Think holistically when deciding what you want your home to be. If it’s a 1950s style, updating the kitchen to 2016 styles will make the home feel disjointed. There are many options available to modernize without losing charm. Get a contractor’s advice. Don’t close without having the contractor look at it and review your goals. That wall you want to take out may be load-bearing, and a contractor can help you avoid headaches. Finally, make sure that the total renovation costs and purchase price don’t exceed 10% of the price of neighboring homes, otherwise it can be hard to recoup your investment.
Ethan Collier, Collier Construction
Besides the obvious “home inspection” stuff (lead paint, knob and tube wiring, termites, worn out roof, etc.), as an architect, the thing I look for is character. Wide-plank wood floors, heavy timber beams, beautifully carved mantels, wraparound front porches… the list of reasons to love an older home could go on forever. It’s the small details that today’s mass-produced homes lack that give older homes their charm and elegance.
Jay Caughman, Caughman+Caughman Architects