Today I showed a very old house in East Millstone, a tiny part of Franklin right on the Delaware and Raritan Canal opposite Hillsborough. Thought to be one of the oldest houses in the township, it dates from the early 1800s and is listed by my office.
The couple I showed it to are ONLY interested in historic homes, so I didn’t have to sell them on that idea. Still, they had to do some thinking to figure out how the house might work for them. It needs all new windows and its beautiful hardwood floors need refinishing. The kitchen and the two baths need major renovations. The interior needs paint.
But there are pluses. The house has clapboard siding, not vinyl. It’s been converted to gas heat, no more oil. Central air could be installed for about $14,000. You hear absolutely no street noise through the thick plaster walls.The backyard is private and charming. There’s a detached three-car garage in good shape that my artist client could use as a studio. The village itself is cute and walkable and the folks who live there love it.
These are difficult houses to sell. Most buyers are afraid of historic houses. True, they can be money pits. But if you can get one for the right price, and do some of the work yourself, you can get a bargain and live in a unique home. And these older homes were built to last, unlike some of today’s construction. How many modern houses will still be standing in 200 years?