High End vs Vintage Homes

vintage

noun  vin·tage  \ ˈvin-tij \

1a (1) a season’s yield of grapes or wine from a vineyard

(2) wine; especially: a usually superior wine all or most of which comes from a single year

a collection of contemporaneous and similar persons or things: crop

2the act or time of harvesting grapes or making wine

3a a period of origin or manufacture such as a piano of 1845 vintage

length of existence: age

In this case, we are talking about Vintage Homes.  Why use the word Vintage?  Because old sounds old and tired as if the home is in need of work when that’s not always the case. Many of these old homes have been lovingly restored with modern features yet retain an amount of charm and character that new homes often lack. A home absorbs the feel of the families who occupied it and the older the home, the more life it has experienced. They are full of love and sadness, joy and sorrow. They have a character that you feel as well as see. It’s no secret that I LOVE Vintage homes and it is for this very reason.

Recently I had the opportunity to view a stately mansion, circa 1916. I called my friend and fellow Realtor, Lydia to join me on this expedition. Lydia is a Buyers Agent for high-end clients but rarely sets foot in a Vintage home. I have listed a few high-end homes but my passion is Vintage. It was fun to tour this home together as our perspectives where far from overlapping.

The first thing she noticed was a slope in the kitchen floor. I bounced on it a few times, looked at the joists from below and declared there were no worries, it’s typical settling for this age. She was stunned. What do you mean this is FINE?  Agreed, in a new home it is most certainly not fine but in a 120 year old home, it’s normal and expected. I was excited that the home had air-conditioning. Lydia gave me a blank stare. Why wouldn’t it have air? Because it’s an upgrade! Even in this high end price range, not all homes have updated heating, cooling and electrical. This one has all three! The kitchen in this home is spacious which excited me. In many Vintage homes, the kitchen was an afterthought.  Lydia was concerned that her high-end buyers would bemoan the lack of granite tops and stainless steel. OK, she has a point on that one. I was unhappy that the master bath was not done in period tile. She was overjoyed that the travertine tile, rain forest shower head and large, claw foot tub for soaking gave the owners a spa-like feel. Everything else is period, can’t we give them one getaway to relax and rejuvenate? OK, I’ll give her that one too. She knows what her buyers need and if her buyers are not into the quirks and peccadilloes of Vintage, a home like this would be a poor choice. However, even if Vintage is their thing, they may still want a touch of modern.

It’s always important to work with a buyers agent who understands what you want and need in a home. By the same token, if you are selling a Vintage home it would behoove you to pick an agent that shares your passion. As we have just discussed, not all high-end real estate agents have the same perspective. Choose someone who understands you and understands your home and it will be a successful partnership every time!

Sunnyside,_173_Macon_Ave.,_Asheville,_N._C._(5756038688)

Functional Obsolescence – what is it?

Google defines functional obsolescence as something that pertains to the property itself or within the boundaries of the property. We typically divide obsolescence into two different categories one being a deficiency (defective item) and the other being a superadequacy (too good of an item).

A couple of months ago I found myself explaining this term over and over again. Clients of mine had a wonderful vintage home under contract. It was right out of a 50’s Southern Living Magazine. In fact, the woman who staged the home for sale found a photograph of a similar kitchen in a home magazine from that era. The kitchen had metal cabinets, laminate counter tops with metal trim edging, one bathroom was all in pink with pink wall tile, a pink bathtub, a pink wall sink and a pink toilet. The second bathroom was similar but it was lime green. This home was in excellent condition. The counter tops looked brand new. None of the tiles were cracked. There were not any rub marks showing excessive use on any fixture in this home. This was a well cared for home and Mr & Mrs Buyer were excited to have the opportunity to own it.

So why did the term functional obsolescence come up? The appraiser used this term in his report. His opinion was that the home had two issues. One was that it was horribly out of date and needed a thorough remodeling. He obviously had no appreciation for a vintage home. This home also boasted three bathrooms, each in a bedroom. This home was actually ahead of it’s time in design as each bedroom was ensuite. The appraiser ruled that since the home had no guest bath, making a guest have to walk through a bedroom to get to a bathroom, that the house had functional obsolescence. The appraiser placed a very low and very unrealistic value on this home because he perceived it to be functionally obsolete.

I argued with the lender that functional obsolescence is in the eye of the beholder. The appraiser had no appreciation for the qualities this home offered where as Mr & Mrs Buyer felt right at home with this decor. Having three ensuite bedrooms worked perfectly for their extended family and really, how often do we have guests to our home? Once every couple of weeks? Why are we more concerned with how a guest will get to a bathroom than we are with the home owners day to day living? Thankfully the lender overturned the appraisal and Mr & Mrs Buyer soon closed on their new home. After two months they are still moving in. I can’t wait to see their finishing touches!

7b478e3a2f67d7deb88383ab679e3dfc