Sometimes I feel like we have created a monster, but maybe we are taking too much credit. Our mission has always been to promote and spread the word on Midcentury Modern architecture, and specifically our incredible MCM housing inventory in Cincinnati. The demand is certainly there, even if the understanding isn’t. Sometimes when I see another agent with a ‘mid century modern’ sign rider out front of a house that is obviously not, I have to chuckle. At least the terminology is out there, and people are trying to understand.
There are Midcentury Homes and there are Midcentury Modern Homes. And then there is the elusive true Modern Home. Think Dwell Magazine. An architectural style that is foreign to most builders, and in incredible demand. Most homes in Cincinnati that fall into this category are in the million plus range, severely limiting the pool of potential buyers. The demand – dare I say the NEED – for these homes in the range of more buyers – is evident. The willingness of the average builder to even consider building homes with one less gable is non-existent.
But I digress. We do have an exciting new MODERN build to tell you about. And yes, it is over a million. But it is also a RIVERVIEW property, and we all know that land cost drives the price of any construction. Location, location, location……..
Architect Lynn Adam spent his architecture career overseeing the construction and re construction of Cincinnati Public Schools facilities master plan. It paid the bills, but his true love is modern, and his mentor was the world renowned Cincinnati modernist architect and beloved DAAP architecture professor David Niland. Niland’s influence is evident in Lynn and his wife Pat’s own house. And it is again obvious in this new to-be-built project. Lynn has come up with a basic plan to make the most of the site and the view, and disrupt the land and the neighbors as little as possible by hugging the house down the hillside. He is excited about collaborating with the buyer on the amenities and finishes. What an opportunity to build in one of the city’s last prime residential view areas!
but if you try sometimes well you just might find
you get what you need
I have to keep reminding myself that form truly does follow function. I tried for years to find vintage looking (if not actual vintage) faucets for our 4 obsolete (but still in great condition) bathroom sinks. After ordering the Danze faucets and second guessing myself (see previous blog post), I ordered the only period appropriate alternative – the Kohler Triton. And wouldn’t you know, although the hole configuration is right, the Kohler faucet happens to be a 'reinforced' commercial faucet, and has metal sleeves that go over the supply lines that are TOO LARGE for our sink holes. Argh!! Looks like the Danze was our only option after all. Good news is that the faucets are in and running, and are extremely functional with the touch down drain and high arc spout for much better access to the sink. (who knew that's why they make the high arc faucets!?). So although they do not look vintage with the high arc, they are modern, they fit, and they are huge functional improvement over our icky old faucets. Not a win-win, but a win. We certainly got what we needed.
When we bought our home 16 years ago, there were several changes or additions that had been made to the house that simply had to go. Icky light fixtures, peel and stick floors in the bathrooms, beige plush carpet. You know, the stuff that just does not deserve space in a classic midcentury home. All these years later, only one item remains on that list and it has been bothering me for the last 5,840 days (not even kidding!).
Everything is original in our bathrooms except the floors, cabinet hardware, and the sink faucets. The floors we took care of by getting rid of the peel and stick and adding cork and heated slate (nice!). The hardware was an easy and fun fix with a trip to Bona Hardware in Oakley. The faucets, however, have not been so easy. The original American Standard sinks, banded in aluminum, are in great condition and we love the look. But the hole configuration for the faucets leaves us with few options for replacement (4” centerset, tiny hole in the center for the drain pop up, and larger supply holes on the sides). More current sinks have a large center hole to accommodate both supply lines to a mixer faucet. My guess is that the original faucets were the sink version of the American Standard faucets in our showers and bath tub, with two lever handles. In 1956 when the house was built, you either had American Standard (good) or Crane (better). There was not much else.
By the time we bought the house in 1997 from the second owner, the 4 bathroom sinks had what I affectionately call ‘Gas Station Faucets.’ I say this because shortly after we bought the house, I saw the very same faucets in the restroom of a gas station. They are not exactly high quality – the underside is actually plastic! But the real issue for me is that the finish on the sides of the spout is pitted and coming up. They are as nasty as they are fugly!
So for the past I don’t know how long, I have been clicking through faucet options online, unable to pull the trigger because I did not love any of them. We did buy one once a few years ago to try it out, but it was too massive looking and too contemporary for the space. So, here we go again!
We narrowed it down to two choices – a retro looking Kohler faucet and a simple, modern Danze faucet. We decided to go with the Danze for two reasons – it has a push down drain stopper instead of a pop up, and the handles look more like the original levers that are on our showers and bath tub. We are a bit concerned that the Danze will look too large, so we only ordered one to check it our before committing to all four. If the scale seems off for the space, we’ll move on to the Kohler, ‘Plan B.’
And for those of you lucky enough to have your orignal American Standard bath faucets like we do in our showers and tub, don't give up on them! When one of our bath handles was dripping, Arlen took it apart and we took it to Noel’s Pumbing Supply in Evendale. Not only did they have the replacement valves for our 57 year old faucets, they had the replacement handles and escutcheon plates as well. Since the originals were showing slight signs of finish deterioration, these new handles made our showers look like new! There are online sources for Crane parts, too. Now if only we had the original sink faucets back….
Watch for our update once the new sink faucet comes!
After 5 years of being in a buyer’s market, we all of a sudden find ourselves in a seller’s market. Low inventory and interest rates, and rising consumer confidence have contributed to the best market we have seen in years. We have given a lot of advice about how to be prepared to buy, but are you prepared to sell? Homes selling above the asking price and multiple offer situations are once again common. How do you position your house in the market to get attention and bring the highest possible price?
We are, for the first time ever, going public with our ‘How to be a Successful Seller’ tip sheet, summarizing our best advice from 10 years of experience in the industry. We are pretty darn good at getting attention for our listings, especially when sellers are willing to play by our rules. We hope you find this helpful, and will call us when it comes time to list your house. Now is the perfect time!
Tips for being a Successful Seller
aka: ‘what to expect when you are selling’
We put the following document together to answer common seller questions and to raise issues you may not have thought of. Some items may apply to you and some not, but hopefully this list will help make the selling process a little easier for you.