'Modernist Refugees' Repent

CA-Modern story traces 'flight paths' away from the Bay to affordable modern living
Fridays on the Homefront
Although Bay Area home prices have stabilized in recent months after climbing for six straight years, many buyers are still asking San Francisco and its neighbors to open their golden gates—so they can leave. That's the flight path Andrew, Eero, and Randee Templeman (above - L-R) took from their Concord Eichler in 2017 to a more affordable 'modest modern' alternative in Boise, Idaho. Photo: courtesy Andrew Templeman
Fridays on the Homefront
Downtown Boise at night. The Idaho town has been identified by Forbes magazine as one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. Photo: Darwin Fan
Fridays on the Homefront
New Fall '19 CA-Modern.

More and more, Bay Area homeowners and would-be homeowners are resigning to leave their hearts in San Francisco and the region that surrounds it, and no amount of sitting on the dock of the bay will change their minds.

Even fans of mid-century modern homes are fleeing the area's inflated home prices, as detailed in 'Escape from the Bay,' a report on that sad reality by Eichler Network features editor Dave Weinstein in the new Fall 2019 issue of our CA-Modern magazine.

Interviews with homeowners and realtors in the Bay and other communities throughout the west lead to the conclusion that "modern enthusiasts who cannot afford $2 million Eichlers in Palo Alto or $750,000 Eichlers in Concord are moving instead to less costly markets where modern homes can be found for much less, and bringing with them much of the Eichler spirit."

"We didn't want to leave the Bay Area. I especially didn't want to leave," industrial designer Andrew Templeman recalls about the flight path he and his wife and young son took in 2017, moving from their beloved Eichler in Concord to a 'modest modern' home in Boise, Idaho.

Templeman reflects back to 2013 how delighted he and his family had been to find an Eichler designed by A. Quincy Jones in the Rancho del Diablo neighborhood of Concord.

"We had $90,000 [moving] from Oregon, all the equity we had built up over ten years. It was just barely enough to put 20 percent down on $460,000 for a fixer-upper," he recalls. Four short years later, Templeman tells Weinstein, "I desperately tried to hang onto our Eichler, but eventually we ran out of money."

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