The New Nostalgic


For history-loving homebuyers, old is good.  Dreams of buying a Queen Anne Victorian — even the DIY type — can bring flutters to the soul of an adventurous shopper.  They slow down at the sight of stone-clad porch posts, inviting visions of living today in the past through a wooden beamed and trimmed Arts and Crafts.  So excited about planning where exactly the lilac trees will go in front of the turn-of-the-century farm home they just put an offer on, they can’t sleep.

As a Realtor that specializes in historic aged properties, I love this fantastic group of buyers.  I know what they want and what they don’t want.  And usually, outside of the kitchen and bath(s), they don’t want updates.  These are the people that aren’t impressed with vinyl siding and windows, non-conforming additions, and really any “remodels” that take away from the original home.

Here’s the new oddity.  Homes that are in that 30-65 year old range have been typically beaten up if they still show any sign of their originality.  However the eldest of the group has just graduated to nostalgic.  It just might be time to put the brakes on updating those beautiful 1940’s through ‘60s homes.

To be fair to everyone, I really do get it.  There is something about our childhoods that we love to recollect but would never want to recreate.  I will never have a home with shag carpet.  I will never have a raining oil lamp or wooden ducks with thin metal wings on my wall.  They will live happily forever in my memory of the 1970s and honestly I’m fairly adamant about leaving them there.

The age of the home has everything to do with the age of the buyer.  Everything to do with a time that home represents.  We’re human, and we are constantly connecting to something even if we aren’t aware why.  Beyond the fact that many of these homes are now eligible for designation on the National Register of Historic Places, they also represent a time that I think we are finding a connection to.

So leave the dark wood paneling up, leave the brick in the kitchen, don’t cover up the built in bookshelves.  Embrace the light of those amazing Mid-Century Modern windows! The next new wave in historic home buying has begun.

Audrey L Elder

Past to Present Research, LLC  &

Keller Williams Platinum Partners


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