Remodeling Rights and Wrongs: How to Bring an Older Home into the Modern Day

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With such an influx of homes on the market, it is amazing how many older homes are available at incredible prices. Some of these homes need just a little love to make them look wonderful. However, a lot of them need some serious rehab work, which can make your investment more of a process than the old buy-and-move-in standard of real estate.

With the market prices dipping so low, it may be worth while to buy an undervalued home and put in the work it needs yourself. Here are a few things to keep in mind when snatching up an older home with the intention of remodeling.

Right: Keep the Charm

One problem which many people run in to when remodeling their home is that they don’t pay sufficient attention to the character of the house. If you are buying a 1920’s bungalow, don’t try to completely change the feel of the house by bringing in modern windows, flooring, and roofing. Remodel within the parameters of the home’s personality. Take notice of the unique molding, the vibe of the fireplace, and the coziness of the rooms or the eating nook.

If you try and “change a leopard’s spots” you may wind up with a home that is sending mixed signals. There is a lot of beauty to be enjoyed by maintaining the home’s original appeal. If there are exposed beams or rounded doorways, try to match the style and color of the original work on the home to create a new spin on an old home.

Wrong: Not Planning Ahead for Displacement

Before buying a home that needs some work, for example many of the foreclosures and bank owned properties on the market today realize that you may feel somewhat displaced in your new home for as long as projects are taking place. If you have a relative or family member that would be willing to put you up, while you tackle the big projects in the home, take advantage of that. Especially if you have children, the feeling of having a home but not enjoying or living in that home can be unsettling, not to mention the effect of the constant loud noises and dust.

Before getting too excited about buying an older home and renovating it, have a back up plan about where you will live in the meantime. If you are just remodeling one or two bedrooms then you may not have to plan ahead for long bouts of unsettled living, but if it’s a major project it can be stressful and wear on you and your family if you don’t have a secure place to call “home” in the interim.

Right: Color Matching

Another good idea is to keep the color palette of the home in tune with the original era during which the home was built. If you are buying a ‘70’s rambler you don’t have to bring in the bright greens and oranges that were popular back then, but it will make for a seamless escape into modern day if you bring in variance of orange or green that harkens to the old charm of the house and gives it a fresh, new and modern feeling by having neutral undertones, or an understated presence.

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