Recently while perusing area real estate listings I ran across an all-too-common offering — the unfinished renovation of a house which had retained a good deal of originality prior to being gutted to the studs. At least it affords us the opportunity to take a close-up look at balloon framing techniques (which has since been replaced by platform framing). This house appears to have been built around 1910 or so and is fairly typical of what could be found nationally at the time.
Clearly a lot of effort, time and expense went into getting the house to its present skeletal stage. We’ll likely never know the precise reasoning for the decisions made here (or why the house was put on the market unfinished), but similar situations routinely appear on the market. Frequently these situations result from a failure to understand the substantial value that intact old houses, with their superior-quality materials and authentic historic character, offer when compared to new construction.
Sometimes its simply a lack of knowledge regarding various options for economically updating tired infrastructure such as wiring and plumbing. In other instances it may be a dislike of anything old or, similarly, a love of all things new. Or a myriad of other unknown reasons which we could only guess at. Regardless of the rationale behind such attempted renovations, the power of television to shape popular tastes can not be over-emphasized.
Let’s take a look at a sad and increasingly common type of real estate offering. We’ll start with some older images for comparison purposes. And remember, don’t try this at home!