Something that many people don’t automatically know about me is that I actually live in a historic home. My love for the art runs so deep, that in 2005 I purchased my 4th historic home: an early-California, ranch-style home located in Escondido, California.
Built in 1927 by Edwin King, a Hollywood silent film producer, my home was registered as the “King Ranch House”.
Like previous historic homes I’ve purchased, this home, taught me about the early California ranch style architecture and I learned to appreciate Edwin King’s vision for his home. I’ve come to understand his patience, artistry, and the beauty in his chosen land to build this home.
The condition of the home was dire and was starving for attention and for someone to save it. I’ve heard it said before, and with this home the saying rang true: “the house spoke to me”.
What is really interesting about this home is that many thought that it was an adobe style construction and some thought that it was a Cliff May design. My initial thoughts were quite different. At first glance the home appears to be a Spanish Colonial Revival.
After research and the consultation from Historians Ron May and wife Dale May of Legacy106, we’ve found that the home is in fact an early California, ranch-style architecture. Once this mystery was solved, I’ve become more in love with the home and take great pride in preserving it for the next owners to appreciate. The Escondido Historic Board nominated the King Ranch House with pleasure and it only took them less than a year.
A few things that I learned through this process, and by working alongside other historic home owners is that we’re wired differently: when we purchase a historic home, we become caregivers of the property.
When I purchased the King Ranch House, I had no experience with its particular architecture and had some idea that it would require a certain amount of money to restore it. I needed to get into the mind of the Edwin King to explore his vision so I can do the right thing in the restoration process.
And yes, even I under estimated the amount of money needed. This goes to show you that no matter how experienced you are in the restoration process, once you embarked on a new venture, you will underestimate the particulars. It’s unavoidable and I always stress to my clients to keep this in mind when you purchase your historic home.
What makes the early California architecture different than the homes I’ve restored in the past is that it’s less fussy and requires very little maintenance when compared to similarly aged homes. It is truly designed for simplicity and relaxing feel. My wife and I hardly leave home on the weekend only because we don’t have to. We have a slice of history and a slice of our own oasis that we enjoy. It’s like a vacation every weekend (minus a full time butler… one can wish, right?).
And funny enough, whether my historic home provides a place to land for two generations or twenty more, it’s been so much more than a financial investment: it’s been an investment in my personal happiness and the happiness of future generations who will enjoy living under its roof.