If you know me, you’ll know I have a few passions, two of them being the Niagara Region and digging into the past to learn about the history of its people and places. So, it should come as no surprise to you, that when it comes to the homes of the Niagara Region, the older properties, like those in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Thorold, downtown St. Catharines and Old Glenridge are some of my favourites.
Why opt for an older home?
With the number of new developments popping up across Niagara, it can be pretty easy to assume that Niagara residents have a “new is always better” mentality. Let me tell you, that is just not true — and you can see for yourself by strolling through some of our older neighbourhoods and seeing the love and care that has gone into revitalizing and maintaining homes that are 75 to 100 years old (and sometimes older).
Older homes are mainstays of the local inventory — new homes are limited by land availability and there is only so much land in Niagara to build new homes on. And while I know it isn’t uncommon to see an older home, unfortunately, get scooped up only to be torn down for a new build, it doesn’t have to be the way.
Rehabbing an older home
Many people overestimate the costs associated with an older home, assuming it is just going to be a “money pit.” but that’s not always true. It all comes down to how well the home has been maintained by previous owners. In fact, newer homes have costs associated with them — and they’re often underestimated! Older homes likely required care and maintenance over the years and received attention immediately, while newer homes may not have had any real maintenance performed for 10 to 15 years — you may be in for a surprise when or if everything goes at once!
You can’t reproduce old charm
Charm comes standard with an older home in Niagara. You can try to reproduce it in a new build, but everyone will know it’s new. Old charm means stories and memories. Just think of the old hardwood floors, stained glass and thick baseboards that you find original in older homes in Niagara-on-the-Lake for example. You can’t get character like that in a new home. You can try, but it’s going to cost you.
Interested in the charming homes in Niagara? Stay tuned for my Architecture Guide coming soon!