'Modernist Refugees' Repent - Page 2

CA-Modern story traces 'flight paths' away from the Bay to affordable modern living
Fridays on the Homefront
Fridays on the Homefront
MCM fans from California are eyeing the lower prices of the
Pacific Northwest, including the city of Portland (above). Top: Portland Rummer home, one of the area's Eichler-like jewels. Photos: Adam Michaud (New World Industries), Eric Prado
Fridays on the Homefront
Sacramento Streng home of MCM enthusiasts Nancy Rosellini and Glynn Owens, who once wondered "would a mid-century modern house ever be in our future?" Photo: Dave Weinstein
Fridays on the Homefront
At home with Nancy Rosellini and Glynn Owens, who moved from Oakland to Sacramento four years ago. Photo: Guinevere Cameron

You may not feel the need to wear flowers in your hair when finding your own private Idaho, but Boise-based real estate broker TJ Pierce says the Gem State capital has plenty to offer besides potatoes: "the rivers, the mountains, the forests, and a cool downtown scene that's growing with dining and the arts."

"Our average price point for mid-century homes is $299,000, which is pretty reasonable," said Pierce, conceding that most are not strictly modern style.

The magazine story also features what Weinstein calls "modernist refugees" and real estate professionals describing what's available for fans of that style in cities like Sacramento and Portland, while acknowledging that Phoenix and Denver are also popular modernist refuges.

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.

"It's great being able to go to a market where you can get the style of home you want—specifically mid-century modern—in a more affordable market than where your [current] job is located," comments Dane Kealoha, a realtor specializing in modern homes in Portland and Palm Springs.

Developer Robert Rummer reportedly toured a Walnut Creek Eichler in the mid-century before he built nearly a thousand similar homes in and around Portland in the 1960s and '70s. Beth Howard, a realtor at Portland MidCentury, tells Weinstein that most of the new buyers of these homes come there from California.

"They know and appreciate the mid-century modern, and they are trying to get something cheaper," says Howard, adding, "I'm from the Bay Area myself. I moved up for the same reason, to be able to afford a house."

For more about dedicated modernists who have decided to let the lights go down on their Bay Area home ownership prospects, check out 'Escape from the Bay,' a sneak preview of the new Fall '19 issue of CA-Modern magazine, or by clicking here for our flip-book edition of the entire issue.