Love It or List It…Mid Century Modern

What’s more popular…Loving It or Listing It!

Our “Hillary – David” countdown starts in beautiful Durham, NC with a well preserved but dated mid-century modern ranch.  The home is on a crawl space/half basement and has been recognized by the historic society.  The homeowners are expecting soon, time is running out and they have a long but reasonable list of upgrades they expect for a total all in budget of $150K on top of the homes $949k value.  David has $1.1m to work with but they really like their current “close in” neighborhood…Good Luck!

With TV production schedules, it’s often difficult to cover all of the details one should consider when working with a property such as this.  This property has a lot of windows and as the home was in original condition, the windows appeared to be the original single pane units the home was originally built with.  Replacing windows like this would almost certainly be custom made so consider this when planning a renovation as they would not be cheap!  Also, many homes of this era had little to no wall insulation as it wasn’t a code requirement in many markets until the 70s…in combination with the older windows, this could well be a cold, drafty house in the winter.  Finally, the original plumbing and electrical systems would be well worn at this point and although Hillary rewired the entire house, no mention was given to the plumbing. Plumbing will usually go before the electrical system will so maybe it had already been replaced but it pays to answer this question before moving forward with a renovation, not after you’ve started it.

Duct work all the way through the early 80’s isn’t nearly as good as it is today so it would be interesting to have gone a little further into detail regarding the HVAC.  As the floor plan wasn’t changed during this overhaul, there’s a good chance that the HVAC system could have survived as they found it.  Beyond that, many of these mid-century homes have flat or almost flat roofs which can be a problem as they don’t shed water as well as a home with a pitched roof.  Many residential roofing companies don’t have much experience with a flat roof and just walking across it can be enough to cause a small leak…inspect it carefully!  No mention was given to the roof but as the home was well kept, we’ll assume that it was ready to go.

Hillary struggled with the timeline of this renovation as the baby came sooner than anticipated.  The couple also shot down some of her ideas so she was unable to deliver as much as she had hoped.


While David did a good job finding homes that offered everything the couple wanted, Hillary wins this one based on the budget, quality of renovation and location!  The house is on the historical list for a reason….Congrats Hillary!

We like Hillary’s sense of style and particularly liked the “floating” fireplace hearth.  If you watch closely, you can see the structure that they built into the wall to carry the load and in the end, it’s a very clean look.

Hillary 1, David 0

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