What is it that makes a historic property speak to you, make you put all reason aside and see the beauty beneath the usually horrible add-ons that have followed the house like a very bad haircut. With time and the right expert you can overcome it. Those of us who deal with historic properties either in our professional lives or are lucky enough to live in such a property, can understand the emotional and sometimes irrational pull to take on the many challenges that only an old house can provide.
Especially in these tough times your home is your refuge. I am saddened by my many colleagues and friends who speak of their house now as a burden, a bad idea to have invested in at the time. "If only we knew then what we know now." Etc,etc. Might I suggest respectfully that they need to look at the bigger picture. I know that many have found themselves in horrible finanicial situations and I understand, what it is to worry about a mortgage. Even though the perceived "value" of the property in which you have invested everything has "tanked", I suggest that maybe you could take just a minute to look at this seemingly impossible situation. If it is feasible to remain in the property, please take time to look around and see again for the first time the elements in the house that called to you.
Time to take a moment to reevaluate, take a breath, and move forward. Remember, the house, depending upon the age, has seen many an impossible situation resolved within its walls. Try and think of those walls as sheltering instead of a prison. It is just life. It happens whether we are an active paticipate or not. There is a quote by Francis of Assisi, "Start by doing what is necessary, then what's possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible".
Many times I have designed a home for a client that is in the position to afford anything the project calls for. No matter what the finances of the cilent, I always counseled them to give the house an opportunity to tell them exactly how to live in it. Where does the light fall in the morning in this corner of the room? It can give you the perfect place to hang a beloved piece of art. You cannot know this for sure however if you have not lived in the house for at least a year. You need to see how different the light is in May than in January. Never knowing until a really good chunk of time has passed, that you don't really need a sofa in this room, a loveseat would be just fine. As is usually true, time is an asset that we all have and rarely value. Don't fret about the loss of capitol in the context of when to redo the kitchen or change that bathroom, think of the situation as giving you the time to make thoughtful decisions about the house, it is how you make it in to a home.
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