Historic Homes Deserve our Best

Real Estate Agent 6501392216
Looking through listings for historic homes is both exciting and painful for me. I LOVE architecture, history, and the story an old home tells. So I love looking through listings for clients, love touring old homes, love talking about old houses...researching and dreaming of a proper restoration.
Unfortunately, so many of the historic homes that are listed have been butchered over the years. Breaks my heart! Beautiful, timeless, architectural features have been removed or changed in order to accommodate a more contemporary feature that will, very likely, be out of fashion in a decade.
I'm also slightly heartbroken by the listings themselves. These are 100+ year old homes with a million stories to tell and so much character to show. Yet, often, the listing doesn't tell any of that story. No one bothered to do an hours worth of research about the history of that home, it's owners, who built it, and who's modified it over the years. Frequently there are very few pictures and none of the photography is professional. Snapping off 10 shabby pics with your phone just doesn't do justice to what a stately old home can offer.
Fellow Realtors: Please take the time to do justice by these old homes! They may not be the most expensive or most popular house you sell every year but, they've been there watching the world go by for more than a century. You can afford to put 2 extra hours of work and an extra $200 in to a listing that will represent it's time well!

Comments (29)

Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

There are many historic homes in this area.  But we're lucky because every town has a Historical Society that generally has some good information on them.  That makes it so much easier when listing them and searching for info.

Dec 03, 2015 02:11 AM
Ross Schueller

I'm glad to hear that.  Unfortunately it seems like many listing agents don't do the research even if they do have the resources immediately available.  I think that's a little sad!

Dec 03, 2015 02:13 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

The old homes that are black, blue, need TLC are original and unmuddled. So you can roll up the sleeves and with blood, sweat and tears restore to the original grandeur. If the previous owner removed the charm, gutted out the tin, woodwork, Italian tile then no dice. Unless beau-coup dollars to find the kind of original tradespeople that created the masterpiece in housing. Closing on a place tomorrow that never was neglected. She is a Queen Anne castle. We like to explain the history of a property which was the early morning AR blog post on a different place. A house is a house, the people celebrating holidays, playing in the back yard, sitting on the open porches make it a home Ross Schueller. Great post!

victorian maine home photo

Dec 03, 2015 03:40 AM
Ross Schueller

Wow...what a property Andrew!  Thanks for the input.  I'll keep an eye on your blog for more houses like this!

Dec 03, 2015 04:15 AM
Andrea Bedard

That is one beautiful home Andrew!

Dec 05, 2015 11:59 AM
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

The sellers really need to help out here and provide a story for the Realtors.  And the Realtor needs to coerce them to provide this. 

Dec 03, 2015 05:34 AM
Ross Schueller

Agreed.  Plus a few minutes at the local township/city office would provide some history.  I'm finding, too often, that the listings are incomplete, include shoddy photos, and generally give the appearance that the agent didn't care.  That reflects poorly for their clients of course, but it's also just sad because these houses deserve better!

Thanks for your comment.

Dec 03, 2015 05:38 AM
RealtyTech Inc.
Real Estate Technology and Marketing - Thousand Oaks, CA
Premium Websites/IDX/Marketing for Realtors

Ross, your passion and respect for these homes are awesome. Welcome to the Rain Community and hope many agents will get your message and spend more time to make professional listings even on older homes! 

Dec 03, 2015 06:23 AM
Ross Schueller

Thanks!  I hope so too...it reflects better on all of us when we represent our clients, and their homes, really well.

Dec 03, 2015 06:26 AM
Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School
Rowlett Real Estate School - Panama City, FL
Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor

There are some towns close to me with historic districts that they just tear apart. There are also some that have been very well taken care of that are holding their price very well.

Dec 03, 2015 06:34 AM
Ross Schueller

The same hold true here as well. Would love to see some of these older houses that have been mistreated restored to their former glory.

Dec 03, 2015 06:40 AM
Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School
Rowlett Real Estate School - Panama City, FL
Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor

Welcome to ActiveRain,  it's great to have you aboard.  I look forward to reading more of your posts.

Dec 03, 2015 06:34 AM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

Hi there Ross Schueller, I love historic homes too, thank you for the post and welcome to Active Rain. 

Dec 03, 2015 08:33 AM
Ross Schueller

Thanks Sybil!

Dec 03, 2015 11:53 PM
Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley - Newburgh, NY
LIC RE Salesperson

Welcome to ActiveRain!! I live in the second largest Historic District in the state of New York. Beautiful archetecture around many of the streets. Hard to maintain and some are in need of being torn down from so much neglect. I love touring these homes as they have so much character. Each one comes with a story. I feel lucky to visit them on many occassions.


Dec 03, 2015 09:52 AM
Ross Schueller

Thanks Janis...it's good to know there are others out there who have a passion for it like I do!

Dec 03, 2015 11:54 PM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Every home I ever owned has been an older home, mostly between 1898 and 1920, and I, too, cringe when I see detailing stripped out and replaced with stuff like god awful cherry cabinets or granite counters. I am always overjoyed when presented with the opportunity to sell a vintage classic home. They speak. They have voices.

Dec 03, 2015 12:13 PM
Ross Schueller

I just couldn't agree more!!

Dec 03, 2015 11:54 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

A friend of mine grew up in a wonderful old Sears catalogue house.  Two onwers after his parents sold it, some hip young couple bought and stripped away all of the old front porch pillars that identified it as a Sears house.  I'm afraid to think what they did inside!

Dec 03, 2015 10:21 PM
Ross Schueller

That's so sad!  I didn't realize, until I'd done some research a couple years ago, that so many of the Foursquare houses built 1890-1930 were Sears homes!  Fascinating.

Dec 03, 2015 11:56 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Oh, wow! And welcome to ActiveRain.  And getting your first post featured is huge -congratulations.

Dec 03, 2015 10:22 PM
Ross Schueller

Thanks Patricia!

Dec 03, 2015 11:56 PM
Mery Fernandez Empire Network Realty Luxury Brokerage
Empire Network Realty INC. - Orlando, FL
The Rise of An Empire, Let's Build Yours!

Hi Ross! Welcome to the world of Activerain, may your blogging  create a whole new chapter in your Real Estate Career.

Dec 03, 2015 11:05 PM
Ross Schueller

Thanks Mery!

Dec 03, 2015 11:57 PM
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com

The homes in our "historic district" aren't really anything to brag about. Gilbert was built as an old farm town back in the day so the oldest houses in the oldest neighborhoods are small, simple, and functional single-story block homes. 

Dec 03, 2015 11:14 PM
Ross Schueller

Indeed!  It's so dependent on the location.  I lived in NY for a few years, around Buffalo, and was fascinated by how much pre-1900 architecture was still around.  There was just a huge amount.  Coming from Grand Rapids, our city is just so much younger than that and our historic district is relatively small. The homes are still very cool, but there's very few of them compared to many other cities on the east coast.

Dec 04, 2015 12:00 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Ross Schueller Welcome to ActiveRain 

I love historic homes and wanted to call a 200-year old home that I sold as a historic home!

Town records had something else to say!

Dec 04, 2015 03:16 PM
Ross Schueller

Wow...how odd.  Thanks for the input!

Dec 05, 2015 02:41 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Welcome to ActiveRain. I have three listings all built in the 1800's all in pristine condition, all with professional photos. I love representing these properties.

Dec 05, 2015 05:22 AM
Ross Schueller

I'm jealous!  I love listing those homes...especially when they've been well maintained.

Dec 06, 2015 08:50 PM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

Great first post Ross Schueller . Our one and only historic district in Minot ND was hit hard by a flood in 2011 and I think some of the quick flip artists that came in to capitalize on others hardships should be brought up on criminal charges for what was done to some of these homes. It sure was NOT restoration.

Dec 05, 2015 06:24 AM
Ross Schueller

That is so disheartening!

Dec 06, 2015 08:49 PM
Bill Reddington
Re/max By The Sea - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

In this part of the world there are not many historic homes. Most older homes get knocked down with a new home being built.

Dec 05, 2015 07:57 AM
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 - Silver Spring, MD
Fluent in German and Real Estate * M.A. ABR ASP

I couldn't agree more Ross. I just love the charm and the vintage details - if those were left in place that is. It hurts my heart to see an old home that has been robbed off all its personality.. those walls don't talk anymore. And that's a shame!

Dec 05, 2015 12:00 PM
Ross Schueller

Yes! Exactly!  These homes were here long before I arrived on this earth, and they'll likely be here long after I'm gone.  Seems like they deserve the respect of our time and attention!

Dec 06, 2015 08:48 PM
Vera Gonzalez
RE/MAX Suburban, Inc. - Sterling Heights, MI
Gonzo For Real Estate

I agree Ross Schueller ! The historical homes have so much to offer and the architechture  is breath-taking. 

Dec 06, 2015 08:35 AM
Ross Schueller

Thanks Vera!

Dec 06, 2015 08:46 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I agree Ross, it takes the right owner and the right agent to keep these homes as they should be.

Welcome to Active Rain, looking forward to reading many more of your posts, let me know if there is anything that I can do to help as you get started here.

Dec 06, 2015 09:19 AM
Ross Schueller

Thanks Bob, I appreciate the encouragement!

Dec 06, 2015 08:46 PM

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