Searching for MCM homes… which elements speak to you?

The supply of homes for sale is currently so low it is hard to find any home to buy… and even harder when you are searching for a specific style.

When someone tells me they are looking for mid-century-modern homes I have learned that the first thing I need to ask is what mid-century-modern means to them. Many times they will describe a home with exposed beams and vaulted ceilings, angular roof lines, floor-to-ceiling windows, a unique open floor plan… but it can go way beyond that.

The style is difficult to pin down because it is actually a collection of design styles from roughly 1940 to 1975.

Mid-century-modern design can include late prairie style homes with Frank Lloyd Wright influence, boxy international and contemporary styles, ground-hugging ranch-style homes, multi-level homes and distinctive unique custom designs. What they have in common is an emphasis on soaring living spaces, big windows/glass doors, and bringing the outside in.

People looking for mid-century-modern homes often resonate with natural light and simplicity, a clean look which may also be found in contemporary modern homes.

Some features which may be found include…

  • angular roof lines – flat, butterfly, sloped
  • vaulted, beamed ceilings with exposed structure
  • wood ceilings
  • statement fireplace and prominent chimney
  • large irregular windows, letting the outside in
  • windows extending to just below the roof line
  • floor to ceiling windows
  • corner windows and a sense of airiness
  • high windows bringing in light with a sense of privacy
  • terrazzo or tile floors
  • solid wood panel walls
  • built-ins – bookshelves, storage, seating
  • natural materials such as wood, stone, brick
  • asymmetry
  • recessed entrance
  • expansive wall of brick or glass
  • deep-set eaves with wide roof overhang
  • low-pitched roof
  • emphasis on back yard living and/or views
  • unassuming street facade, back side filled with windows and dramatic views
  • architect-designed homes, sometimes found on unique lots almost hidden away… lots that have been overlooked because they don’t easily accommodate ‘traditional’ style homes

Mid-century-moderns can be hard to find… even harder now when there is a shortage of inventory of every type. Try to identify what features speak to you and be on the lookout for those features, regardless of whether or not they are found in ‘true’ mid-century-moderns. Keep in mind that you can make changes to make it speak to your sensibilities as long as it has ‘good bones.’

This is a time when patience is required. It can be even more frustrating when you finally find the home you want… only to discover that a dozen other people are competing for the same home! Don’t give up… I see it happen over and over again that when it is the right fit, against all odds things seem to fall into place. Enjoy the adventure!

Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results – shensrud@homesmsp.com

Written By

I love what I do! Highly insightful, analytical and creative, there is nothing I love more than helping you find the right solution for your real estate transition. My mission is to serve my clients with honesty and integrity, exceeding their expectations in service and support… and to help others by donating a portion of every transaction to Habitat for Humanity.

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