On the other hand, the old house spoke to me. A modified Queen Anne in the Uptown neighborhood of Kingston, NY, a small city I've grown to like after my year in New Paltz, getting the lay of the land. My daughter liked the house, although she looked askance at my recurring tendency to kick over the traces and buy houses that would challenge, conflict, and possibly confound me as I slide not all that gracefully into old age.
The inspector looked it over. He's also a pushover for old homes, but his report contained warnings and a little verbal finger-wagging about the things that could be lurking in the walls and corners he wasn't allowed to uncover. His prose got to me: "There is no such thing as a perfect home or an inspector who discovers every defect during a one-time visit to a property. Nonetheless this historic home is considered a masterpiece of architecture and construction that should serve you well. With some work this home could be brought back to its original glory."
Can any amongst you resist that siren call? I have bought and sold many houses, and have an affinity to older ones that embrace and beg for attention. Working on them adds a dimension to life, and my life is sadly void of dimensions these days. I'm thinking about appropriate colors, arrangement of my furniture in the rooms--and the long-term challenge of bringing the kitchen and bathroom up to date while maintaining the character of the house.
I'll start as slowly as I can, repairing the porch as the inspector suggested, and engaging a contractor to advise and price out the various repairs that are needed and the outset of the journey. I can keep the exterior colors while I decide over time if I want to change them. I never cared for the "Painted Lady" style, but I know it's appropriate to the period of this house (built 1890) and it's crazy popular in this area. Where I grew up such houses were solid white and that always feels more comfortable for me. But there are some things I'll have to concede to the house from the start.
|The dining room|