Sunday, September 20, 2009

Why blog about old houses?

When I started my insurance career after college, I noticed one of my favorite clients was the owner of a historic home. The house was immaculately cared for, they followed every word of advice I gave them about preventing potential losses, and whenever they improved the home or bought a new antique for the house - they always called and made sure their insurance coverage was current and happily paid their premium.

Needless to say - I loved working with these clients. They were my ideal client, and soon I realized the friends they referred to me were the same way - and they all had old homes.

Old house folks are a different breed. To these homeowners, their house is a significant part of their lives - it's more than an asset - it's a way of life. Vacation budgets are sacrificed to pay for historically accurate improvements (ours was a tin-ceiling in the kitchen 2 years ago), hours are spent on Ebay hunting down the right light fixture or door knob, and wall-to-wall carpet is usually banned from one's vocabulary unless the original floors are truly beyond repair.

Old house folks are proud to say they don't actually "own" the house - they are just the caretakers of a piece of history for the next generation.

And it doesn't have to be an elaborate old home - whether it's a 3 story, 1890 Queen Anne or a 2 bedroom, 1920s Bungalow - old house folks are passionate about every last detail, from the oak floors to the leaded glass to the true dimension lumber hiding within the plaster walls.

There are times when I've walked through new construction and thought "I could live here" - and I probably could, quite happily, with my husband and my dogs and my Mac. And then I return to my old home, Otto Franzen's house, with real plaster walls, perfectly proportionate archways, and the original 1920s drapery rods - and realize I'm blessed to have a chance to be the caretaker of Otto's house for the next generation to come. Steph

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