Driving past a few homes today caused me to smile inside in seeing real and likely lasting improvements being made. There actually are some owners living in older homes here in Mason City that make the appropriate improvements. Every time I see someone making window openings smaller than the original cause me to think they’re just trying to save a buck or two on window replacements. Homes were built in a particular style and whenever one is making upgrades with siding and windows, really must step back a few more steps and think about what the finished product is going to look like. Making inappropriate improvements that affect design is like trying to fit a 90+ year old woman into a mini skirt. Whether pretty or not, most would consider it in bad taste. I really like the new composite siding on the market that replicates siding used around the turn of the century. I enjoy seeing nearly any period or design of home upgraded to look as though it was just built yesterday. Even the fish scaling and other dormer designs available on the market today are inspiring. Staying true to design keeps the appeal intact. Flimsy vinyl siding along with low-end replacement windows causes some homes to look a bit like mobile homes.
A good example of making upgrades yet keeping with style was the home I recently sold located at 218 – 4th St. NE here in Mason City. The previous owner spent thousands of dollars replacing windows that matched the pre-existing. The shingles were carefully chosen as well as the other exterior and interior improvements to where one really wouldn’t know if the home was built as such back in 1872, or if there had been design changes. The complete re-design and upgrade of their kitchen created a masterpiece that likely couldn’t be replicated elsewhere. I wish I could have cloned them before they moved out of the area. I shall miss the both of them because of their upbeat attitudes as well as their exceptional insight and over-flowing kindness towards others. The Mrs. told me in confidence that it was the only house she’d ever lived in that felt like home to her.
There have to be more like them in Mason City who are itching to upgrade in the right fashion, but I think their fear factors are likely holding them back. Many Realtors out there would rather sell them a new home than see them make a few changes that would keep them in their existing home that they’ve grown to love. The National statistics are showing that people are staying put in their homes longer than in prior years. All I can say to the general public is, “If you don’t like your house because you never really cozied up to it, or you don’t like its location, then by all means move.” A real home for nearly everyone, is where to go for soft landings and regeneration.
I was troubled early this morning in doing some research on a particular property that recently sold. Since I remember more past sales than I care to admit, I started digging back into the very many years of sales records we’ve maintained. That home has transferred title more times since it was built than I dare to tell. I’ve been in it and that’s all I believe dis-tasteful, is its plain design. What could there be so absolutely wrong with it to be sold so many times? I’ve internally pondered these troubling transfers over the years and still can’t come up with a definitive answer. I’m sure there is an answer.