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All-original Eichler undergoes a ‘no expense spared’ renovation, hits market for $1.9M

When an all-original Eichler in the Terra Linda neighborhood of San Rafael came to the market last spring, it was quickly snapped up by a designer and Eichler admirer who couldn’t wait to get his hands on one of the famed mid-century developer’s creations. “[He] dreamed of an opportunity to advance the Eichler with today’s modern design and lifestyle in mind,” said the owner’s realtor, Victoria George.

That meant a nearly year-long “no expense spared” renovation that included a 900-square-foot addition to the formerly 1,500-square-foot home, said George. The addition allowed for an updated floor plan with a large master suite, a new dining area and a fourth bedroom and third bathroom. Luckily the property sits on a large lot, so there was still plenty of room for an equally impressive overhaul of the sizeable front, side and backyards. “It was in a serious state of disrepair and it basically needed everything,” said George. “It was amazing to see how much pleasure he got out of bringing the house back to life and to see his vision come to fruition.”

Even though the plan was always to sell the home after the renovation, George said her seller may have a hard time letting go – even at an asking price just over $1 million more than the $876,000 he paid for it last year. “It will be bittersweet for him, I’m sure,” she said.

The home's renovation went from the outside in, and included new plantings, fencing and a stone walkway from the side of the garage into the spacious side and backyards.
Denis Doni
The home’s renovation went from the outside in, and included new plantings, fencing and a stone walkway from the side of the garage into the spacious side and backyards. “This house is amazing eye candy,” said George. “We are even getting pinged by people driving by.”
Before: The original exterior
Before: The original exterior
Just as in the original home, the kitchen is right off the entry, but now it is opened to the rest of the entertaining space and centers around a huge island with gas range.
Denis Doni
Just as in the original home, the kitchen is right off the entry, but now it is opened to the rest of the entertaining space and centers around a huge island with gas range.
Before: The original kitchen
MLSBefore: The original kitchen
The fireplace in the living room marks the end point of the original home and the beginning of the addition.
Denis Doni
The fireplace in the living room marks the end point of the original home and the beginning of the addition.
Before: The original living room was separated from the kitchen by a wood-paneled wall.
Open Homes Photography
Before: The original living room was separated from the kitchen by a wood-paneled wall.
The dining area is an entertaining space newly added to the home, but it fits seamlessly with the original portion and leads out to the large backyard.
Denis Doni
The dining area is an entertaining space newly added to the home, but it fits seamlessly with the original portion and leads out to the large backyard.
Before: Where the dining area now sits there used to be a covered patio.
MLSBefore: Where the dining area now sits there used to be a covered patio.
Part of the addition included a new master suite with a large master bath.
Denis Doni
Part of the addition included a new master suite with a large master bath. “Most Eichlers have terrible master baths,” said George.
Before: The original master bathroom
MLSBefore: The original master bathroom

In true Eichler style, the finished home is a celebration of indoor-outdoor living, something buyers are really looking for during shelter in place, according to George. Denis Doni

In true Eichler style, the finished home is a celebration of indoor-outdoor living, something buyers are really looking for during shelter in place, according to George. “That is definitely in the consciousness of current buyers,” she said, particularly those stuck in cramped conditions in San Francisco. “Living in Marin we feel very lucky to have our backyards and abundant open spaces.”


Emily Landes is a writer and editor obsessed with all things real estate.