Old houses are selling well, and Bob Vila can help you renovate

By: Shannon Lee , Contributing Writer
In: Old House Musings, Technology, In The News

First, an important announcement: The Twitter chat that was scheduled for June 23 has been postponed, due to Bob Vila’s busy travel schedule. The good news is that it has been rescheduled.

Tune in to Twitter on June 30, 2011 at 1 P.M. EST (10 A.M. PST) to join Bob Vila and other experts for the #GetReadyThurs event. Bring all your questions about siding, painting, staining, and exterior renovations. VinylSidingZone is pleased to be participating in the event that will answer all your questions about how to make that old house renovation work.

Get a jump-start on the action by heading to Twitter and following @VinylSidingZone and @BobVila. On the big day, remember the hashtag #GetReadyThurs.

Speaking of old houses and renovation, now is a great time for real estate investors to sink their money into older homes. When I was looking for an older home on the Georgia coast this past year, my real estate agent pointed out that older homes in well-established neighborhoods held onto much of their value even during the economic downturn, while owners of newer homes hoping to sell were forced to take one price cut after another.

According to a recent article from KPBS, the situation is the same across the country. In El Cerrito, California, homes in older, established neighborhoods didn’t face a loss of value like homes in neighboring Chula Vista did. The reason? Chula Vista was home to many new properties, while El Cerrito had several old neighborhoods with houses that had been financed long before the housing crisis. The result was that homes in El Cerrito lost very little value, while homes in Chula Vista faced foreclosure and other serious financial problems.

In the midst of the housing crisis, those who have run into trouble with high mortgages for their newer homes have taken a fresh look at the possibilities for older houses. An older home on the market might cost half the price of a newer home of the same size and amenities, but is often overlooked by those who think an older home means extra work or heavy renovation. Sure, that can be the case in some instances, but most older homes I looked at during my search needed only minor work, and their bottom line was a very fair price. But in almost every case, the newer homes seemed overpriced.

Another aspect of the housing crisis that has been good for older homes and their owners is the increased need to stay put. Rather than move out and to a newer property, owners of older homes are opting for renovation instead, and making what was old seem new again. This not only adds to the enjoyment of the home during a time when sales are lackluster, but breathes new life into an old home so that when it does hit the market, it can demand a higher price.

I went with the older home, of course, and I have been pleased with my decision. Newer homes in the neighborhood have been on the market since long before I moved in, but older homes seem to be snapped up within months. Let’s hope the trend continues, and those older homes find new life with new owners.