Homes over 50 years of age that are well maintained retain their charm and beauty and can be a joy to live in.
Ken Mallon, Sudha Dhandapani and their two children have such a home on Oakridge Drive in Los Altos.
"We looked at a broad range of homes in the area with larger lots and bigger homes, but we selected this house because of its usable space and its classic layout," Mallon said. "The wonderful selection of huge trees that shade the back yard appealed to us for the kids."
"As for me," Dhandapani said, "I love the neighborhood, with its friendliness, and the floor plan we live in, with the natural lighted living room and the dining room."
The house has only 2,700 square feet of living space, but it appears larger because of the multilevel floor plan. The 12,150-square-foot property is a gardener's delight and includes a children's playground. Three redwood trees and an oak heritage tree are on the lot.
"I spend a lot of time with my roses," Mallon said. "Scattered around the roses are tomatoes, melons and squash that are ready to pick."
With two children -- Monica, 6, and Henry, 3 -- there is a lot of entertaining done in the downstairs family room. The great room features a wall of windows with double French doors that provide access to the patio.
With a built-in hidden storage and entertainment center, the room is a place for the children to occupy their time and watch television.
The living room serves as the spot for adult entertainment. A large picture window with French doors overlooks the rear, and the front of the house is visible through two plantation-shuttered windows. The brick-faced fireplace and wall-to-wall carpeting give the room a comfortable, relaxed feel.
Helen Kuckens, who was visiting the family, said, "Don't you want to sit down in the living room and entertain your friends? What a place to relax."
The four-bedroom, 2.5-bath home has abundant closets throughout. "It was one of the features that sold us on the house," Mallon said.
Despite the age of the home, the kitchen is generous in size and features an over-sink bay window and oak cabinetry. Tile countertops, a walk-in pantry, hardwood floors and an island cooking area could keep the chef of the house occupied.
Conveniently off the kitchen is the laundry room, with additional storage and access to a rear landing that leads to the back yard.
On the way to the master bedroom is a 1982 wall painting by Jan Meyer. Meyer is the artist who painted walls on numerous commercial buildings in downtown Los Altos.
The master bedroom is a romantic retreat complete with a wood-burning fireplace. Corner windows provide a view of the golf course, with its current brown ground cover, and the East Bay hills.
With a spectacular view facing east, the bedroom is well lit early in the morning.
"Early morning light in the bedroom doesn't bother us," Dhandapani said. "Anyone with young children understands there is always someone waiting for you when you wake up."
The three other bedrooms are well sized, and two have wall-to-wall carpeting along with crown molding.
Mallon said in the five years they have occupied the house they have put on a new roof, installed air conditioning and done a lot of sprinkler work in the front and back yards.