Old Houses and the Search for the Silver Lining

By: Conrad Neuf , Contributing Writer
In: Old Houses, Old House Construction, Old House Musings, In The News
Now May Be the Ideal Time to Buy  photo from myvictorianhome.com

Now May Be the Ideal Time to Buy photo from myvictorianhome.com

I’ve always tried to have a positive outlook on life and the events that have shaped my life, in particular. The silver lining might not be there 100 percent of the time, but I’ve found that if I look hard enough, it’s there more times than not. I think these days just about all of us need to look for a silver lining that can put a positive spin on all the bad economic news that seems to get heaped on us day after day. August is coming to an end and just in this month I have read about home builder sentiment plummeting and house sales dropping more than expected in July. I also read an article predicting that building materials are going to rise in price much faster than the rate of inflation through 2011 and that mortgages may be on pace to set new foreclosure records.

And Now the Silver Lining

So where is the good news in all of this and how does it relate to old house enthusiasts? Well, for one thing interest rates for mortgages are still as low as they have been in years. If you’ve ever wanted to take the plunge and purchase an old house, now might be the ideal the time to do so.

Not only are interest rates low, but with sales still very slow there have to be some old house sellers out there just waiting to make a deal, and there should be a quite a few to choose from.

If you need design or restoration work done on your old house, many firms that steered away from renovations and restorations in the past are now embracing them. In my opinion new construction doesn’t provide the sense of accomplishment that a successful restoration project can, but many construction companies

Plenty of Available Restoration Contractors  photo from enonhall.com

Plenty of Available Restoration Contractors photo from enonhall.com

preferred new construction, because it was often easier money with less potential headaches. As an article in the Charlotte Observer points out, that is now changing and many contractors and architects are beginning to specialize in restoration and preservation projects. Contractors for your home restoration should be plentiful and pricing ought to be very competitive.

And let’s not forget the entrepreneurial spirit that built this country. Many successful companies sprang out of difficult economic times. Re-use Hawai’i sells used building materials and seems to be doing rather well. As prices for new materials continue to rise, they may find their business expanding and their products might be just the thing for an old house restoration. Recycled flooring and beams are popular in old houses, and I can’t think of any good reason why other used building materials shouldn’t go in as well.