I don’t know why this older couple — my great-grandparents, in fact — had these photos taken of their home in the mid-fifties, but I’m glad they did.
Take a look around their small house, a “junior five” near San Francisco (a home that has an entry stairway that starts at garage level and leads up to five rooms), from the upstairs bedroom to the garage. [This exact home shown in the color photos below as in San Bruno, just south of SF.]
How much have property values changed? In 1940 and 1941, these houses were selling for between $5,000 and $5,350 — when you account for inflation, that’s right around $100,000 in today’s dollars. But of course, that’s not how real estate really works. So I looked it up, and as of 2018, the home shown in the newspaper photo below was apparently worth a cool $1.2 million in the hot San Francisco housing market.
The new Junior Five homes
As the newest development in home construction, the Associated Realty Company and J. Arvid Johnson & Son, builders, today are opening for public inspection of the trim Junior Five “Homemaker’s Home” at 4231 Pacheco Street.
It has been furnished by R. Knight & Sons.
Built for “practical people who count their pennies,” this attractive two bedroom home rises in the second unit of a fast-growing area near the beach.
“Since introducing the Junior Five several months ago,” said Bert Conroy of the realty firm, “we have encountered considerable difficulty in building homes fast enough to undertake a public showing. This is the first time that we have had a variety of this new type home available for inspection.”
A Junior Five home reduces the area devoted to the preparation and serving of food with the use of a dinette in lieu of a dining room. The saving in space, it is added, means savings in price. It has a spacious living room with fireplace, large windows and various other popular features.
From The San Francisco Examiner (San Francisco, California) – October 5, 1940
A 1950s home tour: The living room
Featuring a television set!
A 1950s home tour: The kitchen & dining area
With yellow tile and red accents, wallpaper with cherries and strawberries, plus a white range