“They’re just not making old houses anymore.”
This was once something a customer said to me. She intended it as deep and slightly witty observation. I smiled and said, “I agree.” At the prices my company charged, I always agreed, even if they said, “Mt. Everest was named after my father.”
We lived in an older house for three years in the beginning of our marriage. It was a blessing at the time and a major step up from our one bedroom apartment. As for the people that say old houses have so much more to offer than new houses, I would agree. The house was built in the 1940’s we think. It had more dirt, more creaks, more cracks, more spiders, and more trouble then any house I have lived in since. Additionally due to the lack of insulation we also paid a lot more for heating and cooling. Of course it wasn’t all positive mind you, the house also had some drawbacks. For instance this house had no sheetrock. Ever tried to hang thirty-five pounds of curtains on a plaster wall?
I know that there are lots of people who would rather live in an old house than a new house. I could understand the idea, if I had a houseful of servants, or at least a live in contractor. I’m not sure if I’m being naïve but I believe most people would be a bit desperate to maintain an old house without Bob Vila to help out. I’m not a handy person, as far as carpentry, plumbing or electrical. As I once overheard from a co-worker, “There was a hole in the wall and I was like, ‘Honey get the toothpaste!’” This was a bit of handy work I could identify with.
I like the idea of a new house, the idea that no one else has lived there, died there, or buried evidence there. The walls all scream, "I'm yours to do with as you please!" Instead of, "If you don't like avocado green then grab a brush buddy." It’s too bad that the majority of new houses in my area are built right on top of each other. Backyards and side yards are as scarce as hens in a fox hole.
Now you have your fancy central vacuums, home network enabled wiring, ceramic tile, trash compactors, lawn sprinklers, laundry shoots, and a kitchen island, but can’t go outside without standing on your neighbor’s lawn.
I'm not sure what the perfect abode is for everyone, but for me and mine, it’s a newer house over an older house. With double pane windows to block out the sounds, and thick blinds to keep your zero lot lined neighbors at bay.