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Ave Couris fell in love with her Eichler home at first sight, in 1974. Photograph: David Fenton

Couris and her ex-husband had never heard of Eichler, but the moment they walked in they sold their life insurance to put down a deposit. There was an open house the weekend before the sale was agreed. “People were walking around saying, ‘Oh my goodness, look how poor the quality is!’ We were thinking, ‘Thank goodness! Let’s hope they don’t buy it.’ Fortunately everyone disliked it apart from us.”

Early Eichler homes did have a reputation for flimsiness,mirolka.com-Should your kids learn to code Gaby H,Cheap Sale From Red Bottom Shoes, but Couris has done practically nothing to hers in 40 years, beyond changing a few fittings and putting in tiled floors (the wooden ones didn’t wear well under her numerous pets). It looks enviably retro now. “If you live in a house long enough, the styles come back to the original,” Couris says over a cup of tea in the garden, hummingbirds flitting around us. “Now everybody’s putting Formica back in.” The tea is PG Tips; she originally hails from Nuneaton, and came to the US in 1958 as a nurse before retraining as an estate agent 30 years ago. Couris is in her 80s now, but still working.

It’s a similar story with Couris’s next-door neighbour, Phillip Perloff, a retired doctor. Perloff has barely done a thing to his house since he moved in. He wasn’t chasing the modernist dream,http://www.mirolka.com/-Truman Capotes In Cold Blo, he says; he simply wanted a bigger house. “Being in an Eichler had a modicum of stigma to it: it was tract-house living.”

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