FOR SALE: This Cliff May home is currently the least expensive active listing in the Ranchos. We decided to take a look and see how it stacks up against the other homes currently available. One Rancho homeowner called out this home as “preservation by neglect” on our Facebook page. That’s a very accurate description. I try and be a positive person so I’d like to focus first, on the good points of this home and then on the challenges facing a potential buyer with a home like this.
In the car restoration business, there’s a phrase I’ve always liked: “It’s only original once.” And original, this home is. The bathrooms are original, right down to the poured terrazzo shower pan in the master bath, a feature long since replaced in most of the Ranchos. There are no additions, no vinyl windows, and a significant amount of the original birch paneling remains. The kitchen here is a mixed-bag. And I think this touches upon a very active debate among Cliff May owners: when do you acknowledge that some elements might be better replaced? The line is different for everyone and I love the idea of keeping and restoring the original birch cabinetry, but in this home it has been modified and the original counters have also been replaced. So it’s a tough call. Sadly, the original Western Holly oven has already been switched out for one of the ubiquitous low-end 24″ gas units.
Unfortunately, this home does need a lot of work and it does feel as though it has been neglected a fair amount. There’s a certain run-down quality and, as an agent who has represented numerous buyers on many mid-century modern homes, the fear isn’t over what we can see…it’s over what we can’t. For someone who has good home improvement skills (and preferably a great family / friend support system that does too) this home represents a very good opportunity — but every single room and area requires some attention and that can be daunting. Specifically, the kitchen will be a big expense. I think the bathrooms could be “freshened” as-is (I still find a lot charm in the original green and blue Crane fixtures) but flooring, painting, mechanical systems, and landscaping will all require quick attention and some dollars.
$600k is quickly becoming the new $500k, so a home under that threshold really is an opportunity for someone who loves the neighborhood but can’t afford one of the “magazine quality” examples that have sold recently or are available in the high $600s. These are solid and relatively simple homes, which definitely helps with renovations, but I always believe it’s important to have that honest conversation with yourself about your skills and time commitment.
If you’d like to schedule a private showing of this property, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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