Selling an antique historic home in a modern world.
Seems buyers these days are looking for new, turnkey homes that don't need anything done and in perfect condition. They may miss the perfect antique home thinking it is just simply too old--or is it that people are afraid of the ghosts from the past? Or do people don't know how to use a hammer or a screwdriver-- or is it impossible these days to even find a person to do the work on your house who use tools? Is a new home better built than an old one?. WIll it last as long?
I have owned my own 1870s Victorian in East Haddam Connecticut--it was a little haunted with foot steps heard often and my cat would freaked out in the same hallway I heard footsteps all the time. It wasn't a negative force in any way. And I do believe a home does have either a happy or sad or sometimes frightening feel to it. I have been in many. I believe it depends on its history of the past owners. You only have to look at episodes of "Ghost Hunters" or the many movies of Amityville Horrors to be nervous--however 99% of the time it is just a wonderful home with a history--and I can say with confidence better built.
Like any home, it is only as good as the last person to live in it.
So take for instance the owner (Jack D.) of 567 Main Street in Farmington NH. In 1870, when this a stately home was born, the Civil War had just ended, Alexander Graham Bell used his new telephone invention to make his first call to assistant Thomas Watson. Thomas Edison had just invented the Phonograph and established his new electric company. Farmington native Henry Wilson was serving as the 18th Vice President in Washington DC. Can't find this history in front of a split level home anywhere in America.
He purchased it for his mother as a single family home to live in 25 years ago. Ever since then has been renovating it as if it was his own home not to flip or make money. As time passed he did take this stately home and created 3 units and then back to two units. Everyone who has stayed in this home has nothing but fond memories. It has a huge open span 3 story 30x36 attached post and beam barn that dates back to at least the turn of the century with hand-written inscriptions on the wall from 1907--and it is still standing tall and straight. There is something to be said for strength and thickness "old wood". The house had cool things like a round glass vent through the window pane, glass door knobs, high ceilings square head nailed wide plank floors, hand carved newel posts, plaster walls and 8 million pound granite stone foundation. FOr a more modern touch, it also had a new Buderus boiler, double paned windows, 50-year GAF shingles, oversized gutters with rain guards, 50-year GAF shingles, blown in insulation and stainless steel appliances.
It became time for Jack to sell this magnificent home so he can move onto his next antique home renovation in an untouched antique federal style home in Exeter where Abraham Lincoln is pictured in front of in one of his famous speeches.. Yes he knows how to use a hammer and the people who can do the work as well.
You could not begin to build a home of this size and quality for what it sold for. The appraisers don't have an adjustment figure for such quality. This is a home in perfect condition for over 150 years of history, yet new homes are adjusted for only being around for 70 or so. I believe this will outlast any new home any day.
The new buyers are now living in history and got the best home for the money. And antique home can be a great investment. It just needs to be taken care of like any new home will need in a very short period of time. Like they say "They don't build them like they use to"