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Old 02-03-2012, 11:50 AM
 
Location: U.S.
3,494 posts, read 6,035,378 times
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My wife and I are in the process of looking for a new home. We absolutely love older homes and I know they come with their share of costs and pain, but we just don't think you can beat the charm and character of an older house. I

n our area, many older homes (1700's, 1800,s, even early 1900's) are on busier roads. Not like 4 lane roads, but on main streets that cut through centers of towns, etc. While we know we would have to get used to road noise and probably more litter from people tossing stuff out windows - how do people on here feel about other people leering at their old houses? I know the streets we have looked at tend to have more foot traffic, but I have also noted people taking picture, posing in front of the homes, etc and I wonder how annoying this might be over time? Anyone on here have an old house that gets unwanted attention and you are tired of it?
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:17 PM
 
Location: South Park, San Diego
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I could think of worse things than living in a place so beautiful that people are leering at your house or taking pictures of it- being interested in historic architecture and maybe wanting to chat and say a friendly hello and compliment your house.

I bet the actual "leering" or picture taking is rarely an issue in most areas- except maybe for a place like Williamsburg VA - even in a gorgeous historic area like a Newburyport MA you just take in all the great architecture and wonderful walkable scale and enjoy it. Some people are paranoid about privacy to an extreme in my opinion- if you just don't like people I wouldn't consider it, but if you are a regular friendly person who doesn't mind to interact within an area with like-minded folks than go for it.

We've met lots of nice folks who have commented on our "historic" (it's just a 1928 Spanish Cottage- nothing museum quality about it) house when we might be gardening out front- it's nice to chat with 'em about it. We've actually discovered three paintings of our house in local galleries lol, so there's definitely something about it that folks seem to like. Our neighborhood has an "Old House Fair" in June where local vendors specializing in classic old houses set up a temporary booth in the main street, there is also music and food and there are tours of the neighborhood and of 5 or 6 old houses- (we've had ours on a couple of times and looks like it might be on again this year- I do design work in Historic houses so it's an opportunity for me to shamelessly promote my business otherwise I might not do this so often haha) the neighborhood is just buzzing with activity that day it's really fun.

http://theoldhousefair.weebly.com/

There is just something about "Old House" people and it's rarely a bad thing.

Last edited by T. Damon; 02-03-2012 at 12:26 PM..
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
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Althgouh we are not on a main drag, people pull into our driveway to look at our house with some frequency. Our house is not unusuallu beautiful, just an neat old farmhouse, but it was on TV when we moved it, so people still come to see it form time to time. SOme get out and say hi if we are out. Some sit i the drive and if we walk toawds them they back out and drive away. It is neat, but when they just drive away the kids find it "creepy"
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:44 PM
 
Location: U.S.
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Well, we have 2 small kids, so I guess that sticks in our mind too. We are not overly private people, but with small kids we try to be cautious.

T. Damon - thanks for sharing the link - what a great idea for the house tours/party!
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:52 PM
 
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We used to live in a National Registrar Historic District and I grew up in a house that is on the National Registrar it's just something you get used to, just like train whistles, etc. We had a large front porch on both houses so that helped. Just shut your blinds at night and you won't notice it.
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Texas
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My youngest girl lives in old town Charleston, SC in a home built in 1835, New England Ship Captains architecture. It's an old 2 story that they have been rebuilding for a couple of years now. They have lots of foot traffic on the front sidewalk and folks are always taking pics of it. She says she doesn't notice it anymore. I guess it depends on the person looking to live in that environment. If you would like to live in Mardi Gras 24/7/365, it's probably a good thing. If you like peace and quiet- it's not for you.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,144 posts, read 21,962,919 times
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Our house gets lots of attention; it's on the National Historic Register, is a local landmark and has been on historic home tours. I have a previous owner who lived here in the 90's that still randomly shows up at my door every so often and several descendants of the original owners have been by too. Whenever we catch someone out front taking pictures we go talk to them; we've managed to get a lot of information that way and even copies of old photos by making friends with people who have ties to the place.

Anyway, it's just the nature of the beast... when you have a historic home you really are more of a caretaker than a homeowner in the typical sense. Your old house is meaningful to many other people besides yourself and even the community at large...and unless you are a total selfish turd you have to take that into consideration when you make decisions about your house.

I guess what makes it worthwhile for my wife and I is the knowledge that we are keeping up the memory of the people who used to live there, something we didn't get for ourselves. Neither of our parents lived too long in any single house so there really isn't a childhood "home" for us cling to. We have fond memories of our grandparents and great-grandparents as kids, but now they and their homes are all gone. My Great-grandmother's 30's era Tudor house is now a church parking lot, my grandparent's 40's era home and awesome yard full of huge trees in Arcadia, CA was torn out and replaced by an acupuncture office and my wife's grandparents (and great Grandparent's) home site is now a collection of 4-plexes.
It means something to me to keep someone Else's grandparent's home looking like they remember it, even though nobody did it for me.

Last edited by Chango; 02-03-2012 at 06:22 PM..
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Old 02-04-2012, 02:47 PM
 
Location: U.S.
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THanks everyone for the insight, I guess we'll have to think hard about it. I know I won't buy one that is "right on the street". One of the areas we are interested in the houses are about 3 feet from the sidewalk and thats just too close for me. You can literally just walk by and peer right into someones living room. Other areas there is a bit more space so you would have a little more lawn seperating the house from passers-by. If we decide to do this it would be in that type of neighborhood. Thanks again.
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:00 AM
 
Location: Southern California
3,114 posts, read 8,132,211 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
when you have a historic home you really are more of a caretaker than a homeowner in the typical sense. Your old house is meaningful to many other people besides yourself and even the community at large...and unless you are a total selfish turd you have to take that into consideration when you make decisions about your house.
So very very true!
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Old 02-05-2012, 07:49 AM
 
43,011 posts, read 104,558,638 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uconn97 View Post
Well, we have 2 small kids, so I guess that sticks in our mind too. We are not overly private people, but with small kids we try to be cautious.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uconn97 View Post
THanks everyone for the insight, I guess we'll have to think hard about it. I know I won't buy one that is "right on the street". One of the areas we are interested in the houses are about 3 feet from the sidewalk and thats just too close for me. You can literally just walk by and peer right into someones living room. Other areas there is a bit more space so you would have a little more lawn seperating the house from passers-by. If we decide to do this it would be in that type of neighborhood. Thanks again.
It really doesn't matter where a house is located, if it's super unique and attractive, people will stop to look at it. That's the way it is here. People still stop to look at houses aren't right near the street or located on side streets with huge yards. You can't escape it unless you buy a house in the center of wooded acres and have a long driveway. Even then, people will drive up the driveway to see what's back there. IMO, that's more dangerous than having people look at your house from a busy street. Even with small children, I think you're leaning on the paranoid side. Wanting privacy is one thing, but fearing your children will be in danger from people merely admiring your house is another thing.
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