I love antique homes. These marvels stood the test of time thanks to the dedication of their owners and the foresight of their architects. Each has its own way of reflecting change over time, yet each retains its own character. Each offers charm, character and hidden treasure.
Along with these homes come history you can find in the local town's records and books as well as through stories handed down through the generations of local townspeople. And as time goes on, the new owners add their own stories to the home's history. Sometimes more stories are uncovered as new owners find forgotten photographs, or shoes, or even toys tucked in unlikely places from residents who left over 100 years ago. Often descendants of the original owners still live nearby and might drop by to welcome you.
As much as I love them, I also know that living in them appeals to a small segment of the Buyer's market. And often that means it takes longer to find the right buyer than it would to find a buyer for a more common and modern home.
Now a true antique home owner often feels a tangible connection and affection for her home, so waiting patiently for the right Buyer can be frustrating and difficult. On the flip side, Buyers who are looking for an antique home are precise and specific about what they want so they too sometimes struggle while searching for their dream home. Our job is to help them find each other. We call it "matching teacups and saucers."
Are you an "appreciator" or a buyer?
Antique homes are not for everyone. Many are close to the road and center of town. Most have uneven floors, and not quite perfectly square or level anything. It doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it, just that it was built before our technology and time of professional builders. That's all part of the charm of an antique home. Some of their basements are an experience all their own with stone foundations, dirt floors, old stalls, sump pumps and antique cobwebs. Depending on your preferences and your financial resources, you can shore up floors so they don't creak and address the basement's shortcomings, but you also should think hard about whether or not an antique home is right for you.
Buyers of antique homes often come from two different perspectives. Most love the character of antique homes, but also look forward to updates in the kitchen and bathrooms. They often hope for closet space, too. The other perspective is that of a "purist." Purists are looking for a home with lots of authenticity that hasn't changed much since it was original conceived. They can be hard to find...but then again, homes they really like are equally hard to find.
If you do fall in love with an antique home and you'd like to hire professional help to work on the house, I have some contacts to share with you who specialize in antique homes. In addition to their outstanding work, you'll learn lots about the history of building and decorating in your home. Because they love antique homes, too.