Our city’s revamped, 1950s-era ranch homes are a Charlotte architecture trend we can be proud of

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Here’s a home design and architecture trend where Charlotte isn’t embarrassing us: The cute, revamped, painted 1950s-era ranch house.

As a relatively young (history-wise) and suburban city, Charlotte has a high volume of 1950s ranches.

These ranches are typically one story, about 1,000-1,500 square feet, originally laid out as two or three bedrooms and a single bath.

Thousands of middle class families lived in them, and with their solid brick construction, they’ve lasted nearly 70s years.

[Agenda related guides: Best builders in Charlotte and best architects in Charlotte]

Along the way, the look and styling of the brick ranch became a little uncool. Dated. Frumpy. But a trend has taken hold in the city, and I love it.

For the past few years, it’s become more and more common to see brick ranches freshened up with a familiar combination:

  • A coat of exterior paint in gray, ivory or off-white.
  • A playful front door in punchy, bright shades of colors including yellow and aqua.
  • New wood shutters that have a farmhouse or storybook flair.
  • An opened-up kitchen, almost always in sleek grey.

I don’t know how long this trend will last, but it’s a great look – fun and fresh – and the perfect bit of modern flair without causing harm (or needing a lot of money) revamping these trusty workhorses.

I used to live in a 1953 brick ranch in Commonwealth Park, and when I worried about older home wear and tear, I can’t tell you how many times contractors brushed off those concerns with a weary headshake, assuring me the house was built much better than what they were seeing in new construction.

Here are six examples of ranch houses on the market within city limits nailing the cute painted revamp – and selling fast.

Pro tip: Use Google Maps’ time travel powers to see what some of these homes looked like before.


Best in class: 3428 Airlie Street

  • List price: $264,900 (update: the home now has a pending offer)
  • Specs: 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 1,030 sq. ft.
  • Built: 1952

Per the listing: “This beautiful and charming full brick ranch sits on a nice large, flat and fenced in lot. Surrounded by Charlotte Country Club, Central, Plaza Midwood, etc… convenience is key! This 3 bedroom 1 bath home feels much bigger than you would expect. Literally everything has been recently updated, Kitchen, Bath, Roof, A/C, Water Heater, Windows, Deck, Fence, etc… Large Deck over looks the patio, garden, BBQ area, fire pit area, Large storage shed, etc.”

George Dwight of Dwight Brokerage (704-661-6545) has the listing. Photos via Zillow.


Spotted:

2618 Portland Avenue

  • List price: $889,900
  • Specs: 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 3,553 sq. ft.
  • Built: 1953

Per the listing: “Unique 4 bed, 3 bath ranch has hardwoods to main level, 2 laundry rooms, large kitchen w/ granite & SS appliances. Master bedroom has new walk in closet with custom shelving. Lower level has full kitchen, rec room and so much more.”

Ashley Pizzo of CottinghamChalk Hayes Realtors (704-364-4400) has the listing. Photos via CottinghamChalk Hayes.


5214 Seacroft Road

  • List price: $339,900 (update: under contract)
  • Specs: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1,639 sq. ft.
  • Built: 1958

Per the listing: “Zoned for Myers Park HS 2018-2019. This convenient location is close to SouthPark Mall, uptown, good schools, parks and the light rail. Cool and sophisticated, this impressive sun drenched home boasts an open floor plan complete with newly refinished hardwoods, stainless steel appliances, granite counters, and custom master bath with a walk in shower.”

Jonathan Hayes of Helen Adams Realty has the listing. Photos via Helen Adams.


5201 Charing Place

  • List price: $329,000
  • Specs: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1,988 sq. ft.
  • Built: 1968

Per the listing: “Minutes to Cotswold, Southpark & easy commute to Uptown. Welcome to this ranch/basement w/yard that looks like a private park. Incredibly efficient custom kitchen w/soft close cabinetry, built-in china cabinet & range w/electric & gas ovens. 3 beds, 1 1/2 baths up. Lower level ideal as income/mother-in-law suite w/full bath, room currently used as bedroom, family room & wet bar that could convert to kitchenette. Oversized 1-car garage. AC ’12, Heat ’16. Countless other updates.”

EG Real Estate Consultants (704-333-2260) has the listing. Photos via EG Real Estate.


6219 Colchester Place

  • List price: $339,000 (update: under contract)
  • Specs: 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 1,942 sq. ft.
  • Built: 1963

Per the listing: “Open Concept 4 BR 3 BA Brick Ranch. Island Kitchen with Granite Counters, New Stainless Steel Appliances & Pendant Lighting. New MBR with Double Sink Bath & Soaking Tub/Shower. Rear Deck Overlooks Well Manicured Yard. Refinished Hardwoods. Updated Secondary Baths Including Original MBR Ensuite. Replacement Windows. Architectural Shingles. Attached Storage Room & Detached Shed.”

Keith Rumbley of Everlamb Residential has the listing. Photos via Charlotte Regional Realtor Association.


1114 Urban Place

  • List price: $370,000
  • Specs: 4 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 1,300 sq. ft.
  • Built: 1971

Per the listing: “Fantastic opportunity for a fully remodeled ranch in the heart of it all! Conveniently located next to Sedgefield, SouthEnd, Myers Park, and Dilworth, but with Myers Park Schools (Selwyn, AG, and Myers Park)! Everything has been updated with permits – new roof, refinished floors, new kitchen and baths, new HVAC, tankless water heater and electrical panel. Quiet cul-de-sac location, fenced yard and move-in ready.”

My TownHome has the listing. Photos via My TownHome.

Feature photo via CottinghamChalk Hayes Realtors.

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