Getting Better With Age: Buying Older Homes

Buying Older Homes

When in the midst of the home-buying process, some shoppers avoid older homes for fear of the maintenance and updates that could be required. While that concern is certainly valid, older homes, especially ones built between the 18th century and the early 20th century, possess a certain charm and unique character that make them attractive to certain buyers. If you need a little more convincing with regards to buying homes that predate the invention of the television, consider this:

1. Older homes have history. Whether Thomas Jefferson dined in the home or art collector Albert Barnes rested his head there—see here and below—older homes very often have a colorful history to tell about their past.


2. Older Homes have exquisite millwork. One of the immediate attractions to a home is the intricate window casings, baseboards, mantels and crown modeling found throughout homes made a century or two ago, like this Rittenhouse Square home.

Rittenhouse Square millwork

3. Older homes often have hand-crafted doors. Similar to the millwork, homes from generations passed tend to have imposing, dramatic and/or ornate doors like this Wayne house.


4. Older homes have cool ceilings. When you enter a home of a certain age, look up, you’ll often find interesting features such as exposed beams or coffered ceilings or unique designs like this:

5. Older homes have ornate fireplaces. In the days before central heating, fireplaces were vital in keeping homes warm throughout the winter, meaning you’ll frequently find multiple fireplaces in homes built before the 20th century—many of which are dramatically designed like this Rittenhouse Square townhouse.