30 September 2011

Old houses for sale

 I've gotten a little distracted this week....

One source of my distraction was a site I stumbled across a few days ago and now keep going back to. It's The National Trust for Historic Preservation. It shows old homes around the U.S. that are for sale. I am hooked. Seriously, this site is like crack for someone like me.

I have always thought it would be so much fun to buy some super old dump and turn it into the most gorgeous house imaginable. Old houses just have something that new ones don't- charm, character, personality...

Of course old houses also have other things that new homes don't...like sinking basements, cracked foundations, and warped walls. Not to mention lead paint and asbestos. So I've realized that what I really want is to build a new house that just looks old. It seems like a lot less trouble.

Still, I look at old houses and dream about what I would do with them if I had unlimited resources.

Which is what got me looking at the historic preservation site in the first place. Some of the houses on there are AMAZING. And since I love torturing myself with images of things I'll never have, I keep skipping over the more practically-priced listings to drool over the more jaw-dropping ones.

Like this gem in Virginia, built in 1850, that's for sale for $4,995,000.

But really, what can you expect when you're getting 165 acres, a barn, a stable, and a guest cottage? Those things don't come cheap.

{These images totally suck, btw, so sorry that they're so small. If you go to the site you can see them a lot better.}

I keep looking at this next place too. I don't love it like the first one- I think it looks a little bit too imposing or something. But it's still cool. And shoot, I wouldn't turn it down, that's for sure... 

But 3.7 mil is just a teensy bit too far over my price range. 
It's also in Virginia and was built in 1840.

 This next house is interesting because of the stipulations that come with purchasing it:

It's in Illinois and was built in 1892. In order to purchase it, you must first purchase a separate lot in it's neighborhood, agree to move the house to that lot, and then agree to renovate it in a way that keeps it authentic to it's original style. If you can do that, the house is yours for $1. Yep, a buck. I'll bet it's a doozy inside. The condition is listed as "distressed". 

I looove this one, in Virginia.

It was built in 1803 (well, the first part of it...it was added to later on.)
It's on almost 200 acres and is for sale for $7,500,000.

Why, oh why, is luxury so expensive??

Here's one with a much more down-to-earth price, but that is still spectacular.

It was built between 1911 and 1916. Supposedly a chest of money that had been hidden during the civil war was found buried on the original owner's land. He used it to build himself a house that was "as fine as the White House." 

See, that's what I love about old houses- new ones don't come with stories that cool. 

Anyways this place is in South Carolina and is for sale for $299,000. 
I think the best part about this one is that it's been totally renovated, so even though I'd still want to change a lot about it (like the ugly kitchen) it's all superficial stuff so it wouldn't cost much.

This last one may seem a little out of place after all of those...

It's not a house; it was a former shirt factory built in Vermont in 1906. 
I used to watch this show where people would buy these big old buildings- old schools, churches, whatever- and totally gut them and turn them into the most unique and amazing homes. 

Maybe I'm totally crazy, but I feel like this place has that kind of potential. 
It's a little less than 10,000 sf, so, huge for sure, but not a totally unmanageable size. And it's only $125,000.

If we had a reason to live in Vermont, it'd be seriously tempting. I think this place could be awesome. Look at all those windows..... Can't you just picture the inside all opened up, and maybe the second floor  gone so that the first floor had tons and tons of light from two rows of windows.....and then all the finishes could be really cool, industrial-type stuff....

Well I better stop daydreaming and meet my 6 year old at the bus stop. 

Seriously, check out that site. You'll be hooked too, I swear. 


  1. Besides decorating, there's nothing better than checking out houses for sale and imagine all the unlimited design possibilities!

    The last building seem like a great deal! And who doesn't like living in a chic and modern industrial home with soaring ceilings and exposed brick?

    Have a lovely weekend, Brooke!


  2. I imagined myself in living in one of those houses, and I couldn't help but smile for a bit. It looks like aristocrats should live in houses like that. It's grand and really gorgeous.