I Love Rummer Homes

rummer home

I don’t know why but I’m a house junkie. At least weekly I search listings on RMLS to see what is for sale in my neighborhood and what housing in and around Portland is selling for. And, I always look forward to my monthly issue of Dwell (despite it being kind of weak this past year). I don’t know why. I just LOVE LOOKING AT HOUSES!

My favorite houses are modern. Tall ceilings, natural materials, open spaces and lots and lots of light and windows. If I could afford it, I’d buy a piece of property and build something of a cross between a Frank Lloyd Wright and Michelle Kaufmann. As it is, I’ll probably have to settle on just doing an addition to our tiny 1950’s ranch and hope it will tide me over until I can find an affordable Rummer home (which may be never).

Another website I check fairly often is Portland Modern. It’s the most reliable site for locating modern homes, especially Rummers (Eichlers), that come up for sale. Rummers are sprinkled around all over, some even fairly close to our current neighborhood. Unfortunately they’ve become increasingly popular and their prices are through the roof. I guess that is one of the downfalls of living in a town that is so educated on design – we all tend to be after similar, sought after works.

I think Portland Modern may be how I originally found out about Street of Eames last year, but I can’t remember for sure. Both last year’s and this year’s were AWESOME. Talk about feeding my love of modern architecture. For the mere price of a ticket you get to explore the selected homes and jealously dream about how great it would be to live in those incredible dwellings. Modern home have such a unique feeling of spaciousness and livability. They just feel so right.

I think I must have been an architect in a past life, because this obsession is just not natural.


10 Responses to “I Love Rummer Homes”

  1. 1 maria March 9, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    I love Rummer homes too. I also am a house junky looking at homes for sale in the sunday paper. Also we had earnest money on a Rummer a few years ago and I could kick myself for passing that up. I totally agree with your article.

  2. 2 paperseed March 9, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    Thanks for your comment. I wrote this post almost a year ago, but I still feel the same. Actually, there are at least 4 Rummers on the market right now, but only one shows up on Portland Modern. I would be bummed too, if I lost an opportunity like that, but they are out of my price range at the moment. Ironically, I just picked up a part-time job for an online company and it is based in a Rummer. So I guess, if I can’t live in one, I can at least work in one. 🙂


  3. 3 kevin August 27, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    I’m a Rummer home fan too. Yes, they are getting quite expensive now. How did you find the four Rummers on the market? I only know portlandmodern.com.

  4. 4 Steve September 11, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    I’m luck enough to live in a rare Eastside Rummer (on Walter’s Hill in Gresham). There are 3 other Rummers in our neighborhood. We found ours via Craigslist!!! It was listed as being a “custom ranch with atrium.” It needs a lot of work, but it was affordable, we’re doing a lot of the work ourselves and we love living in it.
    Keep looking folks. They’re out there!

  5. 5 Tony December 17, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    We bought a Rummer in the Highland Hills area July/07 and love it. Been busy correcting some of the previous owners unusual color choices (Dark Purple, bordering on Black in a bedroom and eliminating the “puke brown” as my wife liked to call it on the outside). Landscaping next in the back yard which is a disaster at the moment.

    A Rummer one street over from us just sold and it is a beauty, one of the nicest ones we’ve seen. There are three others for sale in the neighborhood right now in various states of repair and/or appearance. I joke with my wife that one of them shouldn’t even be called a Rummer any longer as a result of a truly awful front door, atrium and exterior lighting. Gawd, I’m turning into a Rummer snob! I swear I’m not but really, there;s just some things you don’t do to them!

    Feel free to take a look at ours and leave comments or suggestions!

  6. 6 Juliet April 6, 2009 at 7:02 am

    Hi Everyone
    My husband and I will be moving to Portland this summer with our two young kids after 20 years of traveling with the Army. We are in the process of looking for a house and I LOVE the rummer homes! There are a couple for sale right now. I look forward to see more of your renovation pictures and any information you have the homes. My biggest concern is the efficiency with all the windows. Most don’t have AC so I’m wondering how summer and winter weather is tolerated with all the glass.

    • 7 Russell June 9, 2009 at 8:28 am

      My wife and I have lived in a Rummer for nearly 18 years, and we (mostly) love it, despite the inherent issues. I work at home, so I am in the house about 22 hours a day, most days. I particularly like the light from all the huge windows and skylights. Our last house was built in 1927, and had tiny windows ~ very dark and gloomy.

      There are three Rummer homes for sale in my neighborhood (Vista Brook) right now (spring 2009). This is one of the largest groups of Rummers ~ roughly between SW Garden Home Road (on the south), the Bohmann Pkwy (on the north), SW 84th Avenue (on the east) and SW 87th on the west.

      If anyone would like more info, write me at:


    • 8 Russell June 9, 2009 at 1:56 pm

      Hi Juliet,

      Regarding heating and cooling, you have valid concerns. The original glass is all single pane. It was not tempered and so is no longer up to code. In summer, the houses get quite warm, but the radiant heat keeps them toasty warm in winter. One winter drawback is condensation on the exterior single pane glass.

      Shortly after we bought the house, we could not afford to replace the exterior windows with double pane, so we installed “Window Quilts” (insulated roll-up shades). The installer did a great job of making them look like they belong here. They brought the single pane glass up to R-11 insulation value and mitigated the condensation issue. They also cut noise and echoes.

      Recently we replaced the exterior glass with double pane- argon filled, tempered glass. VERY expensive, but well worth it – the windows (with Quilts) are now as well insulated as the walls.

      We installed an exhaust fan in the ceiling of the atrium, and window air conditioners in 2 bedrooms – so summers are not so bad now…

      Hope this helps – email me for info on “Window Quilts” – they’re EXCELLENT! ogham.stone at gmail.com

  7. 9 Irene July 14, 2009 at 9:32 am

    The first Rummer I ever saw was the one featured in Portland Monthly a couple of years back, the Bonnie Brae rummer. I’ve been hooked ever since. I doubt I will ever be able to get my hands on one, but oh, to dream, I can still dream.

  8. 10 KD Grady September 14, 2009 at 10:36 am

    I currently have a rummer on the market for sale. This home has been my passion so it has been well taken care of. I am at the age where I am retiring and “sizing down” You can look at the link and see it is a private oasis on a flag lot in Vista Brook with a greenspace in back of the oversized lot. Also this is one of the larger RUMMERS with 5 bedrooms and 3 full baths.

    Here is a URL for property info. and photo gallery.


    Thanks, KD Grady

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