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From Hollin Hills to Rockville, Mid-Century Modern Homes Pique Interest of DC-Area Buyers

by Nena Perry-Brown

Mad Men concluded its television run in 2015 and it seemed like people's infatuation with mid-century modern design went with it.

However, interest in the DC area's mid-century housing market remains high.

A recently-sold mid-century listing in Rockville's Fawcett Farms went under contract in six days and sold for more than $125,000 above the listing price of $1,079,900. Another in DC's Colonial Village neighborhood also went under contract in six days and sold for more than $210,000 above the listing price of $939,000. One in Alexandria's Hollin Hills neighborhood sold in three weeks for $35,000 above the listing price of $849,900.

Michael Shapiro of Compass, who exclusively deals in mid-century homes, has noticed this increased attention.

Shapiro recently listed a house in Chevy Chase's Somerset area that received three offers; two of the prospective buyers wrote a letter to the homeowner about their appreciation of the home's architecture. Shapiro said that people tend to either love or hate the style — one of his first tours was a couple unfamiliar with, and ultimately disdainful of, the architecture and had only come because of the neighborhood.

A mid-century home that sold in Rockville. Click to enlarge.

Ron Mangas of TTR Sotheby's International Realty, who specializes in modern properties, has observed more people being drawn to "authentic design".

"When it comes to architecture, I think that what is dead is the hybrid of the faux Colonial where you can't really tell what derivation of architecture it came from," Mangas told UrbanTurf. 

Shapiro also sees the renewed interest as part of a generational shift, with younger buyers being attracted to the uniqueness and "cool" factor of mid-century modern homes.

"The design trends find a new generation, and I think it's also somewhat of younger people's rejection of [huge houses in the outer suburbs]," he explained, noting that mid-century modern architecture also tends to relate well to its natural surroundings.

It helps that the DC area has several pockets where this style of architecture is prevalent.

"We have a lot of neighborhoods that are specifically mid-century modern in design," Shapiro noted, explaining that some buyers are attracted to the look and history of these neighborhoods overall and the architects who contributed to them.

Mangas believes that with the increased desirability of mid-century houses comes a renewed respect for preservation of their style, compared to past years where the occasional homeowner would make incongruent additions or renovations.

"To me, it was so exciting to see people care so much about the house being designed in the way that it was, for the reasons that it was, and not wanting to tamper with it. It's unique appreciation as opposed to thinking it's a tired old thing."

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/interest-in-mid-century-modern-houses-evolves-past-mad-men/17510

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