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In Kensington, Two Vintage Ranches

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Kensington? It's roughly west of Albany and north of Berkeley, with post-war construction on smallish lots and a reputation for good schools. Are you having that private school tuition vs. mortgage conversation at home? Both of these similar houses are in basically "as built" condition and an opportunity to renovate. So you get to live with your own mistakes/granite counters instead of someone else's. [Redfin, our default site for online listings, is not presently showing any open houses in the East Bay. We know not why and provide the broker's links with open house info as well. -PF]

Above, 154 Lawson Road, Kensington from 1960, the end of the Eisenhower Era but very much pre-Camelot, comes this two-level house (we've heard them called "daylight ranches" in the Pacific Northwest) one story out front and two in the back. Looks immaculate but almost untouched, the kind of interior that elicits either memories of growing up or the urge to renovate. Or both. Three bedrooms, two baths, two fireplaces, vintage kitchen and open views west. For some reason the listing makes no reference to what appears to be an enclosed Japanese garden. $895K and open Sunday, July 11 from 2 to 4:30PM.
· 154 LAWSON RD [Redfin]
· 154 LAWSON RD [Marvin Gardens]

Dating back to the days of Harry Truman's presidency,the Red Scare and Korean War 8 ANSON WAY, above, is another one-story front and two-story rear but with the upper story arranged around a courtyard. Four bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths, one of which is spectacularly knotty pine, and the kitchen was probably replaced in the nineteen-eighties but looks serviceable. This could be a seriously smart little house in the right hands. On the market over three months and price-chopped twenty percent down to $719K. Open Sunday July 11 from 2 to 4PM.
· 8 ANSON WAY [Redfin]
· 8 ANSON WAY [Marvin Gardens]

· Kensington [Wikipedia]