Even though I always appreciated old houses I never imagined my self owning one. I always used to think that they require high maintenance costs and lack practicality. Of course, I couldn’t have been more wrong. It is said that if you can think of 10 good reasons as to why to do something then you should go for it. So, this is it, top 10 reasons why I ended up buying an old house:
Old houses came from an era were builders thought and planned every move and didn’t do things just because. They spent time articulating their next steps and thinking about the way the sun and other weather elements will affect the building. The people who built these houses had something that has unfortunately become a rare ingredient: time and love for the work they do.
In order to appreciate this we need to take a step back and see what the market offers. To keep things simple, I’m just going to mention 3 main types of houses: old houses, terraced houses and apartments. Let’s start with the easy one: apartments. The apartment market is overcrowded, there are several developers creating and selling new apartments. This situation makes it really hard for sellers to sell second hand apartments.
To a less extent, terraced houses, also suffer from the same fate. Most of them follow the same building layout. You get the feeling that after you have visited 3 of them you have seen them all. On the contrary old houses are unique and were built in different eras. Unfortunately, old houses are on the downhill, continuously being taken down and replaced by a block of apartments. On the positive side, given the scarcity, this makes old houses stand out from the crowd. They have high resale value: they are good investment.
I think this is self-explanatory. Even by looking at the façade of an old house, you can tell that these houses are unique in character and style:
If you’re like me, and like doing things your own way, in reality, you have few housing options. We’ve all seen it: a combined entrance kitchen living dining with bedrooms and bathrooms the size of bird cages. Old houses are inimitable, they are so unique that you’re not too sure what to expect. Every house has a unique layout and features which make it stand out from the rest.
Let’s face it, houses aren’t built the way they used to. Old houses have thick walls and strong structures. An old house has seen its fair share of rough weather not to mention the world wars. On the contrary modern houses are built with concrete, which if not mixed properly would result in an unstable structure. Did you know that the life expectancy of most concrete structures is 100 years? [Source] Old houses have been around way more than that.
For obvious reasons the government would like to maintain old houses, or so they claim. Even though we have seen the demolition of several old houses, the government also favors old property owners when it comes to tax benefit schemes. I predict that in the coming years we are going to see an increase in these types of schemes, specifically for old houses.
Old buildings demonstrate high respect for the utilization of space within these buildings. They make use of every little place to create a utility room which in its self becomes a beautiful feature. On the contrary modern houses are built with the “stats sheet” in mind. Today we give value to homes based on the number of bedrooms and bathrooms they have. So, of course, businessman cram as many of these as possible. Based on experience it is more likely to find an old spacious house rather than a modern one.
Ceiling height increases spatial quality in a room. Lower ceilings dictate a sense of intimacy and enclosure but can be oppressive in a large space. High ceilings provide a sense of airiness and levity. Historically ceiling height was an important factor of the building’s mechanical performance. This was driven by the need to light and ventilate buildings using natural means. In naturally lit buildings with deep spaces, tall windows are necessary, thus to accommodate tall windows one needs high ceilings.
Did I mention the thick walls? These guys knew exactly what needed to be done to keep heat out in summer and cold out in winter. They built insulated walls the size of closet rooms. This also creates very good sound proofing for your house. You can watch TV without waking up the baby in the bedroom.
When it comes to ventilation, most old houses make use of wooden apertures. These are usually designed with vents which, when open, ventilate the place by creating a draft. At the same time the vents allow you to maintain your privacy.
Something I learnt is that you never have enough space. Having an extra room is always an advantage, you can make use of it for storage or simply rent it out. On the other hand, a water well future proofs your home, it is estimated that water will become a scarcity and climate change is only making this worse. [Source] Simply use the water for irrigation or for cleaning purposes.
So that was it. The top 10 reasons why I ended up owning an old house and ultimately writing this article. Be sure to follow us on Facebook to stay tuned with more posts.
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