New year and, for some, new (old) house dreams! We asked our CIRCA community of old house lovers what they’d like to see in the real estate market in 2022. Whether they’re actively in the market searching for their dream house, or if they’ve already put down roots and are reflecting back on their house hunt, what would speak to their old house-loving soul the most? Here’s some of what they told us (real estate agents and brokers with historic, character-rich properties, take note!).
Highlight a House's History
Falling down the rabbit hole of a house’s history is half the fun! Knowing more about past residents or the architects and craftspeople associated with a house deepen our connection, pique our excitement, and can elevate an “it’s ok” house to an “I can’t wait to be a part of this history!” house. When agents, brokers and owners take the time to learn and share even the basic history of a house, they can increase the appeal in front of an audience of history lovers (read: CIRCA’s community!).
Based in Pasadena, CA, Matthew Berkley of deasy penner podley gets it; his properties consistently feature details on the architects and, when available, former owners. Case in point: the Bolton House, now on the market.
Architectural Style Accuracy Matters
Arts & Crafts, Queen Anne, Federal, Mid-Century Modern … there is so much exciting variety of styles among old houses, and so lots of opportunity to fumble a bit when naming a style. Many old house-loving home-seekers have “favorite” styles, so agents and brokers might be missing out on prospective buyers by not knowing how to stylistically define their house. Make an investment (as little as $20!) in a basic guide to American architectural styles, in general, or to a guide that specific to your location. Because yes, architectural is regional!
American House Styles: A Concise Guide, by John Milnes Baker, AIA, is one great option (available on Bookshop.org).
Guidance on Finding Old House Project Pros
Yes, yes, and more YES! Finding a contractor or other specialist to engage for a restoration or renovation project in your old home can be a frustrating process. So often, the desire to “restore, not replace” is challenged with suggestions for new products that are cheaper, faster, insert any number of excuses *here.* We’ve been there! We hear you! CIRCA is developing a great new resource for old house owners: a directory of specialists in everything from woodwork to lighting restoration to window repair, you name it. Stand by for more updates there!
Everyone Love an Old House Tour
Who *doesn’t* love peeking inside an old house and seeing the creative and inspiring ways someone has created a comfortable home?! In 2022, our followers told us that “more house tours” are at the top of their must-have list. We’ll do our best to accommodate — in the meantime, we have an incredible back catalogue of One-Room Journeys and other video tours on our Instagram Video tab for you to (re)watch and enjoy!