With the lasting pop culture effect "Mad Men" had on the country, mid-century modern homes are having their time in the spotlight when it comes to buying a home these days. Although San Antonio may be known more recently for its perfectly groomed, super sized, master-planned communities, there are several neighborhoods and communities around town that are filled with these vintage homes- many of them making a comeback. Typically built between 1945 and the mid '70s, these postmodern homes are characterized by their sharp geometric lines, oversized glass windows and sliding doors, and compact floor plans. So why the uptick in popularity? There’s a few reasons.
A 1965 classic in the vintage, highly desirable neighborhood of Castle Hills, this home has a beautiful modern kitchen to go along with the recent master bath remodel. As with many older homes, the backyard is perfect for playing ball with the kids or entertaining on the large covered patio. Great bones plus a classy remodel, this home is a gem.
In many cases, mid-century houses are in excellent locations. In most American towns, including San Antonio, suburbs were developed over time in “rings” around town and city centers. As the city grew, another ring was made and developed on. Given their ages, and the times they were built, older homes tended to be closer in. Taking this into account, its easy to understand why these mid-century neighborhoods are often located within minutes of downtown, making them easy to commute to and from. With the rise in popularity of walkability, many buyers are looking for the urban feel of downtown living. And while these neighborhoods might not be exactly walkable, they do have the close proximity to ones that are, and are often priced far less than that of coveted downtown real estate.
With mid-century design all over this home, 6706 Moss Oak Dr., was built in 1956. This charming, vintage, Oak Hills one story is not only adorable, it has several updates including recessed lighting and new electrical wiring. Plus, the covered patio and huge yards in both front and back will beckon you to kick back and enjoy life.
Mid-century houses, especially those that are modest, can be found at extremely affordable prices- mostly because these post-war homes tend to be smaller than the new construction of today. This is the first reason they may cost less than new or more recently constructed houses, which today average much larger than 60 years ago. And while mid-century homes were finished with materials that would certainly not be considered high-end in today’s market, many have been renovated. Even with the renovations, these charming homes can still come with smaller closets, bathrooms, and kitchens, which may not be desirable to some buyers, thus giving them a lower price point. One thing to keep in mind though, the price points of these homes will depend on the neighborhood. A vintage home in Alamo Heights will not cost the same as a vintage home elsewhere! But don't let that deter you. Many of the neighborhoods with these charming homes are seeing more and more buyers swipe up the housing stock, putting time and money into renovating them, and laying down roots. This is what starts the process of gentrification, which ultimately leads to neighborhood popularity and gives homeowners a good return on their initial investment.
The home at 7202 Dubies Dr. is truly a vintage home lover's dream. Built in 1963, this wonderful two-story home is located near both Loop 410 and US Hwy 281 in the popular North Shearer Hills neighborhood. Perched atop a nearly quarter acre lot, there is plenty of room for any outdoor activity. With the extremely low list price of under $160k, plus the appeal of NEISD schools, and you have a vintage home that you could truly call home.
Generally, the quality of workmanship was often wonderful in these vintage homes. From built-in bookcases to hand-laid wooden flooring, you will see the type of features you just don’t see in the average American home these days. Because of the rise in factory built pieces, many homes today are built by putting together larger sections of the house, almost like an architectural puzzle. Home builders 60 years ago did not have this luxury and did most parts of the construction process by hand. A few things that are different about these homes? No ‘finger jointed’ studs or trim, better quality wood, and no 'pressboard' or hollow doors. Add to this that these homes can be so cozy. The ceilings are not super high. The homes envelop us. They are unpretentious, yet give us a feeling of yesteryear class.... think cocktail parties and ‘50’s era dresses. What better combination can you think of?!
This 1970 Hollywood Park beauty has been beautifully renovated, yet still reminds us of yesteryear with it's brick fireplace facade and classic built-ins. With granite counter tops, new cabinets with a glass backsplash, and renovated bathrooms- all with granite vanities and tiled showers- this home appeals to our modern side while featuring subtle vintage accents.
Many of these vintage homes were built with bedrooms close at hand and have nice circulation and flow, making them more livable for virtually any and everyone. This is especially true of the one-story ranches that were particularly popular post WWII. The floor plans in these homes are easy to navigate, allowing the ease of getting around while utilizing every square inch of space within its walls.
Located in the ever-popular Alamo Heights, this home on Larkwood is the epitome of mid-century modern. With an open floor plan, complimented by vaulted ceilings and exposed wood beams, perfectly paired with gorgeous quartz counters and luxurious wood and tile floors, this home stays relevant to the 21st century while lending its style to days gone by.
So where are the neighborhoods everyone is flocking to? Aside from the always popular Alamo Heights and Castle Hills, neighborhoods like Windcrest and Northern Hills are picking up steam. These neighborhoods, while displaying classic homes and easy access to highways, also give buyers extremely affordable options. With homes starting far below the average San Antonio price of almost $230k, it's easy to see why folks are falling in love with these affordable communities. Similarly, while prices are not as low, Harmony Hills is a popular mid-century neighborhood due to its proximity to Castle Hills and the fact that children who live in this neighborhood are zoned to attend excellent NEISD schools. Finally, neighborhoods like Jefferson and Monticello Park, located near Fredericksburg and Woodlawn Ave., are just on the outskirts of downtown while providing the dual highway access of Loop 410 and IH-10. These neighborhoods have an eclectic mix of housing, walking access to Woodlawn Lake, and an immense amount of character. While the homes in each of these vintage neighborhoods may be old, they're full of spunk and charisma. They have strong, sturdy trees, even sturdier bones, and are likely to be located in well-established neighborhoods. As a whole, these are durable, solid homes with a lot going for them.
A younger mid-century home, this 1973 home in the Vance Jackson neighborhood is filled with mid-century charm. With a huge covered patio and an amazing, restful back yard, coupled with a kitchen boasting of double ovens, hosting a cocktail party is a breeze.
Love vintage homes but aren't quite sure where to look? While there are many mid-century neighborhoods in the city, San Antonio’s most popular Mad Men era neighborhoods are Castle Hills, Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, Harmony Hills, Jefferson, Donaldson Terrace, Monticello Park, Hidden Forrest, Windcrest, Oak Hills, Northern Hills, Terrill Hills, Shearer Hills, and Hollywood Park. Browse the homes in these neighborhoods for yourself and see what you come up with!
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