You may want the feel of the house on the show Parenthood, but without the surprises of This Old House. You wrestle with the question "should I buy a fixer-upper?"
I won’t provide you with a typical “do you have the right budget and patience to make it through a remodel” list. But I will provide you with a list of why old homes can be good a choice:
- It’s better for the earth.
The most green materials are the ones we don’t consume. If you can reuse a large percentage of existing materials, it’s a very sustainable option.
- You choose your own finishes.
This is good for two reasons. One, you won’t have to settle on “real estate beige” if you don’t want to, just because it is fresh paint. Two, the words in the ad “Fresh Paint” and “New Carpet” should read “be sure to leave your windows open for the next four months to get rid of the nasty VOC’s from the carpet adhesives and VOC filled paint”. That is most likely what they used to get it ‘show-ready’...because it’s really cheap.
- It is more likely to be located near a lovely downtown area.
Towns generally grow outward. If you have a safe and fun downtown area, this might be a good reason to look in older neighborhoods.
“Good bones” some would say. Unless you are custom building a home, most new homes are a series of boxes hitched together via hallways and some faux architectural embellishments. You might even get to step outside and yell “twinsies!” to all your neighbors.
- Larger trees, large yards and no HOA’s.
We like having our yard work done for us, but we don't love a set of eyes watching to make sure we follow all the rules.
In the end, it really depends on the town you live in. What is available, which neighborhoods are safe and what is the track record of the builder. I just have a sweet spot in my heart for old homes.