Should've headed to bed already, but you know how it is.)

Hard to believe no one's responded to it.  Dunno if you'll see this reply two months later but am hoping (and assume) you get an e-mail alert.

Oh my God.....I can't believe that realtor.  (Well, actually, yes I can, easily.) I usually speak unfailingly kindly of people but that individual is clueless.  You'd expect that professionals who get 6% of your sale price would be a little more knowledgeable about architecture and history (in other words: their product).  Yet it's amazing how often they label a Mid-Century Modern home as "contemporary" out of ignorance.  When I read the first paragraph I was thinking it must be some sort of unassuming, modest ranch (the kind they celebrate on retrorenovation.com).....then I scrolled down to the photo.  What you have is a REALLY cool MCM home that deserves to be treated as the gem it is.

The problem, of course, with MCM homes that're all flat roofs is that they can be SO simple as to appear as bunkers to the uneducated.  But yours has alot of the good hallmarks of the style:  blank front wall; vertical grooved siding.  Can't quite make out the tan brick (or is it stone?) but I wonder if you could extend that plane outward as a free-standing wall wing? -- very MCM idea.  Then maybe it becomes departure point for a courtyard garden design.  I see I can add a file to this reply so I'll attach a similar situation; I created this Eichler-inspired home & garden for a garden show this past year; the fireplace/chimney wall is extended out like that.  (It's supposed to have water trickling all down its face, but regrettably the water feature was giving us trouble in the rush to construct it before shooting photos; hopefully I'll "fake it in" in Photoshop one of these days.)

The large graveled area in foreground is perplexing; is it driveway? patio space?  A principle that applies (no matter what the style or period) in garden design is what I call "movement & rest";  spaces should be designed to either get you there, or to linger......which applies to your eye's focus as much as to actual movement.  When it looks neither one or the other, it's confusing and uninviting.

I guest-blog on the aforementioned website, and plan to launch my own blog on Mid-Century Modern garden design soon.  Maybe you'd like to use your home as a test-case for a blog post with conceptual ideas?    

 
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