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Pride in the Best Old House Neighborhoods

By: Conrad Neuf , Contributing Writer
In: Old Houses, Old House Musings, In The News

I worked in Northern Virginia from 2004 to 2008, just outside of Washington, D.C., and I watched subdivision after subdivision being built. I had a close-up view because I was involved in building some of them. Every evening, I drove 80 miles back to my old house in the country, and then got up in the morning and drove the 80 miles back.

No one could understand how I could do it, but I would not have traded my old house in the country for any of the homes I was building. They were nice houses, but I could not imagine myself living in one. I’m just an old-house type of person.

Best Old House Neighborhoods List

This Old House Magazine recently released their list of the 51 best neighborhoods to live in an old house in the U.S. This is the third year the magazine has released such a list, and their writers research the entire country to create the list. But that wasn’t the case–the Internet is full of articles written by people who are proud that their town, city, or area has a neighborhood that is now considered one of the best neighborhoods for old houses.

A Bevy of Blogs

For example, the LA Times blog has an article about the West Adams neighborhood that made the list, and the Chicago Now blog has an article about the Mayfair neighborhood that also made the cut. Mayfair is a community on the northwest side of Chicago. The NBC New York blog has an article about Brooklyn’s Stuyvesant Heights neighborhood, which made the list for its old row houses. A Philadelphia blog is proud of Mt Airy’s old houses making the list, and a Tacoma, Washington blog is bragging about the old houses in McKinley Hill that also made the list. Even a blog in Lee’s Summit, Missouri was proud of their old house neighborhood being on the list.

Apparently, the neighborhoods that made it are very proud to be there. I’m not sure whether my old house neighborhood will ever make the list, but now I don’t feel like I am in such a small group of old house aficionados anymore. Lots of people are happy to live in their old houses.

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  1. 6 Responses  to “Pride in the Best Old House Neighborhoods”

  2. Aug 29, 2011
    I wish it wasn't so costly to restore the beautiful old homes.
  3. Alicia Cyr
    Aug 29, 2011
    Does anyone know who bulit the house?? My class is doing a project on old houses and we can not find out who bulit the salthouse??
  4. Marge
    Aug 29, 2011
    I have seen new neighborhoods that have many different "models" of houses, and they do have some unique exterior features(different sidings, colors, roofs,etc.)...but even these neighborhoods seen bland and the same. Then I thought about why these "unique" houses don't seem unique...it's the lack of mature trees and landscaping. Nothing makes an old home more beautiful than a giant old tree in the front yard(something new subdivisions just can't create)
  5. McNemar
    Aug 29, 2011
    I am looking for light yellow (almost off-white) and turquoise 4 x 4 tile to match a bathroom built in 1950. I had a soft yellow sample sent to me by B & W Tile, Gardena CA but it is too yellow. Any suggestions?
  6. James
    Aug 29, 2011
    The reason people love old houses is because of what you said in your first paragraph, all of these subdivisions and model homes are all the same, there is nothing unique about them. It's like going to the same office every day when you drive into a subdivision. If I drive into my own neighborhood and I mistake my house for another because they look the exact same...I'm not a happy person.
  7. Brent K.
    Aug 29, 2011
    I am a real estate agent and the most common request I have from prospective buyers is "we want a new house the looks old." People love the charm and details of a finely aged house, but they want updated electricity, super insulated walls, and all the latest and greatest of a new home. Builders take note!