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  • Writer's pictureJack

There's no such thing as a Money Pit

So here you are, walking into your new but very old investment; the floors creek a bit and you can’t help but crack a smile. You notice the layers upon layers of paint on the trim and the smell of the passing years that cannot be duplicated. Are the floors perfectly level? Of course not, but for some reason that is ok. You’ve bought an old home, it needs work, it need love, it is and always will be worth the fight.

If you have looked around for homes lately you undoubtably have seen something on the newer side. Slab foundation with decorative trim. Lots of square footage and the home seems to be perfect. The streets are clean and the lawns well-kept (but where did the trees go?). Modern plumbing, modern electrical, high efficiency, and it's comfortable. Throw down a welcome mat, fire up the air fryer, and have yourself a day. But what have we lost in new construction? Walking through your neighborhood you can’t help but notice that if it weren’t for the different and limited color schemes, would you be able to pick yours out from everyone else’s? There’s certainly nothing wrong with a new house but you can’t help but feel there’s something missing.

An old home has that charm that modern homes, no matter how hard they try just can’t achieve. Charm takes time, it takes effort, it can’t be bought and often times comes from the efforts of a very limited budget. Old charm comes from the time before the, “starter home.” The idea that we will take what we can get until we achieve some mythical success and find that forever home. All homes used to be forever homes. They were loved, improved, and cared for.

Call me an old soul, grumpy, or nostalgic, but I have been in and around and under more homes than most people ever will. There is simply nothing that compares to an elder dwelling and the lack of education in building science has wrongfully accused many of them as being money pits. There’s no such thing, in my humble opinion, as a money pit. Like adopting a senior dog, they come with a list of problems that need special attention but that does not mean they aren’t deserving of our care.

Think of your location or where you would like to live. Find the exact neighborhood you want to be in and then look at the homes that are available. You likely have three options; be rich, be house poor, or buy old. I can’t help you with the being rich part (let me know if you have any ideas). I implore you to never become house poor (always borrow within your actual limit). So, what do we do? We buy old! After you get your inspection done (hint, hint) start at the bottom. And I mean the literal bottom. The crawlspace should always be priority number one, electrical systems a close second, and the roof third.

We spend much of our lives indoors these days and our homes should reflect that. They should be like an old sweatshirt or our favorite hat. We should be comfortable and happy there. We should take pride in our biggest investments. Cookie cutter houses are often too easily passed along every few years. Old homes are something to pass down to our loved ones and to be shared with friends. Don’t be afraid of a project, there is a tremendous amount of satisfaction with restoring something back to its glory or making better use of an old build. Worth the fight every time.

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