I swear, I’m not a materialistic person. If it came down to saving a box filled with my most nostalgic items and heirlooms vs. saving a random stranger on the street, it would be the human being every time. Well, unless that human being was Hitler. In that case, I’d probably lunge from my grandmother’s wedding photos while giving ol’ Adolf the finger. But despite this, I still feel incredibly sad when I see a home that has been allowed to fall apart and become a ghost of itself, especially when you can plainly see the character that home once had. That’s why I think Save This Old House is just about the saddest thing on the Internet.
It’s been a feature in the back pages of This Old House Magazine for years, but Save This Old House only recently got my full attention when it listed a grand old Queen Anne Mississippi home online recently. Maybe it’s because I had recently been home shopping and saw a lot of charmless houses on the market for nearly a half million dollars – but this sweet old girl, listed for a pathetic $95k, just called to me like a runt in a dog pound.
Designed to look like a steamboat, this home in Greenwood, Mississippi was built in 1905, features solid-oak millwork and beveled-glass doors and is whopping 5200 square feet in size. Oh, the potential! As a Canadian who just put down a chunk of change on a new place, I’m in zero position to make a bid on this home, but perhaps a nice southerner (or wannabe southerner) who is willing to invest $100k – $200k in renovations (or more. I know, no small matter!) might be as charmed by this property as I am. Think of summers there! Of Christmases! Of reenacting scenes from Steel Magnolias or Fried Green Tomatoes!
But even if you can’t go and buy this old belle, let it at least inspire you to take better care of your own home. Your house has sheltered you and your family for years, maybe decades. It deserves better than to be allowed to slowly crumble. And like they say, a stitch in time saves nine, so:
- Keep your skills honed through free DIY classes like those offered at Home Depot
- Put a little bit of money away each month into your “home” fund should an issue arise
- Ensure your home insurance covers more than the basics and enough for you to rebuild your home should a disaster occur
- Stay on top of tool deals by subscribing to us and watching for our Tool News Nirvana features
- Get a home inspection and follow-up specialized inspections to detect (and fix) issues before they become obvious problems.
- Above all, don’t ignore your observations about your home. If you’re not sure about something you’ve spotted, ask a professional to provide an inspection and estimate. You can find reputable providers through a service like Angie’s List.. Quotes are usually free or available for a nominal price – and you get a professional’s opinion and observations with it.