Ranch Style Homes

Oster Area Ranch Style HomeLove it or hate it, you can’t escape it: the Ranch.

By far the most abundant architectural style among Silicon Valley homes is the ranch. A recent resurgence in interest in this unique and pervasive house design suggest it is regaining popularity, and there are plenty of reasons to love it! Here we’ll take a peek at the history, how to identify, and the function behind the ranch design. Ready to meet America’s dream home?

New modern ranch homes for town or country living by the National Plan Service, Inc (1956) on Archive.org

by the National Plan Service, Inc (1956) on Archive.org – Click to see

Back on the Ranch: A Brief History

In the early 1930s, San Diego designer Cliff May took the architectural world by storm with his spin on the Spanish colonial revival home. Inspired by adobe ranchos and modern design with an emphasis on comfortable California living, May developed this unique style. This soon evolved into the quintessential California ranch style.

It’s no surprise that the ranch has come to be known as a suburban style. Its popularity was widespread during the booming post-war years through the 1970s, peaking in the 1950s with ranch homes accounting for as many as 9 out of 10 new homes! (Witold Rybczynski, p 207)

Having saturated the market for decades, and with buyers wanting bigger homes, the market shifted away from building the sprawling single-story ranch in the later decades of the 20th century. Still the design retained popularity in the resale market. With more ranch homes celebrating their golden jubilee (some of the earliest are approaching 90) and some gaining historic designations there has been a renewed interest in ranch architecture over the last decade or so.

Design Elements

 “Today, almost any house that provides for an informal type of living and is not definitely marked by unmistakable style symbols is called a ranch house.” (Sunset Western Ranch Houses (1946), IX – 1946).

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Happy Valley neighborhood, Country Lane neighborhood – west San Jose

In west San Jose with the 95129 zip code, near the borders of Saratoga, Cupertino, and Campbell, you’ll find the much beloved Happy Valley neighborhood. The nearby school, which is highly regarded, is Country Lane Elementary, so the area is also known as the Country Lane neighborhood. This is a quiet pocket of understated but very comfortable ranch style homes on lovely tree lined streets.

I have a lovely listing in this neighborhood at 4843 Englewood Dr, San Jose, CA 95129 – please click on the link and check out all the details and photos!

 

Tree lined streets in the Happy Valley neighborhood

 

Where is the Country Lane or Happy Valley neighborhood?

The Country Lane or Happy Valley neighborhood is bordered by Doyle Road, Saratoga Avenue, Prospect Road, and Lawrence Expressway. It is almost shaped like a triangle – but not quite. At the southern tip of the area is a commercial complex with a number of shops, restaurants, a hardware store, and much more. Just across Saratoga Avenue from there is Westgate, and “kitty corner” is El Paseo de Saratoga (with movie theaters as well as stores and restaurants). Prospect has more shops, including a See’s Candies, a car wash, eateries, you name it.

 

Happy Valley neighborhood in West San Jose 95129

 

How is the commute from this part of West San Jose? What’s nearby?

Depending on where you live in the Country Lane or Happy Valley community, it is about 1.5 miles to either Highway 280 or Highway 85, but you may find that you can commute via Saratoga Avenue, Lawrence Expressway, or San Tomas Expressway. Look at the map, below, to notice how very convenient this location is!

From this area, it may be a comfortable stroll or bike ride to a number of shops and eateries. (more…)

18632 Woodbank Way, Saratoga CA 95070

Sale pending with 7 offers!  Absolutely stunning views of the coastal foothills in the distance and a verdant orchard at your feet at 18632 Woodbank Way, Saratoga CA 95070, a charming knoll top cul-de-sac in the Quito Road neighborhood.   From this home and yard you’ll see the peaks of El Sombroso on the left and El Sereno on the right – a nearly impossible to find panoramic view!  This wonderful ranch style home is for sale, listed at $2,400,000. Read on to learn more! (On the MLS by Tuesday April   4 at noon & can be shown after that time.)

 

Back View to the Left - Woodbank Way

Back View to the Left – Woodbank Way

 

This 3 bedroom, 2 bath Saratoga home enjoys 2346 square feet of living space and boasts newly refinished hardwood floors, dual pane windows, air conditioning, and loads of room for entertaining  between the living room, enlarged dining room, and family room – which sits at the back of the house and enjoys the best views.  The kitchen, too, overlooks the yard and the Santa Cruz Mountains, as does the master bedroom.   The home was built in 1964, but the bathrooms were remodeled since that time.

Very livable now, move in and enjoy your own resort!  Or further improve the home or build new – the option is yours!

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