Historic Homes: Why Young Home Buyers Love Them

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By Meggen Taylor (Click Meggen Taylor’s name to read this article as it originally appeared on the Inman DC and Baltimore Metro Web site.) 

Feb 3, 2016

It’s hard to ignore facts. The hottest real estate markets in the U.S.—San Francisco, Manhattan, and Boston among others—all have predominantly historic  homes.Business and technology clusters are attracting A-list, Ivy League talent to newly revitalizing historic downtowns like Tulsa and Detroit where property values are rising in lock step. According to a recent National Trust For Historic Preservation report, millennials are overwhelmingly on the move downtown.

If real estate were ever about location, it’s now. After decades trying to build the idyllic suburban “town center,” it turns out that early city planners did it just right 100 years ago– which is why the downtown historic real estate market is back in a big way with Generation X and millennial homebuyers.

Selling a historic home is like selling a work of art

forest hill homes composit

There’s always been an art-like process in marketing and selling a classically-designed historic mansion or estate. They are not for every buyer. But they’re perfect for most of them right now if you market your property the right way to the right people.

Young homebuyers love old homes

For what it’s worth, the majority of people we know in their early 30’s through late 40’s (i.e., consumers in prime early revenue generating and house buying years) in Philadelphia live in historic homes that are 90 years old— and in some cases far older. The same goes for everyone we know in Washington, D.C. and Chicago.

Why?

Because a brownstone townhouse six blocks from where you work and your kids go to school is awesome. Because historic homes in established neighborhoods foster community. Because 6,000 square feet of living space for a family of four can get tiresome to maintain when you could otherwise be at the beach. Because walking or biking to everything is the new millennial dream.

The next generation of real estate buyers has rediscovered old school downtown, metropolitan living. So don’t discount the doilies. Real estate is still all about location.

Builders don’t build like they used to

olf versus new lumber pic

There’s a myth in real estate that newer is inherently better. When it comes to master suites, bright modern kitchens and bathrooms, and walk-in closets we couldn’t agreement more.

Most consumers looking for a new car or watch stick with trusted, historic brands like Rolex or Mercedes. The same holds true for many homebuyers looking for traditional craftsmanship but it doesn’t have a brand name yet. Instead it’s called plaster walls, copper plumbing, slate roofing and tight-grained hardwood floors.

Authentic architectural design features are reflective of an original commitment to artistry and quality that has stood the test of time.

Meggen Taylor is a co-founder of FindEverythingHistoric.com. For the past decade she has been a principal at Philadelphia-based architectural sales and consulting firm that specializes in historic renovation and building enclosure systems design, and she holds a real estate license. 



Categories: All Posts, Forest Hill, Historic Homes

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