Mk, Home Buyer in Palo Alto, CA

Comparison between Eichler style home and other regular home?

Asked by Mk, Palo Alto, CA Sun Feb 15, 2009

PA has many Eichler homes. They look like earthquake cottage in some underdeveloped countries. Can some experts here give some comparison between Eichler and regular home such as maintenance cost, resale value, public feeling to the Eichler homes, life expectancy, etc? Thanks.

I notice none of recently built homes use this Eichler style. Are they no longer in people's favor? In addition, the prices of Eichler homes seems lower than other homes.


Help the community by answering this question:


You have asked a lot of questions here, but I will try to answer at least some of them. Eichler was a very prolific builder. He started building around the end of WWII when many returning GI's were taking advantage of the GI bill to buy a home. There was more demand than supply, so Eichler decided on a style that was easier, faster and less expensive to build than conventional homes. There are many Eichler floor plans but almost all are built on slabs as opposed to raised foundation, with radiant heat (hot water pipes running through the slab floor.) The walls were mostly luan mahogany and there is no attic. They look flimsy but they have lasted well. Many Palo Alto Eichlers were built in the 1950's and are in excellent condition. Like any home, if you take care of them, they will last. If you don't, they will deteriorate.

Many Eichler homes have been upgraded... the plywood walls have been removed and replaced with sheet rock (safer in a fire and more sound proof,) kitchens and bathrooms have been remodeled, floors tiled, and windows replaced, insulation added on the roofs, etc. Once upgraded they can be quite lovely and more energy efficient than the originals.

People tend to either love Eichlers or hate them, but there definitely is a market for them. The price will depend on sq. ft., location, and condition, just as with any other style of home, and the prices will be comparable. The lower prices you have noticed may be because you have been looking at some of the smaller homes or homes that have not been remodeled or well cared for.

You are right. Most of the newer homes are a different style and that is a reflection of current tastes. But there are contemporay homes being constructed that incorporate some of the style concepts that Eichler endorsed... sleek lines, high ceilings, open spaces, and no attics. It is all a matter of personal taste.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 15, 2009
Well, I have not sold an Eichler Home to date mostly because I sell in Socal rather than Norcal, but what I can offer you is my personal experience in regards to their appeal (or not).

My Aunt and her daughter (my cousin) both own Eichler Homes in Sacramento area down the street from one another. My Norcal family is very "artsy" type people. All we heard about for about a year before they finally purchased was Eichler, Eichler, Eichler. They all HAD to buy an Eichler Home. They raved about the unusual, contemporary architecture with the inhouse planters, the floor to ceiling windows and the straight lines throughout the floorplan including the flat style roof. These homes have an appeal all their own that you will either love or hate.

They are difficult to keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer unless they have been remodeled using insulation within the interior walls as well as all exterior walls and ceiling spaces. The indoor planters can be a bit of a nuisance to keep up if you don't have a green thumb and have an issue with the mildewish smell than can occur if not treated correctly, not to mention if animals or small children were to play in the planters. Many people have removed the planters in lieu of artificial greenery or the like.

The usual condition of these homes upon purchase is NOT good. These homes were built back in the 50's and 60's (don't quote me on the age) and will need vast amounts of updating and retrofitting not to mention becoming eco-efficient. That may be the reason that you see a dip in the pricing. But to purchase a fully restored and renovated Eichler home that maintained the characteristics of the original design would most definitely be priced right in line with the newer homes with recent architectural amenities that prove to be so popular.

From what I hear, that is the story. Now my cousin owns a rare two story Eichler she is in love with. But once again, rehab, rehab, rehab......that is the song of the day with my Norcal family. Hope I helped!

Diane Wheatley, Broker
(909) 981-5589
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 15, 2009
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer