During this home remodel process, I’ve received a fair amount of questions regarding buying an older home and remodeling versus a new home. I thought I’d share my thoughts on how things have gone for us–but mainly our decision was based solely on location.
Before moving to Sacramento, I wasn’t very familiar with the surrounding areas / communities, so we started our house hunt exploring the various surrounding suburbs and towns. This quickly narrowed things down for me as, at this time in my life, I knew I still wanted as much of a city feel as possible which brought our search back to downtown Sacramento. Next, we narrowed in on the neighborhoods that would be the most convenient commute for my guy and this basically gave us just a couple of options.
I’ve always loved the charm of an older home but my guy was all for brand new everything so originally we hadn’t thought about buying an older home. It wasn’t until we narrowed in on specific neighborhoods that it became clear that an older home was basically our only option. Even so, I wasn’t thinking remodel when we were looking. It wasn’t until getting some advice from our close friend and interior designer, Deborah at Design Alchemy, that I realized how much potential these homes with great bones had.
Pros of older and remodeling: Great bones. Established neighborhood. I’ve had a lot of fun with the remodel process and adding my own touch, making the home feel very us.
Cons: The house has felt like a constant project. Especially this first year. It could be a stressful process–this hasn’t been the case for me, but it has been a bit more stressful for my guy (depends on your personality and how “go with the flow” you are because things never go as planned). Structural restraints–you may not be able to do everything you had originally wanted or envisioned.
Advice: Find a contractor / designer you really trust. We were lucky enough to make friends with Deborah at Design Alchemy long before our house hunt began. She’s saved us so many headaches and has really made the remodel process so painless for us. Just having her advice on what was possible (opening walls etc.) was not only huge in seeing the potential of the house but also super helpful in understanding costs. If possible, getting some of these rough estimates before you purchase the house would be beneficial as we underestimated how much everything would cost, and with these older homes you run into electrical and plumbing issues which are tons of fun (read: $$$).
If you have any additional questions leave them below, and I’ll try my best to answer!
Photography | Stephanie Rudy