1. Older homes don’t have all the amenities desired in a new home today.
FALSE! Hundreds of older homes in Boston have been updated to include modern kitchens, baths, family rooms, master bedroom suites, and more.
2. It’s cost prohibitive to update an older home. It’s much less expensive to build new.
FALSE! The cost of rehabilitating old structures generally runs 25-33% less than comparable new construction. With the technology that exists today, most restoration, rehabilitation, and remodeling projects including room additions, can be done for a fraction of the cost of building a new home. In addition, individual landmark homes or homes located in a historic district may qualify for a property tax freeze based on the percentage of dollars that the homeowner spends on their project.
3. You won’t be able to find anyone to remodel, rehabilitate, or restore your older home. FALSE!
There are many talented, reputable firms like A.D. Construction that can handle everything from the simplest remodeling jobs to the most sophisticated room additions.
4. New homes have much more to offer than older homes.
FALSE! Older homes offer classic detailing that either isn’t available in new homes, or if available, is often cost-prohibitive. These details include such things as plaster walls, cove moldings, built-in cupboards and buffets, pocket doors with matching period woodwork, fancy baseboards, solid wood doors, handsome wood burning fireplaces with attractive surrounding trim and moldings, built-in bookshelves, beautiful hardwood floors, large, usable front porches, and the irreplaceable warmth, charm, and character that can only be found in an older home.
5. New homes are a better investment.
FALSE! Property values of historic buildings significantly out perform the appreciation rates of non-historic properties. In cases where a historically or architecturally important home is listed as an individual landmark or is part of a local or national landmark historic district, values have increased way beyond average!
6. Riping down older homes and building new makes a positive contribution to the local economy.
FALSE! Restoration of an existing home is more labor intensive AND therefore creates two to five times as many jobs as new construction. New construction uses a much higher percentage of materials than labor so the income goes to the lumber companies, or the window manufacturers rather than to local laborers who in turn spend their wages on housing, groceries, etc. in the local economy. Furthermore, the actual cost of new construction in terms of the wear and tear of truck traffic on the existing infrastructure, construction debris hauled to ever diminishing landfill sites, the environmental impact, and energy cost is rarely taken into account when measuring the cost of new construction.
7. Original wood windows are too costly to repair and require extensive maintenance.
FALSE! What some people fail to realize is that original wood windows can last 75–100 years with proper maintenance and will last another 75–100 years if restored. Typically, replacement windows have a life expectancy of between 10–25 years.