WESTBROOK – The only thing missing from the exterior photos of this very cool house is maybe a new Opel GT or a Ford Torino in the carport. Those models were introduced in 1968, the year this home was built; and one can imagine that its (locally) novel design must have attracted a fair amount of comment in this pleasant neighborhood of mostly older homes.

Today, the property is still commanding attention. It hit the market and the MLS in late afternoon on Sunday, April 12, and within an hour a broker was urgently requesting a showing. Seeing the property that evening, the broker’s client made an offer.

So did five other buyers who saw the house in the next two days. Others who attended the 20 showings did not submit offers because the house was as good as sold.

Why the fuss? As always, asking price – just $175,000 – was a huge factor, as was the location/neighborhood.

But above all, the home’s period character drew buyers, said Diane Maines, marketing director for listing brokers Jason Miller and Bridget King of The Maine Real Estate Network.

“On the West Coast, this style of house – called ‘mid-century-modern’ – has been increasingly popular the past few years,” Maines said.

“But in Maine, the phenomenon is relatively new, and of course there is very little inventory in this style and with the same kind of retro appeal.”

Enhancing that appeal is the home’s condition, Maines emphasized.

“We see so many older homes to which successive owners have made big changes over the years. This is a rare example of a (three-owner) vintage home that’s been very well preserved as well as maintained, exactly as it was designed and built. The only exception would be kitchen appliances that have needed to be replaced.

“Not that long ago, people would have dismissed the house as dated. Now, tons of people gravitate to the retro charm.”

As examples, Maines points to the Chiclets-size tiles in the main-level full bath and the kitchen and laundry room backsplashes, all in pristine condition. There’s a wonderful variety of light fixtures. Woodwork is high-grade (as is even the faux-wood paneling) and unblemished by day-to-day family life; closet doors are as unmarked as the ceiling beams. Rugs, too, are spotless.

The first floor of the 1,638-square-foot home provides two bedrooms (note the lighted, cedar, triple-closet in the master); bath; laundry;  and an open-plan main living area that extends from kitchen through dining and living spaces, all extra-bright thanks to large windows and southeasterly orientation. Look closely and you can see glitter amid the patterns of the textured ceiling.

Most of the daylight downstairs is finished as a guest suite: bedroom, bath, and a big, open living/entertaining room with bar and built-ins and kitchenette. And paneling.

For now, anyway, fabric decor is perfectly suited to the era. Efficiency, in the form of a newer Buderus boiler and a new, rubberized roof, has moved into the 21st century.

The 10,000-square-foot lot features mature shrubs including hollies; a great, stone fireplace for cooking, out back; and a large shed for storing mower and other garden tools.

Next door at the corner, a double lot’s expanse of lawn provides a wonderful green buffer. Exactly as it has done since 1968.

For information on other fine homes in southern Maine, please contact the King + Miller Real Estate Group at 749-8188 or at [email protected]

Photos by Diane Maines

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