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Old 06-28-2018, 02:29 PM
 
Location: The analog world
15,945 posts, read 8,865,732 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desperatedogadvice View Post
I have to say I am surprised by the number of people who would let a stranger into their home under this pretense as well as the number of people who have a desire to go knocking on doors of old homes. We see so many threads about people who are angry that strangers tour their home when its for sale or bring children to their home, its puzzling that so many people are advocating to disturb a stranger whose home is not for sale (or are willing to be disturbed to give a tour to someone out of the blue.)

I can't say I have ever wanted to revisit an old home. If it had nostalgic value I would have been sad that it was no longer the same. Nor would I be happy to give a tour unexpectedly. I am not someone who likes "drop ins" and I can't see getting excited about a stranger coming by.

We have a historic house and I would love to get more insight into its history, but no one who built it is living at this point.

Hopefully no enterprising home invading burglars are getting ideas from this thread. Wouldn't take much to craft a story to gain entry based on these responses.
I'm a born and bred Midwesterner. What can I say? Hospitality runs in our veins.
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Old 06-28-2018, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,429 posts, read 42,899,732 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
I have done that. One old house has been sold four times since we left. I have gone back and talked with the new owners, and if they were interested gave them a room by room history of the house. I did a lot of research on the house, restored it and while restoring it, discovered the architectural history.

What they seem to love most are stories about how that dent got in the wall (my daughter luging won the stairs in a diaper box during the Olympics when she was about 7 years old), or pointing out the yearly height markings of our kids on the back of a closet door.). They sometimes do not like it when I tell them the tin ceiling was installed by me in the 1990s or the beautiful ceiling medallion around the light fixture is actually plastic but was hand painted by a local artist who they can meet if they wish.


Most of the people who lived in our house are dead. But we did get one family member who showed up and we gave them a tour. Because our house was on HGTV, we get a number of people pull into our driveway and just sit there looking at it. Sometimes if they are nice and the house is clean, we will invite them in for a tour. Mostly though they just sit there and if we approach their car, they leave quickly. That bugs me. It is odd we still get people, the show was in 2006. They stopped airing it years ago, but I think they might use it as filler for the 3 a.m. time slot sometimes. One day my wife got a call form a lady in Georgia who wanted a picture of her to give to her beautician so she could get the same haircut. If you are antsy about privacy, do not go on TV.

When we have parties, people who have not been in our house often ask for a tour, so we end up giving three or four group tours though the day (we mostly have outdoor parties).

The house I grew up in until I was 8, I have walked by a few times, but never went up and knocked. I am not sure that woudl be appreciated, it is a tiny brick house from the 1950s. the neighborhood has decayed. The house is not well maintained. We moved out in 1971, so I do not remember it much anyway. The house I grew up in the rest of the way, I do visit regularly and walk around and nostalgiaize. My dad does not seem to mind, he is happy to have visitors. .

Like you, I have visited houses I owned previously. One in Johnstown, CO, I visited while driving my M3 home from Tennessee where I bought it. The house was well kept, the lady owner was glad to show me around, I was able to point out that the garage has an electrical system, some nimrod had simply opened the breaker that fed the garage - maybe thinking this would help with electric bills? So I showed her how to "power it up", it still worked fine.



Some previous owners had made some modifications that I personally thought were counter-productive, for example someone ditched the water softener, one guy pulled out a very old, completely manual floor furnace, they had carpeted the basement and flooded it a time or two.



If you are an above-average handyman, you will probably be disappointed in what subsequent owners have done with your old house.



My first house, in Idaho Falls, a previous owner came by and showed me how the yard sprinkler system was plumbed, that was helpful.


The other 2 houses, including the one we are in now, no one has ever visited for a "blast from the past".
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Old 06-28-2018, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,429 posts, read 42,899,732 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Girl View Post
I have a friend that bought a home and about a year later had a knock on the door. It was a young woman - about 20 years old - who had grown up in the house before my friend bought it. My friend had completely renovated the entire 70-year-old house. It had been VERY dated and now looked fabulous.

Friend invited the young woman in when she said she missed her childhood home and just wanted to see it. Halfway through the tour (with my friends grandly presenting their updates), she burst into tears, cried, "This isn't my home anymore!" and ran out the front door.

Never came back.

Well, with the "updates" inspired no doubt by too much HGTV, some older homes have been pretty thoroughly ruined. CJ has described how some nimrods "updated" a kitchen in one of his old houses from the 20's to the 50's, making a sort of 50's diner theme - and really ruined the period old kitchen. Schadenfreude when they took a (IMHO well deserved) beating when they sold that house.



What some people call "dated" I call "period correct".
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Old 06-28-2018, 08:17 PM
 
Location: The analog world
15,945 posts, read 8,865,732 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
Well, with the "updates" inspired no doubt by too much HGTV, some older homes have been pretty thoroughly ruined. CJ has described how some nimrods "updated" a kitchen in one of his old houses from the 20's to the 50's, making a sort of 50's diner theme - and really ruined the period old kitchen. Schadenfreude when they took a (IMHO well deserved) beating when they sold that house.



What some people call "dated" I call "period correct".
That always makes me so sad. My g-grandfather and grandfather were carpenters who built houses in the twenties, and there are many still standing in my hometown. Most of the kitchens were poorly-remodeled at some point. It's always been my dream to restore one of their homes, but I doubt I will ever make it happen.
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Old 06-28-2018, 11:36 PM
 
Location: Houston
1,034 posts, read 355,709 times
Reputation: 916
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBAinTexas View Post
In the past, people would ask the current owners/renters of the homes they grew up in if they could visit and think and talk about the past, for nostalgia.

I doubt that happens often today.

If a stranger shows up at your doorstep, young or old, and tells you he/she grew up in the house you are occupying now, would you let that person in and reminisce?
Totally. I think that I myself would love that chance and wouldn’t want to deny someone the same opportunity. There is so much to learn from the previous owners.
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Old 06-29-2018, 12:10 AM
 
Location: South Park, San Diego
4,651 posts, read 7,104,907 times
Reputation: 8494
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
If it was a historical home, maybe irregularly.
[quote=Nov3;52315104]Ours was on the historic home tour. We were pleased to open iit up for tours. We knew ahead of time what to stash away and what to shine up prior to the events. We enjoyed doing a walk thru with a family that had owned the home before us. We often wondered about some of the unique markings we found. We did give to the historic society some of the items we found in the basement and attic area as they served the community better then us. [quote]


Like yours, our house has been on several historic home and garden tours, it is just one of many equally nice homes in the area and those have always been enjoyable if a bit stressful experiences. In the half dozen times we’ve hosted there never has been one problem with theft, breakage or anything negative, just nice comments from folks who appreciate the charm of older homes and well designed gardens. Heck-we just invite people in the back yard if we see them stopping and pointing to our home up front through the front windows sometimes. We even invited members of the previous family for a brunch whom we bought the house from about 10 years after we bought through a mutual work connection with my SO with one of the 5 children who grew up there. I love to show the house off and sometimes get good tips for home maintenance or garden design or just a fun story about a house or experience that the invited guests may have had.

As gregarious as I am though if someone just knocked on my front door and said they wanted to come in as they lived there before, I probably would not invite them in. First of all, I pretty well know the short list of folks who owned the house and mostly I prefer to make the first move.

Quote:
One of my grandparents home where I resided for two years..went up for sale. I silently wept going thru it. It's where many life changing events happened...so I had an attachment to it. Only to see so much of it was gutted..remodeled and the 'charm' was gone. It was a colonial Jefferson style ..and somehow they ruined even that architect. My grandmother was a garden afficienodo. Gone were her beautiful rose garden..lilies..and the weeping willow tree us kids caught shade for in those summer play days....
The house I grew up in, a wonderful 6000 s.f. Victorian Farmhouse has been a Bed and Breakfast for many years and so it has always been easy to “visit” with stories of growing up there getting to know the proprietors, and just to the opposite of your sad revelation of the lost beautiful gardens the proprietors amped the already nice gardens to an ELEVEN! They are crazy beautiful, right out of a botanical gardens venue which is a wonderful legacy that they have added positively to the grand old house.

Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
Well, with the "updates" inspired no doubt by too much HGTV, some older homes have been pretty thoroughly ruined. CJ has described how some nimrods "updated" a kitchen in one of his old houses from the 20's to the 50's, making a sort of 50's diner theme - and really ruined the period old kitchen. Schadenfreude when they took a (IMHO well deserved) beating when they sold that house.



What some people call "dated" I call "period correct".
Ain’t that the truth! As an architect and old house aficionado I can’t count the number of times I have well admired the exterior of a home just dying to one day see the interior and when having the opportunity, either by tour or when on the market, been sorely disappointed at the awkward and atrocious re-muddeling of the interiors that so many homes have suffered- to the extent that I wish I never saw the interior and want to have back my wishful perception of its original architectural finishes and layout.

Our house was kind of like that. In this neighborhood people live for decades and so in the first few years after we bought the house we heard over and over again of our bathroom’s amazing vintage black and green tile. Nope! Our bathroom was cheap Formica paneling on the walls, a big box hunk of Formica for the vanity, cheap white field tiles with a few duck decorative ones and a big work shop fluorescent light fixture. Our kitchen was equally ‘60s kitschy, with none of the ‘20s character you would expect in a Spanish Revival house of the era. Needless to say it was a little bit of design work and remodeling on our part to attempt to put back some of the character missing in the previous remodels.

Last edited by T. Damon; 06-29-2018 at 12:37 AM..
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Old 06-29-2018, 12:48 AM
 
Location: midvalley Oregon and Eastside seattle area
2,998 posts, read 1,380,268 times
Reputation: 2469
Yes. I am a trusting sort of guy.
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Old 06-29-2018, 02:19 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
7,626 posts, read 14,023,021 times
Reputation: 18674
I certainly have WANTED to, but afraid to disturb the current owners....since all of my "birth family" has passed, this urge is even stronger, just to see it one more time ad to give that "this is who lived there and this is when what happened" to see if there is ANY connections with the new owners.....
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Old 06-29-2018, 10:16 AM
 
25,906 posts, read 49,920,525 times
Reputation: 19383
Quote:
Ain’t that the truth! As an architect and old house aficionado I can’t count the number of times I have well admired the exterior of a home just dying to one day see the interior and when having the opportunity, either by tour or when on the market, been sorely disappointed at the awkward and atrocious re-muddeling of the interiors that so many homes have suffered- to the extent that I wish I never saw the interior and want to have back my wishful perception of its original architectural finishes and layout.

Our house was kind of like that. In this neighborhood people live for decades and so in the first few years after we bought the house we heard over and over again of our bathroom’s amazing vintage black and green tile. Nope! Our bathroom was cheap Formica paneling on the walls, a big box hunk of Formica for the vanity, cheap white field tiles with a few duck decorative ones and a big work shop fluorescent light fixture. Our kitchen was equally ‘60s kitschy, with none of the ‘20s character you would expect in a Spanish Revival house of the era. Needless to say it was a little bit of design work and remodeling on our part to attempt to put back some of the character missing in the previous remodels.
I bought my 1922 Craftsman Bungalow from the widow that bought in brand new in 1922... it was like stepping back in time... all original appliances, fixtures, finishes... etc... albeit dirty and neglected... they had no children and no one living nearby... so for about 10 years the cats had free reign...

Anyway... my friends were ready to have a demo party... everything out to the studs... money was tight so I went room by room cleaning, refinishing and repairing... like the original double hung windows and polishing the brass and chrome.

When it came to sell... I got the highest price ever because my home was unmolested... it was a trip back through time...

Remodels and Renovations while costly may produce little or even a negative return...

In a previous post about the ranch my brother bought... one of the benefits of being open is one of the kids who was about 90 at the time wrote a history for the place as school paper when he was 12... fascinating reading and something we never would have known... how the family settled here and why they choose here... it was because of the water... best water from a natural spring that is still producing.
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Old 06-29-2018, 12:12 PM
 
1,781 posts, read 891,066 times
Reputation: 3813
Quote:
Originally Posted by desperatedogadvice View Post
I have to say I am surprised by the number of people who would let a stranger into their home under this pretense as well as the number of people who have a desire to go knocking on doors of old homes. We see so many threads about people who are angry that strangers tour their home when its for sale or bring children to their home, its puzzling that so many people are advocating to disturb a stranger whose home is not for sale (or are willing to be disturbed to give a tour to someone out of the blue.)

I can't say I have ever wanted to revisit an old home. If it had nostalgic value I would have been sad that it was no longer the same. Nor would I be happy to give a tour unexpectedly. I am not someone who likes "drop ins" and I can't see getting excited about a stranger coming by.

We have a historic house and I would love to get more insight into its history, but no one who built it is living at this point.

Hopefully no enterprising home invading burglars are getting ideas from this thread. Wouldn't take much to craft a story to gain entry based on these responses
.
THIS. x100!!!

Yeah I don't get all the people who are willing to throw open their doors to a stranger on a braggy house tour but recoil at the thought of strangers in their home during an open house. There is a disconnect there somewhere.

And come on guys. Didn't your mom teach you never to open the door to a stranger? For those of you driving by and knocking on doors, where we have lived before people had guns....trespassing is a thing. For the love of safety, keep your memories in the past.
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