Know What You Want!

Eichler real estate specialist offers advice for finding yourself the right modern home
Fridays On the Homefront
Not all Eichlers are created equal, warns realtor Renee Adelmann (pictured here), whose valuable tips are geared to improve your home-buying search.
But, she asks, what’s most important to you?
Fridays On the Homefront
Inside Adelmann's recent 'Marin First-Time Home Buyer Seminar.' Photo: Marin Modern Real Estate
Fridays On the Homefront

When you're looking for a home to buy, you want to go in open-minded and yet very aware of what you're looking for. Even if you've narrowed it down to an Eichler, lots of time can be wasted and hopes can be dashed by not knowing exactly what it is you like about them.

That's the advice of Renee Adelmann, co-owner of Marin Modern Real Estate and its affiliates throughout the Bay Area. And, as a real estate professional who purports to have sold more Eichlers than anyone over the past decade, you'd think she'd know.

Not all Eichlers are created equal, warns Adelmann, who recently conducted another of her firm's annual free workshops, 'Marin First-Time Home Buyer Seminar,' for would-be Eichler buyers in Marin County.

"I think the first thing would be the year they were built," she said of helping a potential buyer to narrow their sights to what they really need in an Eichler. "All the houses built after 1960 had sheetrock in the bedroom." In other words, if sheetrock is an important feature to you, then 1950s Eichlers perhaps can be scratched from your shopping list.

Citing other buyer preferences, she noted, "A lot of people want radiant heat and atriums. Atriums [in Eichlers] didn't come out until after '57." And then there's radiant heating. Do you prefer copper or steel—and how important is one or the other during your search?

Adelmann says Eichler house hunters generally come in two shades, with one group merely attracted to the good neighborhoods and school districts.

"Then there's your Eichler fanatic," she says, with an 'it takes one to know one' smile. "Eichler fanatics have more strict needs…But those are the things they're most interested in: atriums and the radiant heat."

Adelmann said she tries to determine which breed of would-be-buyer someone is early on, adding, "That way I can narrow my home search." And for the buyers as well.

Another issue is whether a buyer wants to work on or have work done on their house.

"It really depends on the buyer. Most people want something they can move right into," Adelmann says. "Move-in condition is very important to buyers right now.…I mean, who wants to spend $1.2 [million] on a fixer?"