Whether working with sellers or buyers, I frequently run into a common split in preference here in Massachusetts. Existing home stock in MA include s a spectrum ranging often from mid 1800’s (and I’ve worked on 1600’s & 1700’s as well) to in-progress new construction. To put it simply, some people like old homes and some people see homes more like a car that works best when new and deteriorates with age.
Diving into an old house that hasn’t been updated or renovated can be a huge process. Older wiring, plumbing, the absence of insulation in the walls or windows and the common rot found in old wood milled long before pressure-treating was possible can add up to huge expense just to modernize before getting to any of the fun kitchen, bathroom or other more “cosmetic” updates. A more subtle preference comparison comes when older homes already updated, renovated and/ or restored are options in the same price range as new construction often being built on an older lot where a builder demolished the existing house to build something new.
After decades of walking through all manner and age of homes including brand new construction, I’ve found that homes built in the early 20th century (roughly 1900-1930) have an unusually consistent solid construction. They seem to demonstrate less “settling” (uneven floors, apparent structural sinking in areas) than many homes built in the late 1800’s while also exhibiting slightly larger rooms, higher ceilings and more carefully crafted (although clearly mass-produced) detailing whose durability has remained intact over the past 100+/- years. When I walk into a home built around 1915 or 1920 I usually find a rock solid structure with limited settling, beautiful flooring & decorative woodwork, comfortable layouts that can be modified to today’s more open flow preferences with minimal structural issues and a deep sense of character missing from many later decades’ construction styles like the more uniform styles of the 50’s (Ranch) 60’s (Cape), 70’s (Split/ Raised Ranch) and so on.
But hey, that’s just me. What home styles appeal to you and why?