Tuesday, March 9, 2010

This Old House

Sorry that I’ve been MIA lately. I caught Miss E.’s stomach bug and for a while there, I thought I was going to die. But, I made it through it and I’m back among the living.

Question for my dear readers…have you or do you currently own an older home? And if so, do you like it? Is it a headache? Both? The reason I ask is that recently we’ve been looking at houses in an older neighborhood, closer to where our kids will attend school. Yes, I realize we’re renovating the kitchen and having our house painted. Part of this effort is because if we do decide to move, our house will be more up-to-date and ready to put on the market. If we don’t move, we can simply enjoy the renovations and live in a more updated home. So, hopefully a win-win on both accounts. But, I am growing a little tired of the commute and would like to be closer to the kids’ school and my work.

We’ve looked at some darling houses – lots of charm, architectural gems. But, when you start looking at homes that are 80 to 100 years old, well, there’s a lot of baggage that goes along with it. The maintenance concerns me. Hubby doesn’t like that many of these houses don’t have finished basements. You tend to sacrifice certain amenities for the location and you pay a bigger price tag.

So, maybe these house hunts are for not and just reinforce the fact that we need to stay in our current home. We’ll see. In the meantime, I’ll continue to watch “This Old House” to get some tips from the experts. Plus, I have a slight crush on the host, Kevin O’Conner. :)
Image courtesy of This Old House

19 comments:

*The Beautiful Life* said...

Yes -- we have an 1891 home -- wanna talk??? :)

I'm happy to share any thoughts or insights I can -- we've learned a lot and honestly there are things we would definitely do differently. There are just things you don't think of when you're buying a home and really who CAN think of it all? :) So, if you want to chat via email or something, I'm very happy to! :)

The home in the photo is wonderful-looking, by the way! :)

Have fun and enjoy the hunt!

Ruth

teresa-bug said...

You should talk to my parents. I grew up in an old (100+ years) Victorian home. It had tons of charm, old woodwork, floors, etc. BUT! It had NO insulation (literally), no AC and itty bitty closets. My dad is a little on the cheap side {I am being nice} so he didn't want to pay for the upgrades. However, all that being said...I loved that house. I compromised as an adult and my house is 40 years old. I don't think I could ever live in a new house. They don't live there anymore and we often laugh at some of the things we put up with in that house.

Chic Coles said...

We have always livind in older homes. The charm and appeal always out ways the extra work.

Jan said...

We have lived in three homes during our 27 year marriage. Our first was about 10 years old. The second was located in a designated historical area and about 70 years old. We built our current house.

My favorite? The older home, hands down! We have probably had more problems with a brand new home. They just don't build them to last, and ours is an upper end custom home. There is something about older homes that can't be duplicated. I found our neighbors in the older neighborhood to be the friendliest, too!

EntertainingMom said...

Our old house was an older home -- built in 1938 with an addition put on in 1997. I used to refer to it as a house with old world charms and the comforts of today. It was a very well built house -- better than houses built today. In terms of maintenance and upkeep in 10+ years all we had to replace was a water furnace. (Replaced kitchen appliances but more for appearance purposes.)

My parents live in a house in Newport that was built in 1928. Aside from general wear and tear from salty ocean air their home is sound and requires only moderate maintenance.

Certain homes are notorious, however, for requiring constant upkeep. I would steer clear away from Victorian architecture.

Good luck and sorry to hear about the stomach bug. I had it too. And I too thought I was going to die!

EntertainingMom said...

Our old house was an older home -- built in 1938 with an addition put on in 1997. I used to refer to it as a house with old world charms and the comforts of today. It was a very well built house -- better than houses built today. In terms of maintenance and upkeep in 10+ years all we had to replace was a water furnace. (Replaced kitchen appliances but more for appearance purposes.)

My parents live in a house in Newport that was built in 1928. Aside from general wear and tear from salty ocean air their home is sound and requires only moderate maintenance.

Certain homes are notorious, however, for requiring constant upkeep. I would steer clear away from Victorian architecture.

Good luck and sorry to hear about the stomach bug. I had it too. And I too thought I was going to die!

Main Line Sportsman said...

100 Year old house for us....but when we bought it it had already been completely re-wired in all electrical forms and all new plumbing top to bottom...and central air installed!
18 inch thick stone wall...nothing like it! Go for it dear!

bevy said...

Glad you are feeling better!!!

I grew up in an old home. So structurally well-made. Never thought I would live in a new home, but we built our home almost three years ago. We love it and all the amenities. It is a high-end custom as well. However, they just aren't built like the used to!

Jo said...

Oh the dreadful stomach bug ~ it made its way through our home as well. Glad you're feeling better.

We live in an English Tudor that is 25 years old. Outside of needed updates {master bath, kitchen, and repainting} due to decore and normal use, it's a lovely home. I grew up in a home that was 80+ years and it was wonderful ~ you just don't get those details in newer homes. I think the key is to stay on top of home repairs and you'll be fine.

Jo

Jeanne said...

Interesting question! Our last house was over 100 years old and we did have to invest quite a bit to get it up to scratch but once done it was a lovely home. It is fine if you have never lived in a newer home with all the modern conveniences but once you do that it makes it more difficult to settle into an older home, especially with big families. They are charming but your right...there should be a 'buyer beware' in fine print!
Jeanne :)
PS..Thanks for stopping by today!

Toad said...

Depending upon your level of abuse, the most maddening thing about an old house is finding fittings. If you find a house you love, all the aggravation in the world is worth it. It's even better if there is an old fashioned hardware store nearby.

Henley on the Horn said...

I love older homes. You do tend to have hidden problems like wiring or windows that don't hold in heat & a/c, but the charm and location is often worth it. See if you can find a deal!

Elizabeth said...

is that the actual house you are considering? if so, i love it! so charming and very "father of the bride". i love older homes. with an older home, they tend to have much more charm and character. some people say it is a love/hate relationship, but if well maintained throughout the years i think it is totally worth it.

myletterstoemily said...

it is almost impossible to duplicate
the warmth and charm of an older
home.

be sure to check the wiring and
plumbing, though.

good luck on the hunt.

Tickled Pink Talk said...

we moved 3 years ago from a home built in 1880 to our current "new" home built in 1969. DH has never looked back, he HATED all the maintenance. I miss the charm. BUT it was very drafty, only had one bathroom etc. We feel we have been able to "add" some charm to our current house and while we do maintain it well, it is not nearly as time consuming as the older home. I really LOVED the older home though and was sad to move. Good luck with your decision!

Tickled Pink Talk said...

oh, glad you have recovered! :)

Felicia said...

Even though, I love, love the character and charm of older homes..they can be bigger money pits. We just moved from a historic home to a new home this past November.

Metropolitan Mum said...

Our house is more than 200 years old. We renovated it two years ago and are in the process of selling. And yes, I'd do it again! Good luck and keep us posted.
xx MM

Heather said...

We currently live in a house that was built in 1922. We love it. There's so much character and charm. I love that the floors creak sometimes and that sort of thing - not to mention the pretty trim and so on. Previously, we designed and built a brand new house. That was fun, but we prefer the old house. I think the perfect scenario is an old house that you get to renovate...