The “You Know it When You See it” Test

While it’s true that every Mid-Century Modern home was built in the 1950’s (or thereabouts), it’s decidedly NOT the case that every home built in the 1950’s is a “Mid-Century Modern.”

In fact, in real life, very few are.

On MLS, for every home that I see billed as being a “Mid-Century Modern,” perhaps only one in four (25%) really qualify.

Test for a Mid-Century Modern:  “Perpendicularity’

What does?

It’s more of a feel than any particular list of attributes, but I’d include such things as:  sleek, spare design; horizontal, almost Prairie-style lines and spaces; 90° angles and what I’ll call “perpendicularity”; a flat or barely pitched roof; recessed lighting; and lots of glass and windows, especially transom windows that show off the tall ceilings.

Oh!  And Mid-Century Modern homes typically have Mid-Century Modern furniture ” sometimes custom-made for the home — to go with.

P.S.:  Memo to listing agents:  if you say a home is a Mid-Century Modern and it isn’t, it’s worse than simply not saying it at all.

Discriminating Buyers know the difference, and will feel misled once they’ve seen the home (if the pictures didn’t already give it away).

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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