Love (for Remodeling Houses) is in the Air

Valentine’s Day got me thinking about love. Of course, the love of my family is the first thing to comes to mind on this day, but looking beyond that, the love for other things…like my love of remodeling houses.

Great gift- sweet story!

It’s interesting how little things from your past can shape your future. I think this book kickstarted my love of older homes and remodeling them to make them pretty again. Yes, I grew up in an old home, then I lived in Charleston, SC for seven years (you can’t NOT like old around there). It seems natural that I would have an affinity for older homes, but I think this book burrowed into my subconscious at a young age and made me the “revivalist” I am today.

I received this book as a gift in 1974, and remember my mom reading it to me and on my own flipping through the pictures and admiring the story it told. The ending always made me feel good to see the little house looking so pretty and happy.  As an adult, it made me teary eyed when I read the last page to my boys, which they would always comment, “Come on Mom, get a grip…it’s a house!” One day I hope they feel the same passion about something in their lives.

This book is an oldy but goody, a love story for those who believe in preservation. It’s about a Little House nestled in the countryside that was strong and well built by her owners. The couple wanted their home to be there for their grandchildren, great grandchildren and generations after that. They wanted to pass along the joy this home gave to them. Over the years the family grew up and moved away, the city expanded and built up around the Little House.  The house was sad and lonely because no one wanted her, people did not admire her beautiful exterior anymore because it had become dirty and broken down. The people bustling past in the big city did not notice the Little House anymore.

One day the great-great granddaughter stumbled upon the house in the city and recognized her from family photos.  The granddaughter knew she could bring the house back to life, she may have looked shabby on the outside, but she was a solid house underneath. She moved the house back to the countryside, fixed her up, put on a new coat of paint and “once again she was lived in and taken care of.”

1013 Johnson Street was condemed when I purchased it. The first of many remodeling projects for me.

I know some of you reading this feel the same way I do, and some would rather tear it down and build a new one. You either love an old house or you wouldn’t touch one with a 10-foot pole, and that’s OK.  But I am the lover, the enthusiast, the archaeologist hoping to find out what’s under floor #3. I see the potential and know it’s possible to make a difference. That a sad, shabby little house (a tear down in some people’s minds) can be pretty again.

“After” of 1013 Johnson Street. Two more before & after pictures below.

I may not be able to go down each street and renovate every house (though I would LOVE to!), but I can help a buyer see the potential of a house that’s in need of a little TLC.  As their REALTOR, I can assist them with visualizing the end result and give them contacts to get the job done.  And for sellers, I can advocate the benefits of their older home to buyers and how easy upgrades can transform it into their dream home.  Love your home, old or new, your first or fifth, and call me when it’s time to find your next love!