Kim Cook | Billerica MA Real Estate, Chelmsford MA Real Estate, Burlington MA Real Estate


Living in an old home is like reading an old book. When you walk through an old home you can't help but notice that there is history right within the walls. Small differences, like low height of the doorknobs, take you back in time to when we were a different society with different needs and expectations. Just like old books, however, old homes sometimes require extra care to keep in good condition. Don't get me wrong--when people boast that their old home has "strong bones" they could certainly be right. But there are some things you might have to cope with living in an old home that aren't a huge concern in a new one. If you're thinking about purchasing an old home, read this list of things you should be aware of before you buy. It isn't meant to deter, just to inform so that you're ready for the challenges you'll face when that day comes. And, if you truly love the experience of living in an old house, the work will be well worth it.

Old doesn't mean decrepit

Let's go back to our book analogy from earlier. If you have a book from the late 1800s that has been stored in a dry place, hasn't been thrown around much, and always had conscientious owners who respected it enough to repair the binding when needed, your book will be in great shape. The same is true for old homes. Oftentimes, it only takes a quick glance around the home and a peek at the foundation to see if the home has been taken care of. Just because a house was built in the 1800s doesn't mean it hasn't been renovated periodically and maintained properly.

Warning signs

If you are thinking of buying an old home, here are some things you should look out for before you sign the dotted line. Don't forget to have the home inspected by a professional as well, since they will give you a much more detailed analysis of the problems a home might have.
  • Ancient HVAC. Aside from being prone to malfunctioning, old heating and ventilation systems could also prove to be dangerous and inefficient. Be sure to have a professional inspect the entire system.
  • Pests big and small. Over the years homes begin to develop vulnerabilities to ants, termites and other pests. Similarly, don't be surprised if you find mice, bats, or other furry creatures around if the home has been empty for a while.
  • Hazardous materials. The builders of yore were excellent craftsmen, but they were using (unbeknownst to them) dangerous materials like lead and asbestos. If you have small children, even more of a reason to make sure the home is free of hazardous materials. Part of this check should also be for mold growth.
  • Inefficiencies. Old windows and poor insulation walls also tend to be issues with some old homes. Find out what the monthly utility bills cost to see how much work you'll need to do to bring them up to date.
  • Foundation issues. Eventually, nature prevails. Foundation cracks and deterioration are common problems in old homes, especially in climates like the Northeast with freezing temperatures and lots of snow, rain, and wind.


9 Wyndbrook Lane, Tyngsborough, MA 01876

Condo

$559,900
Price

8
Rooms
2
Beds
2/1
Full/Half Baths
Exquisite is the word that best describes this corner lot unit at the popular 55+ Wyndbrook at Tyngsborough. Don't miss this rare opportunity to own this Augusta model offering many upgrades! This 1 owner home is immaculate & offers a wonderful open flr plan, soaring ceilings, & custom features thru-out. HW flooring, crown moulding, wainscotting, solid wood kitchen cabinets, granite, custom built-ins & window treatments & more! The decor is light & bright! The 1st flr offers a liv rm, din rm, kitchen, dining area, fam rm, 1/2 bath, laundry area, & the spacious Mstr BR w/ 2 closets 1 is a walk-in, full bath w/ deep soaking tub, separate shower, CT flr, & double vanity plus make-up area. The 2nd level offers a loft w/ built-ins, BR 2, the bonus rm w/ custom built-ins is a great guest or craft rm & a full bath. There is a full bsmnt, whole house generator, NEW tankless H2 h20 htr, 2 car gar. Just a few minutes to Rte 3 & tax free NH shopping. Short distance to the New Senior center
Open House
Sunday
November 19 at 12:30 PM to 3:00 PM
Cannot make the Open Houses?
Location: 9 Wyndbrook Lane, Tyngsborough, MA 01876    Get Directions





9 Wyndbrook Lane, Tyngsborough, MA 01876

Condo

$559,900
Price

8
Rooms
2
Beds
2/1
Full/Half Baths
Exquisite is the word that best describes this corner lot unit at the popular 55+ Wyndbrook at Tyngsborough. Don't miss this rare opportunity to own this Augusta model offering many upgrades! This 1 owner home is immaculate & offers a wonderful open flr plan, soaring ceilings, & custom features thru-out. HW flooring, crown moulding, wainscotting, solid wood kitchen cabinets, granite, custom built-ins & window treatments & more! The decor is light & bright! The 1st flr offers a liv rm, din rm, kitchen, dining area, fam rm, 1/2 bath, laundry area, & the spacious Mstr BR w/ 2 closets 1 is a walk-in, full bath w/ deep soaking tub, separate shower, CT flr, & double vanity plus make-up area. The 2nd level offers a loft w/ built-ins, BR 2, the bonus rm w/ custom built-ins is a great guest or craft rm & a full bath. There is a full bsmnt, whole house generator, NEW tankless H2 h20 htr, 2 car gar. Just a few minutes to Rte 3 & tax free NH shopping. Short distance to the New Senior center
Open House
No scheduled Open Houses




The bathroom is so frequently brushed aside when it comes to decorating a new home. So often left to become the most outdated room in the house, it becomes a frustration to modernize. However, the bathroom is often a room used for relaxation whether to relax in a hot tub or to gain a moment’s silence from the children. If you’re ready to ditch the shell shaped sink, infamous bathroom blue tub, and god help you, matching blue toilet here are some ways to create a clean modern room you’ll love.

If you’re willing to put in time and effort you can remove tub surround yourself by removing the hardware than scoring along where the surround meets the wall. You’ll then want to pull the surround from the wall very carefully as to not damage the wall behind it, cutting the adhesive away as you go. Once torn down you’ll want to prep the walls with plastic sheeting and HardieBacker for tiling. 

While a lot of work, this opens up more options for you to modernize your bathroom with elements like imitation marble or subway tiling and even install a sleek new tub. With so many options on the market now, you can have anything from a freestanding tub such as an acrylic clawfoot tub or drop in that leaves lots of deckspace for bath product and mood-setting candles.  

Tiling the wall behind or surrounding your tub is a great way to create a chic statement wall without breaking the bank imitating floor to ceiling tiling. Use the same tiling for both floors and wall or add some depth by matching smaller floor tiles with a matching larger size for the wall. Painting the remaining walls a light color brightens up the room while maintaining an overall clean feel.

A large mirror over the sink reflects light and makes the room feel more expansive. If your bathroom already has a builder grade mirror you can give it a quick upgrade by framing it with molding or even some simple boards for a sleek look. If you have a medicine cabinet you don’t want to replace a coat of fresh paint and chic knob pull like a T-bar will bring the piece a whole new feel.

Updating the sink with new hardware is always a surefire way to update a room though be sure to match the finish it to the existing hardware for a cohesive look. A pedestal sink adds more visual space to a small bathroom while replacing the cabinet brings an entirely new look to the room. Undermount sinks add a crisp modern look while maintaining the extra storage availability that comes with a vanity.

Don’t let an outdated bathroom continue to plague your otherwise well-designed home. The effort it takes to rip out old amenities is well worth the enjoyment you’ll get out of their modern replacements. Get the most out of your renovation efforts by opting for styles that are least likely to fall out of fashion and instead remain a classic staple.



3 Passaconaway Dr, Billerica, MA 01821

Single-Family

$524,400
Price

8
Rooms
4
Beds
2
Baths
This great home was off the market for a few days due to moving, staging, new photos. Take a look at the new pictures! Kennedy school district! East Billerica! Phenomenal lot! Wonderful for entertaining inside & out! The park like lot is beautiful, private & offers a fire pit, fruit & vegetable gardens, & blooming perennials from snow melt to snow fall. The large LR (used as a DR) offers HW flooring & a brick hearth w/ a Blue Soapstone wood stove. The dining rm has HW flooring, a ceiling fan & a slider to a private deck. The CT kitchen offers plenty of cabinet space. There are 4 bdrms, 1 located on the 1st flr that would also make a great home ofc. The master has a wall of closets. The stairs, 2 bdrms, & hall have brand new carpeting. The sun filled family rm offers CT flooring, a partially vaulted ceiling, & 2 sliders to the 24X22 Deck! Gas utilities. Town water & sewer. Plenty of parking in the spacious driveway. 2 car gar under. Commuter OH 11/2 4:30-6:30 + Sun 10:30-1.
Open House
Sunday
November 12 at 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Cannot make the Open Houses?
Location: 3 Passaconaway Dr, Billerica, MA 01821    Get Directions

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