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Sunday, June 18, 2017

You know the road that's paved with good intentions?

I believe flippers generally think they're doing the right thing. I also believe they generally fail to do their homework about what they've bought...and in the case of mid-century homes, about what mid-century lovers find desirable.

Before we bought the house we're in now, my daughter and I considered buying this house. We finally decided it would require too much work to restore.  While we knew it was going to be a huge project, we also knew the end result could be absolutely breathtaking if done right.




When we saw the restored exterior recently, we were encouraged. Very little was changed. The new balcony was an improvement, and the front doors and garage doors were nice choices. Overall, the look and feel of the house remained the same, and that boded well.




But remember the entry, with all its beautiful trim?




Now it looks like this. Some of the trim was restored. Some was removed when one of the rock walls was knocked out. The removal of the dark paneling brightened the entry...but the original cone wall fixtures didn't get put back up. That was the first sign something was amiss.




And remember the rock fireplace and the gorgeous screen beside it? The slate floor?





Now it looks like this. Slate gone, screen gone, rock fireplace gone, replaced by the most lackluster and predictable materials anyone could have chosen.




And the Pomona tile designed by George Nelson for the Distinguished Designer series in the late 1950s or early 1960s? That's right...gone. It was in pristine condition. It just needed to be re-grouted.




Now the bathroom looks like this. It breaks my heart to think those tiles were tossed into a dumpster. With a little knowledge about the period, the owners would have at least known to resell them. (I've seen them listed on eBay recently for $10-15 each. In the past, I've seen tiles from that series bring as much as $45.)




This 2556 sf house is currently on the market for $459,900 (originally listed at $475,000). It's been for sale for almost two months. I may be wrong, but I predict the current owners won't get the quick turnaround they hoped for...or the profit they expected.

In effect, the flippers have created a white elephant. They've stripped the house of all its mid-century character, and anyone who truly wants a mid-century home would have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to return it to its former beauty.

And, to make things worse, even at its reduced price, it's overpriced for that particular neighborhood. If the flippers chose to give it a generic look that would appeal to the broad market, I think they overlooked the fact that buyers wanting a similar sized house could...and probably would...opt to buy a brand new, similarly unremarkable McMansion for far less.

As I said...homework, people. If the sellers had cleaned the rock and slate, done minimal restoration to the room divider, and re-grouted the George Nelson bathroom tile, they could have saved themselves considerable expense, making it possible to list the house for far less and still make a hefty profit. And I can almost guarantee that some mid-century lover would have scooped it up already.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Ah, summer

Most of our plants are coming back after a couple of particularly hard freezes we had during the winter months, and we're enjoying the beautiful colors of summer. There's nothing like it.









Friday, June 9, 2017

The ultimate in mid-century bathrooms

Again, I've let far too much time pass since my last post. It's hard to believe I found time to post daily for five years. But that was then...when I was living alone...and this is now. Being part of a busy multi-generational household with a daughter whose job keeps her on the go and two grandsons, ages six and seven, who keep me on the go, I seem to have put the blog on the back burner.

However, sometimes things come my way that are just too good not to post. Candace Ramirez, public relations manager for Estately, found my blog a couple of years ago, and she's always thoughtful enough to share amazing mid-century homes with me. This time, she sent me a link to a house in Los Angeles with a bathroom that will make the "pink bathroom crowd" (You know who you are!) swoon with delight.





The only thing I can think of that could make a pink bathroom lover happier than original pink fixtures is this room...original pink and turquoise. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Fort Worth home for sale

Was my last post really in December? I've really been neglecting the blog lately. Gone are the years of daily posts, but this is ridiculous. I'll make a real effort to be more diligent from now on.

This local mid-century delight is owned by an acquaintance of mine. I've been in the home socially, and I can honestly say that it's more beautiful than the photos.

Built in 1952, this 4593 square foot marvel boasts soaring ceilings with skylights, huge indoor plants and tons of built-ins. With 5 bedrooms and 4 updated bathrooms and an updated kitchen with a gas stove which includes a grill, wok attachment, convection oven and warming drawer, it is larger and offers more amenities than many homes built in the early 1950s. It also has a stacked stone see-through fireplace, as well as refinished terrazzo tile and new cork flooring.

The home is located in Fort Worth's prestigious Monticello neighborhood and has a park view. It is listed at $599,000.