HOUSE HUNTING FOR HISTORIC HOMES

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Do you ever dream of fixing up an older home with lots of character?  I dream about it all the time.  My friend told me that she "thinks I have a problem" or "might be addicted to houses".  She is probably right, but none the less, I continue to seek them out.  There is something about the idea of taking something that is rough and a little run down, and restoring it to its original beauty. 

So, my obsession continued and I went to look at this house with my realtor.  

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Isn't it classic?  Built in 1947 and essentially untouched since then.  There were so many features that I loved.  The part I loved inside the home immediately was the foyer and the stairwell.  I could not pass up the details!!

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Though these pictures don't show it, the ceiling above the stairwell is curved and just beautiful.  I love the solid wood trim, large steps and gorgeous windows above the door.  Did you note the heat register near the door?  This is upgraded from Radiant heat, but it is not central heating and air.  There is no central air in this house....which is about 30-40K to install, depending on the details of the systems.  Ouch. 

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This dining room was beautiful and elegant.  I loved the large wainscoting and lovely light coming in the room!  This dining room does back into the kitchen on the left, so I always contemplate opening up that wall.  That can be really fun, but also really expensive, and when you start opening up walls that are nearly 100 years old, you can really find yourself some issues.  While I do like open concept, there is also something nice about keeping the integrity of the home and the rooms as themselves.  It is also a LOOOOTTT cheaper.

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Ahh the kitchen!!  This is a 1940's charmer.  My mom said this brought back memories of her childhood and that was sweet to hear.  It obviously would be overhauled, but you have to love that it was maintained since the 40's.  How about that light filled window over the sink? Charming. 

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This living room is beautiful!  Love the fireplace and awesome sun porch right off the wings.  I would loose the mirror over the mantel, but otherwise just some sanding and floor refinishing (through the entire house), needs to happen. That has a price tag of about 5-6k for that many square feet. 

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This is one of three baths and they were all vintage fun.  Love the floor tile (would leave that), but the wall tile might be swapped, or possibly left depending.  I keep original iron tubs. They are amazing quality and can usually be re-glazed and end up looking nearly new!

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This is the den. This paneling on the walls is wood....like actually wood.  The stuff is nearly an inch thick and is really solid.  Though it is very functional (and hides stains like a dream!), it does make the room really dark.  That stated, this is paneling that is actually the wall.  You don't just "take it down" like paneling that is put up over drywall.  This wood wall IS the wall. If you take it down, you have to sheet rock walls back up.  That adds up quick too.  So, jury would be out on this one.....

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Pretty awesome attic.  I love the attic fan.  It's huge and still works.  When you turn it on, it pulls air through the entire house and circulates air through it.  Pretty amazing.  Also, pretty dangerous.  You have to be careful with these as they are huge, metal, and exposed.  Kids would need to be cautioned. I love the wood ceilings in this attic.  It feels like a storybook up there!!

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Pretty amazing walkway from the house to the garage (which was a later addition to the home I am sure).  This was probably my favorite part of the house.  I loved the quality of the work and the amazing detail.  Just a gorgeous design and so well thought out.

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Here's another view. Just beautiful!

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So at the end of the day, we did not make an offer on this house.  I did not show you the four bedrooms, which were lovely and all had decent closets.  There was also a room off the kitchen, a brick patio in the back, a two car garage (very rare find in our neighborhood), and even a great over-sized walk out basement (also super rare in the South!).  The roof was asbestos tile, which can actually last 40-80 years, but is more costly than a regular roof to place because of asbestos  abatement that has to happen. 

Mostly, we passed because the house is on a busy street and we did not want to be on that street, even if we could get the house at a price we could work with.  We are not afraid of repairs, but you cannot change locations.  We want our four young kids to be able to have a little more freedom; too much traffic and chaos would be stressful for us.  

It's hard to look at homes that I know I could fall in love with, but my husband keeps me straight and focused.  The right house will come along, but for now, we stay put.

Have you considered a whole house renovation? Have you completed one?

-Casey