The Re-uppers - Page 4

For many raised 'modern' as children, no other house feels like home today
The Re-uppers
Nancy Brazelton Philleo, pictured here at home with husband Chris, today lives in this Streng in Davis' University Estates tract.

Adults who grew up in modern homes return to them for numerous reasons—not just for nostalgia, or because open-planned homes are the only ones they can pleasurably inhabit. Though that is a big factor.

Sherry Hodson returned to live in one of the two Fairmeadow Eichlers that were owned by her parents to help care for her widowed mother. Her mother lived in the other Eichler home.

"I didn't mean to actually live in that Eichler," Sherry says. "I didn't choose it. My husband does not like Eichlers. If we were buying a home, we wouldn't have bought an Eichler."

For one thing, her husband would have liked a large garage to work on cars.

But, Sherry says, "My mom was offering the house to me as a rental to have family close by, and so my kids would be able to go to school in Palo Alto," she says.

"My kids loved that [Eichler] house, especially my daughter. She loved that house," says Sherry, who also enjoyed living there, though she found it small. She and her husband have since moved to a larger, traditional home in Concord.

  The Re-uppers
Nancy was in sixth grade when her family moved into a Streng in Davis. Above: Nancy and mom outside that home, circa 1970.

One reason Kerry Little and her husband and daughter moved to a Concord Eichler was to be near Kerry's parents, who still live in the Concord Eichler where she grew up.

Similarly, when Bob Scari retired from the airlines, he wanted to return to Davis to be with his widowed mother—and reignite high school friendships.

But in both cases, love for the houses themselves played a role. In Bob's case, it developed into a true love affair—an experience with a Streng home he never had as a kid.

"I feel like the house is kind of like a collector's item now," he says of the Streng he bought in 2016. It was the same model as one he had lived in as a boy.

"Before it was just a house we lived in. Now I'm thinking about taking care of it all the time. I spend time fixing stuff around the house, keeping the yard up. I want it to look right. I want it properly done."

Proposition 13, which keeps property taxes low for longtime owners, benefits children buying homes from their parents because the benefits remain. Steve Thatcher took advantage of that when he bought the family home in 1993.

"They do that to keep generations in the neighborhood. That's a good thing," Steve says. "You can afford to keep living in the neighborhood."

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