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happyintexas

Old House or New?

happyintexas
13 years ago

A local historical district hosted an open house this weekend. Beautifully redone homes (and one in the midst of rehab) from the early 1900's. Hardwood floors, leaded glass, claw foot tubs, glass front cabinets, and wide wood trim around the doors and windows. Deep, wide porches to die for...ahhh, and the antiques inside.......sigh.

I've lived in tacky before and since in fairly newly built homes. I love all the charm I saw today, but I wondered...could I really live in a cozy restored home? Do we have what it takes to take a falling down house and restore it to glory? Should we ditch our 10 year old house-with it's concrete slab, attached garage, energy efficient windows, shallow useless front porch and acre of land-and grab hold of a craftsman era charmer and live a different kind of life?

I'm tempted.

Am I serious? Dunno. We've considered downsizing a bit...now that the boys are grown and nearly gone, an acre is a lot to mow. lol But...could I live without walk-in closets? (I know...shallow, but we are pack rats. lol)

What are the pros and cons to you re old homes or new? It's fun to think of...

Comments (68)

  • patty_cakes
    13 years ago

    My dream is to *someday* live in an old house where all the work/updates have been done~I just don't think I have it in me(age 60+)to go thru the trama/drama of a re-do. Having lived in CA for the last 25 years I never stood a prayer of having such a house, but now living in TX, I may have the opportunity.

    If you've forever had the dream in the back of your mind, I say go for it! You only have one live to fulfill those dreams. ;o)

  • grad_girl_1
    13 years ago

    OK, I'll give a slightly different opinion.

    We currently live in a beautiful Craftsman, built in 1922. It has 1300 finished square feet, plus 800 unfinished square feet in the basement. Later this week, we are moving to a spacious condo, very modern, built in 2001. Let me share my thoughts on both...they each have their pluses and minuses.

    I completely love the charm of our Craftsman, but it does get very cold in the winters (we live in MN). Adding some insulation would help, but this is a project we never took on.

    When you do projects in an older home, there can be costly surprises. For instance, when recently adding a lighting fixture to our bathroom, the electrician found an illegal box of live wires, capped off, behind the wall. He had to by law correct the issue while working on our fixture, which added $250 to the total bill. There are numerous other "items" in the house that are not up to code. Even though they work fine, if we would do "work" in those areas, we'd have to bring related items up to code. So, long story short, repairs in an older home can have added costs.

    Regarding closet space, we have very little, but we've been able to work around it. We use spare bedroom closets and racks in the basement to hang out-of-season clothing. Our kitchen has limited cabinet space, but we store things we only use occasionally, such as the bread machine and juicer, in the basement. The unfinished basement is actually a feature we enjoy, we have more storage there than we've ever been able to use.

    Regarding the new house, we also love it! Like the old house, it has beautifully finished woodwork in the kitchen, and hardwood floors throughout. It has an open floor plan, granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances. The huge walk-thru closet is already finished "California Closet" style, and I just can't resist the big soaking tub in the master bath. Long story short, it's nice to have a place where everything is new. The builder is known for high quality construction.

    I think it's fun to go from one design style to another (albeit expensive). I wonder if you're going through the same thing: it's fun to think about living at a place that's completely different from what you currently have. You're looking at going from a newer place to one with old-fashioned charm and we're doing the opposite.

    Anyways, that's my 2 cents, I'll be interested to hear what you decide.

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  • skyedog
    13 years ago

    If you are emotionally and finacially prepared for renovating an older home, then you should consider it. But living in an older home is not just quaint and cozy, it is a way of life.

    I would recommend that you subscribe to both Old House Journal and Old House Interiors magazines (or buy some old back issues.) to get a feel if you are really interested in the old house thing or if the issues are a little boring and maybe not what you were thinking. You should also lurk aroung the Old House forum here and see the daily realities people face in renovations.

    Do you know enough about home construction to recognize a "diamond in the rough"? Just because a house is old, doesn't mean it was well built to begin with or that it will clean up well.

    Can you live under some potentially really gross living conditions for what at times seems like forever? Do you freak out about lead paint or asbestos? How about finding bats or mice (either living or dead)?

    If you really love a house and all it's problems it's like childbirth, once it's done you tend to forget how bad it really was. You just need to be prepared to be in labor for many years at a time.

    I grew up in a new house and as an adult have only purchased homes and vacation homes from the turn of the century, all of them needing extensive work. I loved them all but in reality, there is a lot of nice, well made newer properties out there. It's not all track housing.

    Have you considered a 50's ranch? Often they sit on beautiful lots, were well made with solid floor plans and hardwood floors and do a good job of bridging the gap between old house total reno and cold and bloodless new house construction.

  • mal22
    13 years ago

    "Have you considered a 50's ranch? Often they sit on beautiful lots, were well made with solid floor plans and hardwood floors and do a good job of bridging the gap between old house total reno and cold and bloodless new house construction."

    The above is an excellent point Skyedog. I have a 1953 Cape Cod that does exactly that regarding bridging the gap. When remodeling the bathroom, I was able to keep and restore the sink, faucets, and cast iron tub while buying new tile, toilet, and light fixtures. In the kitchen, I was intending to install slate tile but got a lovely surprise of wood floors when I pulled up the old vinyl tile. Had the floors refinished and they're great. A little beat up under the fridge but that's ok. So, I guess a "old but not really" home would be the solution, LOL. Where you can handle cosmetic remodels and not have to completely gut it out. You'd be surprised at how many 50s homes out there have nice walk-in closets too.

  • ttodd
    13 years ago

    I don't know any other way of life. I've never lived in a 'New' home and honestly feel oncomfortable in them for some reason. Like something's missing - I don't know. I'm sure that if money weren't an issue I could build a new home that 'wore' old and I'd feel fine.

    My father restored old homes so I've only grown up in old homes. There was always a project to be done. Even so that still didn't prepare me for owning my old home. Or at least I would have done things differently here PRIOR to having our children.

    Skye put it perfeclty: It is a way of life. But one I wouldn't trade - would just be better prepared for financially and would have really gone over w/ DH (who never lived in an old house) more thoroughly about what it means to be very handy and have that skill set even if it's just a hobby. Becuase if you don't and you don't have a smackering of cha-ching and you're chasing 3 kids while the other 1/2 is pulling evening work....well you get my point.

    I wish dad didn't live sooooo far away.

  • IdaClaire
    13 years ago

    My current home was built in 1940, and while that's not truly old compared to what some folks here are living in, it's old to me. I came to this house from a brand new custom-built home that never really felt homey to me. To paraphrase a great line I heard in a vintage black & white film yesterday, "It was as cozy as a cathedral." When I left that house, I set my sights on a 50s ranch, but stumbled upon my little 1940-built house instead and fell instantly in love.

    A week after we moved in, we had to spend thousands on plumbing repairs. (Surprise! - And yes, we'd had a home inspection.) Over the years there have been several big projects, such as installing central heat and air, and we're now looking at having to have some fairly extensive electrical work done. But I wouldn't trade my house - even with all of its "requirements" - for a new home. In my adult life I've lived in 3 brand new houses, and they have always felt like a blank canvas consisting of four freshly-erected walls and shiny new fixtures. They have all lacked a certain spirit that I think only comes from years of living having taken place within the walls of a home. I know it sounds New Agey, but I can truly feel a happy "life force" in my current home that was there long before it became mine.

  • newdawn1895
    13 years ago

    Without a doubt, old houses have such character and charm. I live in a Victorian Cottage built in 1895. You better have plenty of money set aside to keep these houses up. The heating bills are enomous and I live in Alabama, where the winters are short, but even so.

    I also live alone and I am not a DIY person, something I wouldn't allow myself to think about when I fell under the spell of the house.

    I live in a town that is so Mayberry, I fell in love with the whole town and the house, and I bought it knowing full well it was the wrong thing to do. Friday night I watched fireworks from my front porch, isn't that sweet?

    I need to sell it and it breaks my heart, but, you do what you have to.

    Give a lot of thought to buying an old house. The ideal thing to do is build a new one with old plans. And I have family that have done just that, and they are gorgeous.

    Mine is on the historical registor. Don't get me wrong I'm still spellbound. Buying a home is such an emotional thing and it's easy to fall prey to beautiful things, but be practical.

  • palimpsest
    13 years ago

    I moved into a brand new house at the age of seven. It was unusual because it had plaster walls, crown mouldings, solid paneled doors, ceramic tile bathrooms, including floors, in an era when drywall, no detailing hollow core doors and modular baths with vinyl floors were the norm. My parents were very lucky to find a contractor like this.

    I now live in a 172 year old house converted in 1965, so even the "new" is 45 years old. Our HOA is continually strapped for cash as we try to keep the old buildings together.

    If I could afford a new house with the finishes of an old house and the efficiency of a new one, that would be my preference. Since I live in the urban core of an old city, I will have to make do with either a 19th c. house, or a "newer" infill (35-50 years old). New construction is out of my budget, particularly with the type of details I would want.

  • newdawn1895
    13 years ago

    Palimpsest, would you ever consider posting pictures of your house? I would just love to see it. You don't have to post the outside, I know some people are funny when it comes to that.

    ....Jane

  • powermuffin
    13 years ago

    Let's see, I've lived in a custom home that we designed, a 20 year old house and our current 1908 house. I spent thousands of dollars on the 20 year old house, only really landscaping and decorating costs on the custom home and very little on the old house. Not every old house has problems, many have been updated over the years. Ours has AC and new electrical. It has its original stone foundation, wood windows (with storms), kitchen cabinets, claw foot tub, front porch... I love all of the original details. It is within walking distance from everything that we need and our small town is laid back and fun.

    And as far as insullation goes, we only have attic insulation, nothing in the plaster walls, and we are quite comfy in our CO winters and nice and cool in the summer. In all of the rooms, I have stripped multiple layers of wall paper, all the trim, as well as the cupboards in the kitchen. It was a lot of work and I learned as I went, but the results made it all worth it. This will be our last house. It makes me happy every time we drive up to her. There is something about old houses that you just can't duplicate in new homes.

    You can always look for an updated old house that still has its charm and original details, without the problems sited here.
    Diane

  • antiquesilver
    13 years ago

    I have a 150 year old house in a historic district on the Nat'l Register that I wouldn't trade for anything but really old houses are not for the faint of heart. I researched, studied preservation, & had subscriptions to 'Old House Journal' for at least 5 years before I bought it; I even took a class in inspecting old bldgs for structural faults so the surprises would be few when I found the house I wanted. When I found that unrestored diamond-in-the-rough, I assumed that all mechanicals had to be replaced so there were no surprises & I also assumed that a lot of work (& all of the grunt work) would be DIY. For the same amount of cash needed to purchase & repair what was necessary for a very basic move-in, we could have put a down payment on a susbstantial new home. If you're serious about wanting an old house, you have to love it - a brief affair usually doesn't work!

    Spring time house & garden tours are fun - I've done it for the last 3 weekends - but most 'real' houses in a historic district don't look as pristine as what you've seen lately unless the owners have an unlimited budget. And a lot of old houses for sale were 'redone' for cosmetic reasons with little consideration for what's behind the wall - & that's where the money pit is!

  • newdawn1895
    13 years ago

    Natchez, Mississippi has a wonderful historial tour in the Spring and Fall. It is just a lovely town, I mean, it is worth the trip. These people are still fighting the civil war, it's very interesting and oh so cute.

  • leafy02
    13 years ago

    As a kid I lived in one brand-new house after the other, and I've never liked them. They always felt fake to me, compared to the older homes I read about in books and those my extended family lived in--and the fact that our houses were always located in subdivisions with cheesy names didn't help: Quail Hollow without the quail, Palm River without a river, etc...

    Once I grew up, I lived in homes built from the 1890's to the 1940's, until we moved to this house, which is from 1969.

    Without a doubt, this house is built for greater convenience, has plenty of closets, and it's quite solid for such a "new" house. It doesn't have the flimsy or faux look I associate with new construction in my price range, but it also doesn't have the mellow beauty and charm of older homes.

    If money weren't an issue, I'd choose an older home every time.

  • happyintexas
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Wow, what a fantastic discussion! Thanks everyone for your perspective and insight. I can tell I'm not ready for the love affair an older house demands. A quick flirtation, maybe....

    Because we just finished homeschooling our youngest and planning a wedding for the oldest, I think we need a couple of years of boring before we jump into a major re-do. Perhaps if we found a completed fixed up place....DH is a DIYer...raised on a farm with a dad who didn't believe in buying something if you could get in the barn or shop and make it. :0) I can do lots of DIY, too.

    I did see the difference in a 'tour' home and a for sale home yesterday. There were a couple of for sale houses having open houses (smart!) that we went through. It takes thought to make a small home look airy, cozy, and welcoming. While the for sale homes were nice, especially one of them, they weren't in the same class as the tour ones. That is something to consider because we don't have a lot of antiques that would look right at home in a older home.

    I think for the time being I'll look into the magazines suggested here, find a few books on older homes, and work on cozying up our house. It's fun to think about the lifestyle that goes with the neighborhood we saw yesterday.

  • anele_gw
    13 years ago

    RE: this whole issue . . .do you find that (if you prefer old homes) that you actually DISLIKE the concept of an "open floor plan"?

    I watch HGTV and all that's on seems to be people buying homes. 99% of people say they want this open floor plan concept, but I have no interest in seeing my kitchen (which may sometimes have some dirty dishes waiting for me!) from any other room in my house.

    I feel the same way about the en suite idea. A toilet right near my bedroom? Blah! No thanks! I remember watching a show about international homes, and one woman (can't remember from where . . .Czech Republic?) said she was surprised to see the toilet in the same room as the bath, as that was not normally done.

    So, some may say rooms that aren't open seem to chop up space. I just find them cozy!

  • lesterd
    13 years ago

    It would be a cold day in HE!! before I let HGTV dictate my tastes. I gave up on that channel when they 1)discontinued the G programming and 2)when I first saw them paint over wallpaper and that was years ago.

    I hate open floor plans.

  • scanmike
    13 years ago

    I have always lived in an older house. I love the character and charm of older homes with their details. However, it is no easy feat to renovate an older home (plumbing, heating systems, insulation, electric, plastering).
    We did a ton of work ourselves, and I think while I love older homes, the older we get, the more I think my ideal is a new home with all the details that an older home has. Renovating a home in our 30's was alot easier than in our 50's. I do envy some of those larger bedrooms, baths and closets that newer homes have. That being said, we could never afford to build a home that has all the charm and details of our present home.

  • ttodd
    13 years ago

    One of my favorite day dreaming sites has old home floor plans. The house that I spent my high school years growing up in was (that my dad renovated) one of the first Sears Home Kits and was built somewhere in the mid to later 1800's. It was an old wooden farmhouse. Our next door neighbor had the same house w/ mirror reversed plans.

    Here is a link that might be useful: House Mouse

  • Oakley
    13 years ago

    I haven't read any of the replies yet, but you can definitely transform a new home to look like an older one. Our house was built in 1980. Typical rectangle home, brick.

    We added on a very large room with a custom built FP, a book nook, wood floor, the works.

    We added wood floors to the rest of the house except the bedrooms. We gutted the kitchen, took walls out, put walls in.

    I'm a vintage girl at heart and I wanted my house to look OLD with many nooks and crannies.

    One day when most of the work was done, one of the workers asked us if this was our parent's house and were we remodeling for them?

    That was THE best compliment ever. It meant the house looked old. :)

    But don't go in the bedrooms, they're still the same. lol

  • autumngal
    13 years ago

    For me there's no comparison, old house all the way. Things just aren't made as well today as they once were and for me, you can feel it in the house. We live in an 1898 colonial revival that needed a lot of work. I expected working on it would control our lives but it hasn't. We do work on it a good amount, but we've been doing it gradually. As we work, we are connecting our family with history in a way that we love. It's been wonderful.

    Also, just because a house is old doesn't mean it can't be energy efficient. Now it's recommended to keep your old windows and put storms on them instead of replacing them as replacement windows only last for a short time comparatively. The largest heat loss is often through the walls and insulation can be blown in. Again, with anything with an old house, it takes some work, but you can have an energy efficient old house.

    Keep us updated!

  • grad_girl_1
    13 years ago

    Regarding the open floor plan, I think it's a matter of preference. In our current home built in 1922, I dislike the "closed" floor plan because if I'm working in the kitchen, frequently my husband is in the TV room, 2 rooms away. I can't hear/see what's going on or talk to him. In our new place, we have an open floor plan so we won't have that issue, and I know I'll really like that.

    On the other hand, a good friend just bought a short sale with an open kitchen, and she is going to put in a wall to close it off. She's not comfortable with people seeing the kitchen when she entertains. So go figure, 2 people, 2 different preferences.

  • anele_gw
    13 years ago

    RE: would be a cold day in HE!! before I let HGTV dictate my tastes.

    To clarify, the shows I watch are NOT shows where HGTV people decorate/design the rooms. They are those shows where all they do is show people house shopping. Again and again, people say these words and phrases:

    1. Open floor plan
    2. Updated
    3. Stainless steel
    4. Updated
    5. Updated
    6. Updated
    7. "I hate the paint/carpet/flooring/wallpaper" (or some other ridiculous thing that can be fixed)
    8. "The bathroom needs two sinks"
    9. Updated

    1. Updated (note-- either something "needs" to be updated . . .and it's never plumbing or electrical work or IS updated)
  • spiceislands
    13 years ago

    Interesting topic w/interesting answers. I've lived in older homes, even owned one at one time, and they were fine but I love, love, love our new cutom built home. The floor plan is perfect for us, I love how energy efficient it is, the fact that everything is brand spanking new, I love how it sits on the lot, I love the juxtaposition of new elements w/more traditional elements, and I love how low maintenance it is. Absolutely wouldn't trade it for anything.

  • leafy02
    13 years ago

    Re: open floor plans, I like them to a point--I'd like the kitchen and family rooms to be more open to each other in my home. But a bathroom opening into my bedroom--no. When we were house shopping, that was on my "no" list.

    And anele, you are so right about what the comments are on the House Hunter-type shows. I don't understand the widespread desire to have two sinks. First of all, I don't want to share the bathroom with anyone, and second of all, I don't want two dirty sinks to clean. I'd have thought only people with housekeepers would want two sinks, but I see people asking for them who don't seem to be folks who'd have a daily maid.

  • palimpsest
    13 years ago

    Of topic but the house hunting and two sink thing brought this to mind.

    I looked at a new rehab of an old house where the master had two toilets. In the same room. Facing each other. Either some people are so fastidious they will not use a toilet that ANYone else uses, or the couple is into something I would rather not think about.

  • antiquesilver
    13 years ago

    HappyinTexas, Regarding the lovely antiques in the tour houses, those houses may have been selected specifically because they had period furniture & rich decor. Next year, the theme may be different. Last Christmas, our local holiday tour chairman was a supreme snob & there's no doubt in my mind that one of the criteria was to have outstanding antiques to match the houses - an antebellum museum would have been envious! The tour last week in a 1900 era neighborhood was different: antiques abounded but the emphasis was all on designers & art even though the theme was "What's Old is New Again" & little mention was made of the architecture. Go figure!

  • igloochic
    13 years ago

    Pal I have the original house bid for my 1890's home and there were two separate bathrooom spaces (toilet and tub) of the master suite for the lady and gentleman of the house. It's not a new concept :)

    Anele....I can only answer by offending, but I will because I'm a bit of an old house snob....WHen someone says "we built a 1680's house using old plans but with an open floor plan concept" I think to myself.....you mean you built an old house and don't have a clue what a 1690's house actually looked like right????? Open floor plans pain me....we don't even have one in our 1980's townnhouse and that's part of why we love it so much. You do bed stuff in the bed room....librart stuff in the library, family stuff in the family room...but none of the above all have to happen in the same room or "open floor plan" that people seem to love (I just don't get it...sorry).

  • palimpsest
    13 years ago

    Igloo:

    If they had *been* separate spaces, ok. I have seen that, I didnt grow up under a rock:)

    There were two toilets in a large room exposed to everything else and each other--on platforms directly facing each other fully exposed.

  • Ideefixe
    13 years ago

    Do I get all the money in the world? Because I'd need it, if I'm going to build a new house that can compare in craftsmanship and quality of materials to older houses (say, anything pre-WWI).

    I live in a warehouse turned into lofts, built in 1903, and the old redwood floors and plaster and lathe walls are so much more substantial than most houses built in the last 20 years. But I've certainly got an open floor plan--it's 3000 sq. feet of 1 big room . (Actually, we've got small bedrooms and a large storage closet, but the rest of the place is open.)

  • IdaClaire
    13 years ago

    There were two toilets in a large room exposed to everything else and each other--on platforms directly facing each other fully exposed.

    I have the most absurd cartoon image in my mind of a man and woman sitting opposite one another on their respective potties, playing Dueling Banjos.

  • igloochic
    13 years ago

    LOL Pal I would never think you'd grown up under a rock...perhaps a gorgeous piece of onyx, but never a basic rock :OP

    Jen...I am afraid that same cartoon popped into my head...umm minus the banjo's (you're a freak LOL)

  • bonnieann925
    13 years ago

    Old for sure! I live near Lexington and Concord, MA and am surrounded by historic homes. We live in a reproduction Gambrel Colonial on over an acre of land. Although our home was built in the 60's (which is new for this part of the state) it has the charm and features of an older home. The best part if the feeling of privacy that you get in an established neighborhood, as well as the variation in housing styles. No two houses are the same in my neighborhood. What I dislike most about some of the newer neighborhoods is the close proximity of the homes. I don't want to be able to look into my neighbor's house!
    My parents had an old colonial farmhouse with a big barn. It was an amazing place, full of antiques and nooks/crannies/cupboards, etc.

    My husband and I talk about moving to a less expensive area and buying an old colonial. We'd love to do that, but would retain as much of the original as possible.

    Fun thread!

  • ttodd
    13 years ago

    Pal,

    LOL! What were they thinking? Errr - never mind - don't answer. Please.

    Now if we choose to move to the small stone cottage built pre WWI I will def. be tearing down 1 1/2 walls to create a more open concept downstairs. I don't plan to build to expand the actual square footage of the original 4 downstairs rooms but they are soooooooo small that the walls make you feel clausterphobic. 1 half (the LR) half already had one wall taken down to create a larger L shaped room and it is so much better. I plan to do the same thing between the kitchen and DR on the other half of the downstairs and if it is able to be done engineering wise, I will remove the wall on the DR side of the center staircase to create an open staircase (or as open as it can be). The wall between the kitchen and the back of the LR will stay.

    The downstairs is so small that it just seems to me that it would work well as almost one large cohesive room. I won't be able to see directly into the kitchen from the LR but I think that there will be better unity.

    Besides - the way it is now you'd better be careful if your in th DR and somebody comes through the swinging kitchen door into the DR otherwise you're going to end up you-know-what over the DR table!

    The only expansion to fit a family of 5 will be the addition of 2-3 bedrooms off the back barely visible from the front. I've been looking at historical floor plans of similar style homes for awhile now to b able to pleasingly pull it off w/o wrecking the small scale of the house.

  • pps7
    13 years ago

    The thing that really bothers me about new homes that are built as part or a development of subdivision is that they usually clear the land. I guess it's easier to grade and build that way, but the lack of any mature trees and bushes really gives the space a hallow feeling.

  • natal
    13 years ago

    Interesting comments. Back in Colonial days all you could get was an open floor plan. ;) That's where the modern day keeping room originated. I like the concept and that's why we added one to the remodeled kitchen and now seems to be where we live ... along with the adjacent screened porch. I can be puttering in the kitchen while dh is nearby reading or watching TV. We can interact.

    We have a 1950s cottage with divided spaces, although the dining room and living room are open to each other. A separate room to eat just feels weird.

    Like Anele I don't care for bathroom en suites. Too hotel-like. I'd much rather walk across the hall and have a little privacy.

    To each his own.

  • bonnieann925
    13 years ago

    natal, the 1600-1700's colonials were very boxy and there were distinct rooms for the purpose of conserving heat. There weren't any open floor plans, and the ceilings were low, again to conserve heat. The keeping room was typically off the kitchen and adjacent to the fireplace for heat. It was often called the hearth room.

    Today's keeping rooms (hearth rooms) are a different twist on what you'd typically see in an old New England colonial.

  • natal
    13 years ago

    Bonnie, I was referring to the concept of doing all things in one room. You did notice my wink, didn't you?

    Even sleeping was done in the keeping room to keep warm. Today's keeping rooms may not have beds, but the general idea remains the same. Everyone close by for various reasons.

  • usgirl
    13 years ago

    I have to agree with Grad Girl 1 when she stated that there are pros and cons for old and new although I suspect that many have more entrenched positions.
    We have just sold a 1968 centre hall colonial after three weeks on the market, so we have a lot to be thankful for although we priced it to sell. We are moving to a yet to be built condo and for us it has many advantages.
    Our house in the UK, however, is Tudor and was built in the late 15th century so we know what challenges and advantages age can bring too.When we bought it we forwent inspection figuring if it had been around for that long it probably wasn't going anywhere soon! That was naive I suspect but touch wood it has worked for us so far.
    I suspect age doesn't matter you just know when a house is right for you at a particular time of your life.

  • scanmike
    13 years ago

    Since some people have brought up House Hunters, I just have to say it drives me nuts when a couple are viewing a beautiful home and their biggest complaint is they have to paint!! Has anyone ever moved in and not painted???
    Maybe I am living under a rock, but do people really expect to buy a house and not do any work?

  • jejvtr
    13 years ago

    I'll jump in

    But first here is a 2 toilet facing each other image

    http://www.atheniaglobe.com/content/binary/ToiletNATIONAL_450x450.jpg

    How about a toilet shaped house
    http://whitewatch.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/toilet-house2.jpg

    http://www.pahl.ca/vp/toilets120.jpg

    Ok , I digressed

    Here is a link that might be useful: {{!gwi}}

  • anele_gw
    13 years ago

    Palimpsest: Two toilets facing each other???? BLECH.

    Natal, RE: The open concept in the ol' days, yeah . . .I was thinking about that today. EVERYTHING was in one room. Is that what people want now? The one room cabin?

    scan, drives me crazy, too. That was on my above list-- when they say they have to paint or don't like the carpet. Big deal!

    bonnie: Big farmhouse? Nooks and crannies?? Sounds like my dream house!

    We live in a '59 Cape Cod. Basic, no nice details, but oh, well . . .someday!

    jej: LOL!!!

  • ttodd
    13 years ago

    There was a GW member (I forget who) that bought a new condo or single house. I recall that it was a new development situation and that the house set close to the sidewalk and close to neighbors homes. It was brick. I recall the interior being gorgeous! The trim was thicker and more built up then any new home built to look old. It was at least as thick and pronounced as my 100yr old Victorian/ 4 Square hybrid.

    Last night I was taking notice to a home featured in the most current issue of Traditional Home. It was new built to look old. The outside looked old but I still thought that the interior trim was too small. In reality it was probably really thick trim if in an average sized house but it seemed but it didn't stand out to me in any way, shape, or form in this particular home.

  • jaybird
    13 years ago

    I started out in a house built in 1711...complete with Indian shutters at the windows......
    I now live in a 1950's house, that is amazingly (and sometimes irritatingly) wide open. At this stage in my life, I am glad to not have so much upkeep...some, but it is not overwhelming. 2 acres of land keep things from being too neighborly to suit me, so I will have to admit that I am a happy camper in a not so old house on a great big lot right in the middle of town!!

  • bungalow_house
    13 years ago

    Sorry, but I have never seen a "new old house" that actually looked old. Nice, sure, but not the same.

    If you get an old 1 1/2 story house, you can have walk-in closets, sort of. Mine all go under the eaves a bit, and 2 of them are about 8 feet wide. The low-headroom part is great for storage of off-season or seldom-used stuff.

    And anyway, the more storage one has, the more (perhaps unnecessary) stuff one accumulates. :)

  • palimpsest
    13 years ago

    Dick Cavett and Carrie Nye lived for thirty years in Tick Hall, a McKim Mead and White-designed house that burnt to the ground in 1997.

    Using old photographs, "forensic architecture, and the memories of the Cavetts, as well as a former owner, they set out to recreate the house exactly how it was.

    The process was turned into a documentary, and one of the things that I remember was Carrie Nye walking the interiors and saying things like "the floor sagged, here" and they would work on getting the floor to sag. They didn't want a new house that just looked like the old one, they wanted one that Felt like the old one as well.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Tick Hall

  • pamelas_kitchen
    13 years ago

    I live in an old house and while I do love it I have to say the Romance of the Sagging Floor is a mystery I won't be buying.

  • bungalow_house
    13 years ago

    Re: Tick Hall, that is eccentric. The house burned. That is it's history. I would let it RIP.

    I'm curious if they did indeed faithfully recreate every inch of it. It would be way too tempting for most of us to, say, make the closets a bit bigger, make the baths and kitchens a bit more modern, add some insulation in the walls, etc..

  • bungalow_house
    13 years ago

    ITS history. Danged spell checker is not as smart as it thinks it is.

  • bungalow_house
    13 years ago

    And how did they get around code violations that would inevitably crop up?

  • palimpsest
    13 years ago

    They did not wire it in knob and tube, and have someone shoveling coal in a furnace a la 1885, if thats what you mean, and there were no plans, so they had to go by photographs and memory, which could easily make a closet bigger. They just wanted the "feel" of the house back, and did things like shave floor joists to create dips and things like that. They didnt understructure it to let it sag.

    Carrie Nye and Dick Cavett are eccentric. Well, Carrie Nye was: she is dead. But being on Long Island they could have taken the insurance money and built some Neo Florentine Palazzo with plastic stucco on the outside like someone else might have and I admire them for not doing so.

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