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Archive for December, 2007

Mid Century Modern Played A Role In Every Part Of Life In The 50’s and 60’s

50's dream homeI found a great website called swankpad that I thought I’d share with you today. I grabbed a few of the hundreds of images of 50’s and 60’s advertisements, fashion, home decor and other fun mid-century modernism.

It’s been a pleasure this last week to have some fun on the internet instead of the normal barrage of phone calls, projects, showings to get ready for, negotiations, ad writing, and heavy duty blogging. I know that the normal routine will hit hard and heavy next week, so I’m just going to spend this week having some fun.  

I also managed to create a whole bunch of closet space by getting rid of workbooks and old files from 15 years ago that were stacked in boxes eating up some very valuable closet real estate in my home. I did that because I was looking for some old advertisements from my early days in real estate. I’ll be showing you some of them tomorrow when I finish my year in review post on how “VeryVintageVegas” came to be.

Corvair coverAnd the very first brand new car that my father ever bought was a white stripped down 1962 version of the Corvair Station Wagon. It did have an am radio, but my dad wouldn’t spring for the sun visors, or the white walls, or any of the other goodies. It was a tight fit for all 7 of us, but I learned to drive on it 8 years later. So many childhood “remembories” come flashing back when I go to websites like SwankPad. 

 Yes, my littlest brother coined the term remembories when he was 4 or 5 and our family has used it ever since.

Youngstown Steel kitchenIn the meantime, I have a feeling there’s not a lot of work going on in your world either. Most of you (according to the tracking thingies that Steve monitors for us) look at VVV during 9–5, so I’m providing something for you to do if your boss has you locked out of the porn and game websites.

Next week, we’ll get back to the serious business of preserving and improving our neighborhoods, educating the public and other Realtors about Vintage Vegas, saving our mid-mod architecture from the wrecking ball, re-thinking the arts district, maintaining pink bathrooms and all the other fun stuff we do.  

Room14Here’s your bonus set of photos from SwankPad in case you really want to get serious about mid century decor. Here’s a collage of great 50’s rooms from the Better Homes and Gardens 1957 decorating style book.

In case you didn’t find enough to keep you occupied while the boss is on vacation this week, you can always click on some of Didi’s Links in the right column of her DimBeautyOfChicago blog.

Have Fun!

Uncle Jack

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 3 Comments »

Worst MLS Photo Of The Day – Product Placement Revenue Substitutes For Falling Home Prices

782045_701_12One way to make up for the prices coming down is to sell product placement advertising in the MLS. Or, we could clean the place up, make it sparkle, attract more buyers and maybe get a better price? Who Knew?


The only thing worse than a bad picture is NO PICTURES AT ALL!

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 1 Comment »

My Earliest Memory Of “Jetson” Architecture

Reynoldsburg Spaceship Bank BuildingGoodness knows I’d never heard the term “modernism” when I was 5 years old. But even when I was 5 I was crazy about a bank building out in a Columbus suburb called Reynoldsburg, Ohio. It looked like a space ship. There was nothing else like it. It was across the street from the roller rink, and next door to city hall. We’d watch July 4 Fireworks from the parking lot.

I asked my brother Ken, who still lives in Columbus to go see if it was still there. He took some pictures, and except for the drive-thru ATM awning that was added sometime in the last 30 years, it’s exactly as I remember it in 1960.

Of course now I know it’s part of the vast collection of America’s love affair with modernist or “googie” architecture from the 1950’s and 1960’s. The classic Las Vegas that we know and love is a result of it. One of our many goals in the next year is to save as much of it as possible. We’ve shown several examples in the past from here in Las Vegas. There was a pretty good discussion and demonstration during or Midnight Bus Tour Of Mid-Century Modern Las Vegas.

Fortunately, there’s a lot of other people interested in what we now call “mid-century modernism”. We belong to 2 local groups who share that mission. The Atomic Age Alliance celebrates all things “modern”. Classic Las Vegas celebrates all things historic. I invite you to come out and play with us in the next year.

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Worst MLS Photo Of The Day – Have You Noticed The Screaming Has Gotten Louder From The Top Of The Stratosphere

I684536_701_73 often try to show the stratosphere in my listings when there’s a good view of it from one of the downtown properties.

I have several hundred photos of the tower that I’ve taken over the years during storms, fireworks displays, daytime, night time, dusk, and dawn. But I didn’t have one like this.

The only thing worse than a bad picture is NO PICTURES AT ALL!

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Art And New Development in Downtown Las Vegas Are Highlighted in Las Vegas Sun Articles.

Our Downtown neighbor, past client, and favorite reporter Joe Schoenmann published two articles this week in the Las Vegas Sun that are worth mentioning.

Vegas Moderne (photo credit to Las Vegas Sun)First, he tells us of a new development in the arts district that matches our wish list of what we’d like to see a lot more of. Work Space lofts in an real and viable art community.  

Quoting from the article: “Now the owner of S2 and Jack Gallery is about to do something he says will help the downtown Arts District turn the corner. With investors, he’s planning to pour $27.1 million into Vegas Moderne, which will include museum, gallery and live-work-sell space for artists. He expects to take renderings to the city Planning Commission and City Council in February.”

Todays Sun has a report by Joe on some new additions to the neon museum among other projects.

More art is on the way, outdoors. The City Council on Wednesday approved plans to refurbish two vintage neon signs, the Binion’s Horseshoe rotating sign and the Silver Slipper shoe sign, both of which will be erected on Las Vegas Boulevard next year.

Also, in the Sun this week, Kristen Peterson tells us that Dust Gallery is moving north of Charleston, and will be on the ground floor of the Soho Loft tower. We love the subtle crack she makes on the REI neon fiasco, “As REI Neon/Warburg Pincus continues to toy with downtown tenants and property owners, some businesses are packing up and leaving.”

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Worst MLS Photo Of The Day – HO HO HO

Santa Brought Us A Home! He Put It On Lay Away With Uncle Jack, His Favorite Realtor. He got  a really great deal on it, and we can move in at the end of January.I usually spend December wishing it was January. I hate going out in public because my brain seems to get songs stuck in my head. Whatever song I hear last just keeps repeating on an endless loop that can drive me crazy. It’s not so bad when it’s Springstein, or Meatloaf, or the Beatles. But Christmas Carols are a trap I try to avoid.

The worst song of all is “jingle bells”. I woke up yesterday and my brain was singing it to me. And that was from an razor commercial that was playing as I turned off the TV the night before. “Rudolph” and “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” are close contenders.  White Christmas always makes me glad I live where it doesn’t snow. Yuck! I shoveled a lifetime’s worth of sidewalks and jump started enough dead batteries in zero degree weather to make me really appreciate that there’s snow up on Mount Charleston to look at, and I can go visit it if I want to. Living in it, and celebrating it, and dreaming of it is just crazy in my book.

So, I wish you all a blue sky, 60 degree Happy Holidays.  


Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 2 Comments »

Thou Shalt Not Walk

PB264251I pulled over to take a picture of a Stone Block pattern that I didn’t have a photo of, and stumbled upon this little sign in the church landscape. BTW it’s one of the really nice xeroscapes around town.













Fortunately, I’m immune to guilt because I was walking thru the landscape when I found the sign.

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Improvement Happening Every Where We Look In The Historic Neigborhoods Las Vegas

PC014290The crooked and uneven picket fence as well as the dead tree are finally gone on 8th Place just south of Oakey! Yeah! The previous owner had put up the fence, but didn’t know how to use a level. I wish I had a before picture. Now you can see the great stone work facing the home.





PB244243New driveways and landscape are being installed on 8th Place South of Park Paseo. This home is right next door to our listing at 1249 8th Place

The John S. Park Historic Neighborhood is a one of the best loved of all the great neighborhoods in Vintage Vegas.




PC024291New Paint and Windows on 17th Street, and the landscape will be done next week.







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Very Vintage Vegas Welcomes New Neighbors

PB294281Our final closing for the year was a cute little mini-mod in Francisco Park 3. Maribeth and Chris plan on adding a garage, and are real excited to finally get to be home owners.

They wanted to buy over a year ago, but were slightly priced out of owning a single family home. With the price reductions and 2 year lows in interest rates, they were able to get into a home for the same monthly cost that they would have had for a condo a year ago.

Congratulations and Welcome To Vintage Vegas.

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Worst MLS Photo Of The Day

785244_801_12Plenty of room for all your extra stuff. We just don’t know which room it is!



The only thing worse than a bad picture is NO PICTURES AT ALL!

Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 1 Comment »

One Of The Many Reasons Why I’m An Optimist About The Las Vegas Housing Market

There’s an amazing voice out there in the Blogosphere when it comes to using real estate as an investment. He doesn’t do “homes that you live in”. He specializes in homes that you rent out and use to create TRUE wealth and eventual retirement income. We’ve been reporting about things like new FHA programs for re-financing; Hope Now Alliance to help avoid foreclosure from adjusting mortgages; raising your credit scores to help you be a strong buyer and many other things that are happening or being proposed to alleviate the “housing mess”.

Bawld Guy, in his post yesterday pointed out a very important piece of the puzzle, which is money supply. It’s the contraction of the money supply which had the banks shut down their mortgage lending. There’s no shortage of willing buyers. The shortage is from ABLE buyers. The middle ground in lending is safe and prosperous and advantageous for everyone.

Banks look at your assets, your credit and your income. Right now, you have to be “excellent” in all 3 categories to get a home loan. 2 years ago you could be “awful to fair” in all 3 and still get a loan.

The crisis will end, and we’re starting to see signs of it now, when you can get a good loan with any two out of 3 of the categories. Then our working families will be able to get loans again. Liquidity in the banking and mortgage system is the key to this happening.

Bernanke Goes To The Statue of Liberty Play — Bank System Scores  should be read, but here’s the money quote: 

If you’re bleeding out, you don’t need a sandwich, you need a massive blood transfusion. Duh.

As Bernanke wrote — the Great Depression might’ve been avoided but for the Fed’s decision at the worst time imaginable to actually contract our money supply when a tsunami sized infusion of cash was desperately needed.


My money remains solidly on Bernanke. The last 18 years of rates being lowered too far to fast, then reacting to the unintended consequences of those moves far too late and with too many rate increases, are over.

It’s time to serve some cheese to go along with all that whine.

From now on, if you believe anything, believe Ben Bernanke’s relative valuation of money supply over interest rates as the most effective tool at his disposal.

I’m a staunch money supply guy, and have been since forever.

Now we watch and wait to see how this all plays out.

I wonder how many times Wall Street will fall for the Statue of Liberty play? While they demean and insult Ben for his actions, banks are now acting like banks again.

Actions speak louder than whining every time.

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“Top Producer” Office Award Makes The Point About Real Estate Sales In Vintage Las Vegas

Top Producer Award0001I often get awards from my office at the monthly meetings. Sometimes it’s for most sales, or most closings or most listings. Yesterday they called to make sure I would attend the meeting. I wasn’t sure why until they announced that I had won the “Top Producer” award for the office for November. It’s for a combination of sales, listings taken and listings sold. I’ve never won that award before.

Of course, I like it better when they spell my name right (Capital V – which is how the whole V V V VeryVintageVegas brand came about in the first place).  They promise they’ll fix it for me, and make it over.

I’m certainly not one to brag about things such as an award, but it’s important since all I do is work a very tight geographic “niche market”. There’s over 200 agents in my Keller Williams Realty office. Most agents are focused on the next deal. I’m focused on educating people that there’s something BIG happening in the middle of Las Vegas. There’s a whole interesting world of charming, unique homes and neighborhoods that the vast vast majority of the people in Las Vegas have no idea even exists. One of the biggest challenges I face is educating other Realtors about my little niche market. I think the other agents in my office are starting to get the idea.

Of course, I’m talking about “Vintage Vegas”. Half of the population of Las Vegas (a MILLION PEOPLE) moved here since 1993. They were told they “had to” live in Su—erlin or Green V—-y or the northwest or the southwest. You can’t imagine how many of them have told me they had no idea that they could find a home with a large lot and big trees. They didn’t know their home didn’t have to look just like their neighbors. They didn’t know you could live safely and be 10 minutes to work. No one told them that there were historically and architecturally important neighborhoods. No one said to them that mid century modern was hip and fun and interesting. Telling them and those who haven’t moved here yet, is the primary reason we do this blog.

Of course, I’m just one real estate agent. I don’t get to talk to everyone that moves to Las Vegas. But I sure am talking to a lot of people now a days that want to know more about Vintage Vegas.

Kitchen3_500I’m finding 2 groups of potential buyers. Group One wants the location, but they also want “newness”. They like granite counters and monstrously big elaborate master bathrooms. They insist they have to have 2 or 3 car garages. There are homes for them like our listing on 15th Street. People Like Frantz and Stephanie are rebuilding homes and modernizing them without destroying the character of the neighborhood.

Some of the “suburbanites” are discovering that they can have those granite counters installed, and can do some creative moving of walls. They can do it themselves or have it done for them, or buy one that’s already done over. There’s great inventory of homes that would work for people with the time and money to get it done.

807 Oakey Living Room CeilingThe other group are fans of mid century modern. Or they love bungalows. Sprawling ranches make their hearts sing. They crave uniqueness and creativity. And they love the location too, by the way. They want private yards and big trees and and a sense of community. And like me, they cry every time we hear about a pink bathroom being torn out. There’s tons of homes for sale with original features such as pink bathrooms, fantastic stone fireplaces, hand built cabinetry, REAL hardwood floors, pocket doors, post and beam ceilings, diving board pools and a lot of other classic features that warm the heart.

I’m probably preaching to the choir at this point, so I wanted to ask a question. Have you told your co worker or friend or family that you either love living in Vintage Vegas, or can’t wait till you do? Are you helping to spread the word? Can you help me win that award EVERY month? If you’re not ready to buy or sell right now, do you know someone who is?

If you’re on our email list or have ever gotten an email from me, the “signature” at the bottom reads:

We have lots of fun hyping the “Original Las Vegas” which we call “Very Vintage Vegas.” 

And, selling real estate funds our passion for preserving Vintage Vegas. 

Your referrals are always appreciated.


Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 4 Comments »

Worst MLS Photo Of The Day – Technology Is Supposed To Make Life Easier

Is there a separate office-den or is this one of the bedroomsThis kinda looks like the room full of technology that let me down so badly on Tuesday and Wednesday. Everythings up and running again, finally.

But it’s still a bad picture of the sellers “stuff” and has nothing whatsoever to do with the features of the home.


The only thing worse than a bad picture is NO PICTURES AT ALL!


Posted by Jack LeVine | Currently 1 Comment »

There Must Have Been Some Electro-Pulse Test Going On Out In The Desert..

Because the technology factor was totally off whack @ the VVV HQ today.  We’re broadcasting live via Steve’s Apt. because the Embarq guy is taking extra measures to see this doesn’t happen again.  In addition to not having Internet since about 9:15 this morning, Jack’s blue tooth & palm were wrestling, the scanner took 12 runs to digest anything, & my phone was dropping calls every time i looked the other direction. 

I’m not complaining, we just needed to know it was a get out the office day!  My newly non-smoking lungs got a much needed work out as I got to set out on a self lead architectural & urban planning appreciation tour of Huntridge & Marycrest [Actually meaning I ‘paper-boyed’ 400 post cards letting everyone know we sold a bunch of stuff like 1701 15th St., & We’ve got a bunch of cool stuff like 1821 14th St. etc.].  But really I enjoyed it because I just got a bunch of new music to Dj with & could preview it all on my i-pod while finally getting some exercise.

I then spent the afternoon beginning to get set up with an awesome new mortgage company, First United Mortgage.  I met with Mark, my new team leader.  I have to say thanks to Brad from our suburban sister blog in Silverado Ranch, The South Valley Reader for the referral to Mark & First United.  I’m very excited to join with them and be able to offer even more services like VA & FHA backed loans.  They also have an in-house underwriter, so loans are done quickly, clearly, & correctly.  This I appreciate more than anything!

Jack was at a signing this morning & still out with a buyer when I spoke with him at the end of the day, so I’m going to guest author his Worst MLS Photo:

Worst MLS Photo Of The Day: You’ll Fall In Love With The Dark Narrow Halls & Stairwells!!

Falling down stairs

We should be back up & running at the office tomorrow as far as I know.



Posted by Stephen P Christmas | Currently 2 Comments »

Want To Show Off Your Vintage Vegas Pride?





Send us an e-mail and include your address.  You’ll get a couple VeryVintageVegas window stickers for your car, your golf cart, or your Ducati windshield. (Now also available for boats & small water craft) Let your neighbors know you ‘get it’ & you’d rather keep your pink tile bathroom, thank you very much! 








They’re static cling, so your Rolls won’t retain any residue. They measure about 9 inches by 1 inch.

Get some!


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