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For The   Older homes have their fans. Thousands of them. Those oldies   The other day, as I was playing on Yahoo, I came across a

                                                                    story that illustrates the point. Somewhat. They were talking
        have style, character. They have a soul. They have the originality
                                                                    about a guy who fell in love with an original Pilgrim’s Saltbox
        of authenticity. They are back in fashion, and very much sought
        after since their number is shrinking. The buyers are collectors
                                                                    house, from the late 17th century if I recall. I don’t know if
 Love of   of sort, interested in bringing these ancient houses back to their   you can picture a Saltbox but I guarantee it’s boxy alright,
        past glory.
                                                                    salt or no-salt. Aside from its typical steep-pitched roof, it is
                                                                    as plain as plain can be with only tiny windows to decorate

                                                                    the wood siding.
        Of course, if it’s OK for an older house to proudly show its
 Oldies  age from the outside, the respect of historic integrity does not     The fact that these homes are simple and modest looking
        extend to the interior. We are now in 2014 and a few things have
                                                                    is actually their biggest charm. Whether painted white or
        changed inside a home, over the last 2 or 3 centuries, with the
        discovery of electricity and inside plumbing. Style is one thing but
                                                                    red, they look most interesting in a typical New England
        comfort should not be compromised at the high-end. Too bad for
                                                                    buyer poured tons of money in renovating it while preserving
        the purists.                                                landscape. But there is a price limit for everything. The
                                                                    its integrity. Before he knew it, he was in for something like
        This infatuation with older homes is spreading all over the map   $2.5M.
        at accelerated speed. It almost looks as if more and more of us
        needed to plunge into the past to recapture an identity and honor   Then he tried to sell it. He is still trying. The price is around
        our common roots. Whatever the reason, Americans are now    $1.5 now, if memory serves me right. Tough lesson to learn.
        passionate about old stones and wood.                       Hundreds of thousand dollars later, the house is still as plain
                                                                    today as it was before, and at that new price, nostalgia is
 “The fact that these homes are simple          In a recent article,   too expensive.
                                                the Wall Street

 and modest looking is actually their           Journal sees in     I too am sentimental I guess. Back many-many moons ago,
                                                                    I fell for an oldie. It was a beautiful turn-of-the-century
                                                this “hobby” a
 biggest charm.”                                reaction against    California farm house perched on a green knoll, on the San
                                                over-sized and      Francisco Peninsula. The contractor we hired to make it
        over-designed McMansions. Perhaps, but I am a bit skeptical   functional “enjoyed” the place a lot more than we did, as he
        about that view since fixing up an antique house does not   worked there every day for more than a year! When it finally
        necessarily means that the living quarters will be small. Indeed,   was all done and looking gorgeous, we sold it for much less
        a lot of buyers, when opportunity affords, are fast to convert   than we put into it.
        adjoining old barns, stables or whatever, into guest rooms, pool
        houses, etc…                                                Listen to your heart when you buy an older home, but,
                                                                    unless your wallet is expandable, listen to your brains too!
        One thing to remember when you are hunting for an older home
        is that what you like is not necessarily what others will find
        attractive enough to pay top dollars for. Potential resale value
        is critical if you don’t intend to live in the place very long. Most
        oldies’ buyers succumb to the charm, fix-up the house at great
        expense, and hope to not only recover their investment but hit the

        Not all of the oldies are worth burning a lot of money renovating.   By Alain Pinel
        Some are so run down or so basic that they are like the cute   General Manager of Intero Prestigio
        funny-looking puppy that only a mother would love.          international
                                                                    Intero Real Estate Services, Inc.
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