I spent a good bit of the day reconfiguring the old deck plan against the measured-out reality in the yard (and aligning to physics/building code) and creating a cut list for the lumber... we're getting closer.
It's summertime (well, almost) and we just wrapped the spring semester at school... and I'm looking at the list of summer projects. The deck tops the list — it's something that didn't get finished before the rain (and fall semester) started last year.
But now, I'm starting the project back up, re-checking measurements and plans and picking vendors.
Monique, at the newly revived Eichler Homes, is willing to front the cost of your renovation prior to sale...
For a lot of folks, something like this would be unnecessary, but for someone either not having access to immediate funds or who doesn't have the time or inclination to partake in the endeavor —like maybe the sale of a parent's outdated home or in lieu of a short-sale — something like this might work out well.
I'd imagine Monique would also insist on the listing, so part of the incentive for her would be the commission (and the higher the sale price, the more commission)... but you'd hire an agent anyway, so why not hire one with a real interest in your home?
The bonus for the Eichler community is that Monique has a genuine interest in the homes and communities surrounding them — which is why she made a movie about them. Not a lot of agents can claim that.
This weekend, I'm at a working-retreat for my day job at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. It is pretty amazing. Designed by Albert Chase McArthur, a disciple of Frank Lloyd Wright, it's often called "the jewel of the desert"... and I was completely unaware of this space and its history.
It's summer and the real estate market looks like it's picking up a bit — and I've been getting a few inquiries on Eichlers in Concord. As mentioned in previous posts, we really like Concord for its balance of affordability and livability and the Concord Eichlers are the most affordable out there... presently in the low/mid-400s.
We never thought about moving to Concord but if we had to do it again, we'd do so without hesitation: it's very BART accessible; we have a vibrant, old-school town square; the schools aren't terrible; and, we have decent weather: cool winters and hot summers... more so than the "forever fall" of San Francisco.
We have three Eichler neighborhoods in Concord:
Rancho del Diablo (c. 1963)
Rancho del Diablo is located off of Mendocino Dr. at Phoenix, Sacramento and Wilson streets. We have 3-1/2 blocks of homes: One on Phoenix and Sacramento and 1-1/2 on Wilson. We have three floor plans: 2 atrium models (peaked roof) and 1 non-atrium (flat roof). Wilson can be a bit busy, but overall, it's a quiet neighborhood. We do get foot traffic on Mendocino during school sessions, but kids walking down the street isn't the worse thing ever. I think we know more than half of the folks in the neighborhood either personally or by face/name and we have a fairly vibrant social scene, a website and a Facebook group. The flat-roof model is this one and the 4-bedroom atrium model is our own house.
Rancho de los Santos (c. 1963/64)
Rancho de los Santos is located off of West St. at Salem St. and winds back almost to Mendocino Dr. We used to call this "the annex" before Camila discovered the official name. They share the same school as we do being that they're only a few blocks away. They seem to have very similar models (2 peaked / atrium + 1 flat / non-atrium) in slightly different configurations. The streets are more windy and there are a few cul-de-sacs. West is more trafficked that Mendocino and there are homes along the street. Like Rancho del Diablo, there is a good amount of school-kid foot traffic.
Parkwood Estates (c. 1964)
Parkwood Estates* is in off of Babel Ln. and runs along Merridan, Gainsborough, Lancashire and Barington drives. It's directly adjacent to Concord Community Park, so there's summertime noise and more traffic and street parking that you'd expect on the weekends, but backing up to a big green-space can be nice regardless. The lots of these homes are about 15% larger and the homes are about 10% larger than the above two. I think there are 3 models: an A-frame, a peaked non-atrium and a peaked atrium model… or at least those are the ones we've been in. The 4-bedroom atrium model is this one. The 4-bedroom non-atrium model is this one.
*Thanks to Mary for the name... we called it "Rancho De La Mystery" previously.
Framing can be expensive and it's the kind of thing that — with a little DIY — you can generally save yourself quite a bit of coin on. However, materials — namely good moulding — can be hard to come by. I've made frames myself from scratch, but when you factor in the time to source the wood and make the required cuts, rebates, and dados, it's hardly worth it.
We've purchased framing supplies from Metroframe.com for many years (since we were in West Oakland, so it must be nearly 10 years now... yikes). They sell a good amount of high-quality wood mouldings and — if sourced wisely — can save some money, specifically on shipping. One of their options for joining is "wedge joining" which used these ingenious little plastic wedges to hold the frames edges together. The bonus here is that you can join them yourself and save lots on shipping and packing costs — shipping a large frame (30X40, perhaps)‚ can cost as much as the frame itself, but shipping un-joined pieces is quite cost-effective. They also sell strainers, which is a pro-way of keeping the artwork in the frame as well as spacers and other framing needs. Purchasing glass or plexi from them isn't necessarily economical based on the shipping notion above, but I think 75% of the art in our house is framed with one of their mouldings. We'll generally head to a glass shop or TAP plastics for glazing.
We had the opportunity to take a sneak-peek at a home up for sale (by owner) — an original Eichler in Concord adjacent to Concord Community Park. Take a look. (Click on the photos for larger, clearer images). These were shot last year, but the house is pretty much the same.
It's one of my own favorite models — much like our own, but a bit larger in all the right places: a full pantry, a separate utility/laundry room (rather than a nook). The guest bath is very accessible and creates a nice "guest area" in the front of the house. A two-car garage is always a nice option, too.
Max, Jenny and Peterstopped by a number of weeks ago to shoot some stills for Lumio. They had plans to launch a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter and for submission, a video is required... so a short while after the stills, they stopped by again to shoot the video.
Jenny and Peter did a great job with both the stills and the video... as well as the logo/identity, website and associated branding — all of which I'm sure helped Max to reach his goal in 30 hours... that's right: the duration of the fundraising is 30 days and they met it in 30 hours. In just a few days, the match was doubled ($120K) which is amazing. Congrats guys.
Visit Lumio's page on Kickstarter — complete with stills and video — and check out out how they used the space (with a cameo of a messy closet). You might also want to make a pledge (and buy a lamp) while you're there.