My husband and I visited the lovely Eichler neighborhood in Orange last weekend and we fell in love with the homes....I felt like I was in a dream...
We want to keep our eye on Eichlers for sale in this neighborhood, as we are hoping that one becomes available when we are ready to move. We are just down the street in Anaheim Hills and will probably be ready in a year or so....if one becomes available.
Do you live or did you live in this neighborhood? If so, I'd love to hear about it. :)
Also, what are the pros and cons in buying an Eichler? Due to no central heating and air, is it freezing at night/too hot in the summer? I'm new and this is my first post....please fill me in on what you LOVE and don't LOVE about Eichler homes. I know I love the aesthetics...but what about the stuff that only owners would know?
Thanks in advance!!
Hi Jenny, welcome to the virtual neighborhood. If you have time, go thru the 'house doctor' articles on this website. they'll give you a good idea of what some of the unique issues are with eichlers. that's what I did when we first started looking a couple years back.
If you find an interesting topic you want to learn more about, search the old posts here, I'm sure you'll find plenty of opinions.
good luck! -L
No worries on the heat issue since there is radiant heat and I prefer it to central heat. The winter bills can be high if you do not get a new radiant heat boiler which is much more efficient. The summers can be hot but you can leave your windows open and use fans. You can also put in air conditioning but it looks pretty bad unless you get a foam roof to cover the exposed ducts on the roof.(no attic to hide them in)
There are too may Eichler-centric issues to list but you can look in the archives for a lot of answers. We love our home and are quite happy with it even though it is much different then your typical home. You have to be careful in the kind of flooring you put in due to the moisture levels in the cement floors and the roofs leak more unless you get a foam roof or a good torch down one. Good luck with your search!
We live in the Fairhaven tract in Orange and we have original central heat and air conditioning which was an option by the time our house was built. The air conditioning unit is old and not too efficient, but we've learned to open and close blinds to keep the house cool. We've taken out the carpet and tiled the floor and that will help to moderate the temperature too next summer. We are lucky to have a southern exposure for our glass wall. Eventually we would like to put on a foam roof. Our neighbor says his has made a huge difference.
The good news is that there are three Eichler neighborhoods in Orange. It's not clear which one you discovered, but you can find maps to all three, as well as photos and other information on the Orange neighborhoods, at this Web site: www.eichlersocal.com
It also lists Eichlers for sale, and open houses. I found our house in the Fairmeadows tract just by walking the neighborhoods.
As the posts on the Eichler Network reveal, the heating system and the roof are the two biggest potential sources of trouble in an Eichler. Our heating, even with the original boiler, has worked great for the two winters we've been in the house, and our bills are not much different from what we've paid in previous houses. It's hard to beat the warm floors. And because you don't turn the thermostat off when you leave the house or at night, the house is always warm when you return or in the morning.
In the summer, our house stayed cool except for the hottest few days. Cross ventilation and the shade of surrounding trees is usually enough. The home's previous owners had installed an AC wall unit in one room; we used that a few times as a last resort.
In terms of the roof, we haven't been so lucky. Last year's torrential rains revealed several leaks in the two flat sections of our tar-and-gravel roof. And even this year's piddly New Year's Day storm necessitated a call to our roof guy.
But such things are an insignificant price to pay for owning a small piece of architectural history. When I walk into our window-lined living room or look up at the wood ceiling floating overhead, there's nothing like it.
Good luck in your search. Any of the Orange neighborhoods would be glad to have a new neighbor who is so in love with Eichlers!
Thank you for your replies!
Although the roof maintenance scares me a little :shock: , radiant heat sounds better than central heat to me!
I looked at two of the Eichlers that were for sale in the Fairhills neighborhood (the one with the blue garage doors and another one on the corner lot). I met the sweet original owners of one of the Fairhills' homes when driving through. The first Eichler you see when you drive into the Fairhills' neighborhood threw me off because they added a second story. But one you enter that neighborhood, what a feeling! Everyone seems to take such great care of their homes. I'm going to look for the Fairhaven neighborhood this weekend. The Eichler in the Taft neighborhood sold recently, so I didn't get to see that one.
Unfortunately, the $775K price tag on the available homes is about $75K too high for us... :oops: I'm hoping the market goes down and there will be an Eichler available when this happens. What have you seen happening in the real estate market for Eichlers? Do they steadily increase or move with the main trends? After seeing Eichlers, I've been to a few open houses for non-Eichler homes and there is no comparison...I will wait until I can afford an Eichler! :wink:
Historically Eichlers have never decreased in value. If you ever see one in your price range I would scoop it up. I can't speak to the Southern California market but Eichlers in Northern California are constantly increasing in value. We bought our home over 1 year ago at the highest price in the neighborhood and 6 months later the homes are selling for over $100k above what we bought ours for. You need to keep looking and not wait for the homes to decrease in value because it probably will not happen. Good luck in your search and don't give up. Eichlers are wonderful and well worth the purchase.
The comment that Eichlers have never decreased in value is probably a little optimistic as all economic trends tend to revert to the mean eventually. There was a time not too long ago that Eichlers sold at a heavy discount to surrounding "normal" houses. This is probably still the case in some areas, making them a relative bargin. And while Eichlers may or may not have gone down in price, there was a period here in Northern California from around 1989 to 1996 when they didn't increase in price at all, allowing folks like yourself to "catch-up".
My point is that everything goes in cycles, including real estate markets and tastes for modern architecture. The value in your area will be determined by the jobs, demographics, the cost of rent and supply and demand in your area. Eichlers, now that they're a brand name, may hold their value better than surrounding houses, or if a downturn comes, they may decrease or stagnate more due to an already smaller group of interested buyers becoming even smaller. Overall though, it's going to be local conditions that determine value. The question for you is whether or not you can wait to see what happens. Once all the baby boomers retire to Nevada, you may be able to get a home for pennies on the dollar. Who knows?
Yes, there have been times and may be times in the future where Eichlers have not or may not fetch as much as the homes around them but this does not mean their value will decrease from te price you purchased it at. A home which sells for $775k today will probably not sell for $700k next year, it may not increase in value in this time but it will at least hold its value. California holds on to home values pretty well as long as you are willing to hold onto your home long enough. I am not saying your home will increase in value another $100k this year because it won't, but I am saying it will probably hold on to the current value especially in the Bay Area and Southern California which are very desirable places to live.