There is something unique about older homes that many home buyers just can’t resist. Everyone has different things that appeal to them of course, and for many people a brand new house built just for them might be ideal, but if you’ve been thinking about buying an older home these reasons might sound familiar.
For some people, there is just something intangibly cool about living in a house that has stood through decades, or even centuries. If you live in a neighborhood or town with a good local library or local historians, you may be lucky enough to find photos of your house from many years ago. (If you live in Durham, NC, check out Open Durham.) You can imagine a family sitting in your living room, 70 years ago, listening to radio news broadcasts during World War II.
Or maybe your house fits into a particular architectural style of decades past: an ornate Victorian, or a sleek, modern mid-century home (like these round houses here in Durham). Whatever period your home was built in, for many homeowners there is something satisfying about knowing your home’s story and its place in history.
Room for Creativity
One of the drawbacks of older homes can be that they may need updating or renovation to make them more suitable to our modern lifestyles. But many buyers looking for older homes see this as just more room for creativity! With solid bones and unique architectural features, the prospect of updating an older house to work for your family can be exciting and give you the opportunity to create a truly one-of-a-kind home.
Standard building materials were just different way back when. Solid wooden doors, hardwood floors and thick plaster walls were the standard before more inexpensive materials (designed to look like the real thing!) became the norm for most builders. Siding was made of real wood, facades featured solid brick or real (often local) stone. If a home from a century ago is being lived in today, you can probably assume it was built to last.
Big shade trees, mature hedges and shrubs, flower gardens that have had a chance to grow and establish themselves – when you buy an older home you’re not just buying a building, you are buying the land it sits on and all of the plants and trees that have been planted over the years. Maybe things are a little overgrown, but with a some pruning you never know what surprises will come popping up in the spring. And even if you have to pull out buckets of wisteria or hack back a rhododendron that’s grown too big, you won’t have to wait years before tiny saplings grow big enough to be shade trees, or for flowering plants to finally fill in sparse-looking beds.
Admittedly, some of these may be unwelcome and you should prepare to discover things that may need some upgrades or repairs. But old homes can hold plenty of fascinating little mysteries and surprises, just waiting for you to stumble across them one day. Maybe you discover the wiring for an old servant’s bell, or an old garden statue buried in the yard. It might be a box of mementos forgotten in a corner of the attic, or an old-fashioned tool left in the basement. You won’t know until you move in and start poking around!
About the author: My name is Matt Minor and I’m a real estate agent with Hunter Rowe Real Estate in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. I’d love to help you buy or sell a home in the Triangle. Give me a call at 919-450-5999, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re thinking about buying or selling a home in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, Apex, Carrboro, Clayton, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, Holly Springs, Knightdale, Mebane, Morrisville, Sanford, Smithfield or Wake Forest.
title photo credit: ilovebutter via Flickr Creative Commons
garden photo credit: the yes man via Flickr Creative Commons