Let older homes be older homes...

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605

Last week I had the privilege of photographing a  charming home in lower  Dutchess County.  The home was approximately 200 years old and had a charm all its own.  The photo above is of one of the bedrooms.  I picked it for this blog because it shows the wide plank floors in all their glory, the non-standard windows behind the bed and the old-fashioned wall paper that looks so in place in this setting.  The furnishings finish off the look.  In other words the room is charming and there is no attempt made to "hide" the age of the home or to "Pottery Barn" the look.

These days staging is an essential part of selling a home. Often that has meant de-cluttering and de-personalizing to the point where the home looks like a sample room at the Pottery Barn or Ethan Allen.  Now I mean no disrespect to either of these establishments.  However, there are some cases where this sort of "transformation" is neither practical nor desirable.

The home  I was photographing was from another era.  This sort of home will not be for every home buyer.  It would take a certain type of person to actually be attracted to this house. However, the right person for this house would also appreciate the history and want to work with it, not against it.  Don't get me wrong, de-personalizing is a good thing.  However, one has to be careful that it doesn't destroy the character of a truly unique home.  Although the wall-paper would be dated to some, I found it quite charming in the context of that period home.  Would modernizing the room with slick paint and modern furnishings help to sell it? In this type of a unique home, my guess is no. It might actually do the opposite.

© 2013 - RGHicks - http://fotosonthefly.biz - All rights reserved.


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Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"Franklin MA Homes"

Good morning, Ruthmarie.... bastardizing a true antique is sinful... that photo is a perfect example of the flavor that is expected in an antique home.... hope all is well with you.

Sep 19, 2013 07:36 PM #1
Miriam Bernstein, CRS
Rochester, NY

Charming room, beautiful floors!  I love those wide plank floors...great picture which shows the details beautifully.

Sep 19, 2013 08:20 PM #2
Beth and Richard Witt
Long Island Cash Home Buyer - Huntington, NY
Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940

I love older homes ... to me they speak volumnes of times gone by... a reminder of the way things use to be

Sep 19, 2013 08:50 PM #3
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Yes, it is so cool to see homes like this. I've worked on several with the super wide plank pine and they are stunning. They definitely do attract a different type of buyer and those buyers celebrate the character of the home and all of it's flaws. Their decorating style is different too. 

Oh, I need to start taking pictures of some of them.  We've worked on a few from the 1700's.

Sep 19, 2013 08:57 PM #4
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning Ruthmarie,

I love to view hoe they built them in the day and amazed how they wear through the years.

Make yourself a great day.

Sep 19, 2013 09:44 PM #5
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

I like the idea of keeping the charm of the older homes Ruthmarie, the photo shows well.

Sep 19, 2013 11:31 PM #6
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

Hi Barbara - Its been a real struggle, but I'm surviving.   Thanks for the comments.  When I was little, my mother had a friend who had a house from the 1750's.  When I went inside this home, I really felt like I was walking back in time to that home which had intrigued me so very much as a child. This bedroom reminded me in particular of that house.  The average bear doesn't want a house like that. The person that would buy this house might change some things, but they would identify with what is in there now. 

Hi Miriam - Those floors are amazing.  Throughout the whole house the floors are really eye-catching. They have narrower strips of pine on the main floor.  I'm wondering if those were redone in the 19th to early 20th centuries.  Not sure.  They are still stunning of course. 

Hi Richard & Beth - It was like getting into a time machine when I photographed the home. 


Sep 20, 2013 01:44 AM #7
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

Hi Debbie - If you are restoring them, you really should take photos.  They are amazing floors and if you can do that tastefully and show it online its a whole new market for you.  Agents get questions about things like that all the time.  I was asked about floor restoration in the Knickerbocker lofts just a few months ago.   And of course you are correct, someone who would want a home like that has a different aesthetic from a mor typical buyer. 

Hi Raymond - Its amazing the way they hold up.  I see new floors in places like Trump having issues after 8 years. 

Hi Tom - The "typical" buyer isn't going to want this home.  Its for someone who has a sense of history and wants the charm of an older home. So I think keeping it old-fashioned and charming is the way to go. 

Sep 20, 2013 01:49 AM #8
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