When is a Cliff May Home No Longer a Cliff May?

This home is a conundrum. There are some things about this house I love — mainly the workmanship, it’s excellent. The exterior was painted in 2008 — 8 years ago! — and looks like it could have been done last month. There are several well-thought additions: a family room, extension of the master bath, and master bedroom retreat + walk-in closet. These all greatly improve the daily livability of a Cliff May home, which was built in the 1950s when people were smaller and, apparently, had very little in the way of clothing. The swimming pool and spa were high-end when they were built in 2005 and the seller has even upgraded the lighting to LEDs.

That’s the great news — it is an amazingly well-executed house. But the conundrum isn’t the quality, but the style. The master bedroom (normally one of the brightest rooms in the house) is now dark and closed off. In everything but the secondary bedrooms the ceilings have been drywalled over and beams encased. The windows have been replaced with dual paned, vinyl windows. And the home sits on one of the smallest lots in the tract — only about 5300 square feet. The styling is very nice — but not in accordance with the design of the Cliff May Homes. So I guess the question is: When is a Cliff May no longer a Cliff May?

And I think that’s the conundrum here. This is a VERY nice house — it really is. But I don’t think it’s a Cliff May. We have some clients relocating to the area and I think this house is a perfect example of one that’s been modified just a little too far. The things that made it an amazing Cliff May home: the courtyard, the walls of glass in just about every room, the exposed structural elements, and the signature Cliff May doors and windows. It’s still located in the Ranchos — which is a GREAT neighborhood. So how does one value a home like this? While I think that’s for the market to decide, in advising buyers my inclination is that this home has a lot more in common with a very highly-upgraded home in some of the other neighborhoods that surround El Dorado Park than the Ranchos.

This is just our opinion. But we want you to form your own! If you’d love to see this home, definitely contact us and we can make that happen. 

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Stephen has lived and worked in a Southern California Cliff May home since 2005. He created the popular website as well as the Cliff May registry. As a real estate broker, he has had the opportunity to sell numerous Cliff May and other modern ranch homes throughout Southern California. Being a leader in the real estate industry, he has been elected by his colleagues to serve as President of the Pacific West Association of Realtors in 2015. When not working hard for his clients and raising the bar in real estate, he can be found exercising his cars on the backroads or backpacking in the wilderness.

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