Let's start this column off by saying that we've been around a while. Real Estate Associates has been in business under that name since 1973, and our founding partners went into business in 1944 as three separate companies. Chances are, we've sold someone in your family a home or helped them sell one. We've made history and seen it repeat itself over and over again.
The old cliche "Everything Old is New Again" is as applicable in real estate as it is in fashion, music, or anything else. We're currently in the middle of a trend of renovating and repurposing old homes and old buildings that started about 10 years ago. In cities and old mill towns, warehouses and mill buildings are being turned into condos, offices and more, and here on Cape Cod, many magnificent old homes are undergoing extensive renovations and restorations as some pass their 100th birthdays.
Demand for these "updated antiques" is way up. When done correctly, updates to these homes accentuate the craftsmanship, architecture and well-thought out floor plans from 100 years ago while eliminating the irritating quirks and frustrations of living in an old home. Why are these homes so hot right now? Let's explore a couple of the reasons:
There's nothing wrong with new builds, and there are certainly are plenty of fantastic builders and contractors on Cape Cod that make durable sturdy homes. It's that, these days, many of the building materials are inferior to those of the past. Antique homes were built with old growth wood, often from trees that were 100 years or older, meaning they have some serious structural strength to them. Today's high quality wood is great, but it doesn't have the inherent strength that the old stuff does. This wood simply doesn't exist today. Many of these homes have withstood 20, 50 and 100 year storms, and will likely see many more.
They're Often on the Best Pieces of Land
First come first served, even when it comes to real estate! Many of these homes are on the choicest parcels of land around, simply because they got there first. They have the best land for water views, commanding hilltop parcels in other parts of town, and lots with some of the best natural landscaping and sight lines you can find. Part of this was also done out of necessity - technologies like air conditioning and heavy machinery didn't exist, meaning that the had to be naturally cool in the summer months and couldn't be extensively re-graded for use like they can be today. Some of the oldest waterfront homes have never changed hands - we don't know what they'd worth since they've never seen the market!
These days, "custom designed" is a selling point often affordable only to the wealthiest among us. Back in the day, every home was custom designed. Templated, prefabricated or "off-the-rack" designs didn't really exist until the 1950s, meaning that homes built before then are often truly one of a kind and completely unique. Homes were built to suit a specific homeowners needs and tastes, leading to some truly wonderful designs. Antique homes are incredibly interesting largely because no two of them are the same. Whether it's stained glass along a staircase or a living room adorned with bay windows and porticos, it's these touches that make these homes desirable.
The Smart "Little Things"
Antique homes were the first "smart homes". They're designed to incorporate cross-breezes through a combination of being oriented correctly in relation to the prevailing winds, externally and internally, and have many features designed to keep the house cool (or warm) without cranking the thermostat. Some old Victorians even have wooden window shades that can be pulled over the windows, completely preventing the sun from warming rooms during summer months. Due to air conditioning and modern heating systems, many newer homes are simply put up the easiest way possible, sometimes resulting in superheated rooms in the summer months and severe winds in the winter. Older homes are oriented more carefully to keep the home naturally comfortable year-round.
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Real Estate Associates was established over 40 years ago and specializes in Upper Cape Cod real estate. Our Tradition of Excellence, rooted in local expertise and combined with global reach, has helped us maintain our status as the #1 market leader in Upper Cape Cod Real Estate. Whether you're looking to buy a home, sell a home or rent, visit our website at www.capecodhouses.com, stop by any of our five area offices or give us a call at 1-855-680-0880. We'd be delighted to serve you! Click here to see past Upper Cape Living Columns