"Old Florida Charm"- Homes with lots of History in Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte County
“Experience is what you got when you didn't get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer.” Randy Pausch
Step back in Time! Historic in age and timeless in architectural inspiration – the Sarasota, Venice, and Punta Gorda area is home to a variety of beautifully restored historic homes. Some “Old Florida Style” homes are from late 1800; most are from early to mid 1900. If you would love to own a historic home, don’t miss out on all the opportunities available in this beautiful area on the West Coast of Florida.
However, the last owners upgraded most homes completely to make them salable; that means that the homes are not only improved from an electrical and plumbing standpoint. New electrical panels and wiring or plumbing is a "must," otherwise they would not pass the inspection. So, when they are selling this as an improvement - it is not. It is not an improvement nor an upgrade - it is a mandatory job to bring the home up to code.
There are historic homes to buy in the Sarasota, Charlotte, and Manatee County area, which are in many different stages of upgrading/remodeling. From almost original to completely remodeled and modernized – everything is possible. Unfortunately, there are homes which are remodeled by a "not so gifted" handyman. They need to be re-remodeled by someone who knows what he is doing.
Don't be overwhelmed
Some homes have only the "historic Shell" left, and everything else is modern. Others are through and through "historic" and need (a lot of) attention. It all depends on what you have in mind. Unless you buy the remodeled one, roll up "them" sleeves and get to work.
But don't expect it to be an easy job. If you are an "inexperienced handyman" or a square peg in a round hole, you better look for an easier project. Remodeling a historic building requires a lot of knowledge and "fingerspitzengefuhl." It can become nerve wrecking when you are running into problem after problem.
Stay on your budget. That's easier said than done.
Staying on a budget is a tough business when remodeling an old home. You never know what you will find out when you remove the ceiling or a wall. When your intention is to remodel an older home, you will almost certainly open a can of worms.
Are you happy about the new bathroom vanity you got for a good price? Excellent, enjoy the day. But that does not necessarily mean that this is the end of the story. Maybe you have to replace the plumbing in the wall, too; maybe you have to destroy the drywall to get there. It can go on and on. Buying that vanity was probably the easy part.
We know what we are talking about
Been there - done that. We remodeled an older home which we had inherited. That was still while we lived in Germany. We estimated a 12-month timeline. Because we still had our regular jobs which were already time consuming. Therefore, we could only do the work in our spare time or at night. It took us almost two long and exhausting years to get it done. Budget-wise we exceeded our set target by more than 20%; there were so many obstacles we could not even dream about. That was not even our first project, but you never know what to expect when you remodel an old house.
Remodeling - a rewarding "challenge"
Nevertheless, if you know what you are doing ( or have friends to help you out when you are stuck with a problem), and you like remodeling and the challenges that come with it, you will be rewarded with a lovely and extraordinary home in the end. You do not have to live in one of those boring "cookie cutter homes" offered in new communities.
But if you don't like surprises or "challenges" there is still another avenue you can take. Buy a historic home that somebody else remodeled or hire a contractor who can handle the job.