space-and-company-older-houseBY STEVE DRABKOWSKI (
I see them every day on the Multiple Listing service, those listings that sit for months with no offers. Usually, there is a respectable reason for this. A listing can be over priced, in a really edgy part of town, or just a disaster of a listing. But, then there are those houses that are just, … well, … old. They are like that older dog in the shelter that still has plenty of life and love to give, but gets overlooked for something younger and friskier. Much like the house pictured.
I see this house every day, it is on my street and has been for sale for a long time. I have been in it a few times during open houses, and I think it has lots of potential . Houses like this are usually referred to a “Estate Sales” or even “Grandma Houses” for that is what they are. These houses do not have all the “must have” granite, stainless steel, multi shower head baths so much in demand these days.
This particular home was probably built in the very early 1930s and is typical of it’s time. The rooms are well proportioned, details such as the fireplace and real hardwood floors are well crafted and the neighborhood is a pleasant inner ring suburb. There is even an attached garage, discretely tucked in the back. I look at this house and others like it and see a well built, charming home that with a bit of work and sensitive updating , could be brought back to life.
I know what uninterested buyers see — they look at the ’50s vintage kitchen and shudder, look at the bathrooms and say, “but those (original) tan and green tiles!”, and the fittings are so old!. And it’s on to the next house. The buyer for this house will be the one with some imagination and the talent to see what could be done with some work.
Admittedly, old houses are not for everyone. You have to have a peculiar strain of insanity to take one on. I know, my first Philly house was a large West Philly twin that sat on the market for almost a year. Buyers saw a large house that had been abused for decades, a badly done ’70s kitchen with cheap lime green cabinets, a second floor bath that had no windows (they were walled over) and other disasters.
What my spouse and I saw was an old house that still had a lot of it’s original elegant details intact. Stained and leaded glass was battered but still in place. The original bath tubs were still in place, big enough to be small swimming pools, and original dining room china cabinets had survived intact. It took time and hard work to bring this place back to life, but it went from being the house that was discarded to the place where you walked in and went “Wow, this is so cool!”
So, don’t pass over that old house. Look at what could be and you could find yourself in possession of a home that is uniquely yours.

No Comment


Post A Comment