Thread Number: 42885  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Would you buy and live in an original and maybe even period-furnished 1968 home?
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Post# 449162   1/10/2022 at 14:24 (866 days old) by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

A home that has been well maintained and frozen in time from the years 1968-1975?
(Pretend you are looking for a house to buy...)

If no, please do not reply. I know this is not for everyone (or most)...

If yes, please read on! (This is NOT a 'for sale' post.)

The reason for this big question is I am trying to figure out HOW to sell my mom's 1500 square foot city home that she had built in '68.
It is in clean, immaculate condition, in an average neighborhood, walking distance to an elementary school, everything works as it should, and very little has changed over the decades.
I feel like it should be preserved as it is since it is only original once. Very few homes ever stay in their original conditions.
BUT - HOW MANY might be interested in this? I know most buyers are only interested in the current fads and styles...

The house would be sold as-is. However, I want to try a realtor first. If they laugh, I will get another one. If that all fails, we can sell to a flipper at last resorts. I am absolutely not changing anything that does not need it - no time or desire.
We are also debating if we should start selling off the furniture and decor now. Most decor and furnishings are still in their original places from the start. I feel most should be easy sales, but hate to do this if someone might want it furnished...
Furniture is quality wood stuff - big name brands, contemporary style.
The '73 Zenith TV might stay also.
Only larger decor items remain. Most of the little stuff has been gotten rid of.

The only big things that have changed are the kitchen faucet, dining room light, dishwasher, cooktop, patio light, carpet in halls and master BR, garage door (also added an opener), AC system, water heater, and roof.

For a few smaller items that were replaced, we have the old units still available, like the cooktop, which were still fully functional.

A few tasteful additions were made, like storm windows (we still have the original screens) and sprinkler system. House never needed major repairs due to good maintenance and common sense usage. Yards are nice, too.

No repairs would be needed - just move in and enjoy. Everything works as they should.
Should a real buyer (not a flipper) want it, we would get an inspector to come and look for any safety issues and we will fix those. A flipper would get it as-is.

A few unique examples of its originality:
Pink tile in bathroom showers. Dark walnut wallpaper on a couple walls. Popcorn ceilings with sparkles. Same composite tile floors in all rooms, some with 'wood' appearance. All original bath fixtures with original (and maintained) faucets. Same towel/TP racks even! Most light fixtures are original. Original working and clean double oven. Original working fridge can stay!

Lets see how many might be 'interested'. If many, I might give more details to see how many back out.
Again, I am NOT trying to sell the house on this forum. Just getting ideas of HOW to sell it and if there is a market for such a historical preservation.

Hate to even think of doing this, but my mom is getting up in age now and wants so to get out soon. Very stressful for me to see 50+ years of memories go away, too.

And NO, I will not rent it out for the destruction by inconsiderate tenants.

PS - the only vacuum used in this house is a Kirby D50, which has lived in the den closet since it was bought new. It is still there, still on duty.

Post# 449164 , Reply# 1   1/10/2022 at 14:52 (866 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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I'm going to jump in with my opinion, since you took the time to post a very complete post. Having been born of the 50s it's something that would interest me as is! I love mid-century but the 60s and starting 70s are still of interest to me also, if a buyer is interested in an original house like that they would possibly be interested in all over the fixtures and such too and it would appeal to that person buying it more with everything in place when they looked. Just my opinion of you know one of those crazy California guys but my brother flips property occasionally and he is often looking for something that's more original in good condition and those he usually leaves it.

Post# 449165 , Reply# 2   1/10/2022 at 14:53 (866 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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Oops! I forgot to mention, best of luck!

Post# 449172 , Reply# 3   1/10/2022 at 20:25 (866 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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My house was built in 1970 and was in a similar condition as you describe, except for the furnishings. There were none, which is okay. Some of the major appliances had been updated, as had some of the flooring. I've gradually replaced all of the appliances except for the washing machine, an early 2000s Whirlpool, which was the newest of the lot. The living room and master bedroom had new carpeting (cheapo realtor beige) and the dining room and hallways had new engineered wood flooring. That in the hallways was damaged by a condensation return line leak on the a/c system, which was original to the house until 2020. The vinyl flooring in the kitchen and bathrooms was worn completely out so I put down new vinyl in those areas. The two other bedrooms have their original oak parquet flooring. The faucets, some of which were original, were in rough shape so I replaced them all. I also capped the Formica countertops with engineered granite. Still remaining is some godawful wallpaper in the entry hall and kitchen that needs to be removed and/or painted over.

I respect that you want to preserve the historical integrity of this time capsule of a house but generally speaking, it will sell better empty. And bear in mind that most anyone who buys it, even if they like the mid-century charm, will want to change and update things to their taste and will most likely want to use their own furnishings. Better to let your mom choose the pieces she wants to keep and you take those that mean something to you (and maybe that D50 as well). You can't hold onto the past forever, nor can you realistically expect others to commit to keeping your vision of the past intact. For better or worse, change is inevitable.

Post# 449194 , Reply# 4   1/11/2022 at 20:35 (865 days old) by huskyvacs (Gnaw Bone, Indiana)        

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Yes. Midcentury homes - especially furnished are hot right now. Look up "time capsule house". That's how they are advertised to attract specific buyers.

Post# 449210 , Reply# 5   1/12/2022 at 13:48 (864 days old) by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

Thank you much for the great info you all have provided - very valuable indeed!

Yes, with all the Californians coming here, some should have some sort of interest in this style of house. Money seems like no object to them either.
Hopefully one of them will also want my 1996 time capsule house when I move in a few years... Actually one sold about 6 years ago very similar to mine - no problem!

True, the memories must go away eventually - it is inevitable.
Unfortunately neither my sister or I have room or need for all the furniture.
My mom might take her bed if she goes to an apartment or assisted living place. It is the only bedroom piece not original, anyway.
I will take the laundry pair (early 2000s Whirlpool LE), a small metal bookcase, a swivel table with brass lamps in it, the D50 set, some pictures, an old stereo, and maybe the Zenith. I already took some of the nice small trinkets and some books.

At this point we may try to list the house as it is with everything in it and see what the outcome is. If it will not sell, or the buyer wants certain stuff gone, then estate sale time. Given the like-new condition, and high quality of the stuff inside, it should all sell quickly. Then we can list again.

I had never heard of a 'time capsule home' - thank you for bringing that into my vocabulary!
And that link - those pictures - I was BLINDED by color!! Wow...
Now I DIG that groovy bathroom with black fixtures and groovy wall design!!
I now see why Kirbys came in red and blue and green...
Just to think, cars and car interiors could be just as wild!
I love color, but that might be a wee too much for me to live with.

While my mom's house is period correct, she never went in the colorful route in the common areas. Everything is a bit more monochromatic, with the most color being medium to dark brown. Furniture is mostly dark brown, couch is white with black accents. Seems similar to today's 'lack-of-color' schemes I suppose... The entry has reddish brick-looking tile, but that is about all the color it came with aside from pink tile and counters in the bathrooms.
Composite floor tile is medium brown textured simulated 'wood' except regular white in kitchen and baths.
Dark wood-look wallpaper on one or two walls, eggshell paint on the others.
The kitchen walls are yellow with blue accents, but that was done within the past 20 years. It was eggshell in the beginning.
Still all original cabinets and laminate counters remain, all in great shape.

Some more searches brought more sites of pictures, particularly from Bob Villa.
I really like that era in styling and construction. I now want a sunken living room in my next home, with in-wall stereo & phonograph!

Thanks again, and if anyone else wants to add their thoughts, feel free. This was a very good exercise.

Post# 450264 , Reply# 6   2/21/2022 at 20:41 (824 days old) by Jo (Dallas,TX)        
Would like to help!

Ok so I am in Dallas…my partner is a very successful real estate broker/agent in the metroplex..he actually helped an original owner of a Fox and Jacobs original condition immaculate home sell their home about 10 years ago. His clients were very happy with how he represented this unique home which is indeed what you have.

Send me an email and we can talk more if you haven’t found a decent realtor to list this house. I have no doubt my partner will give your Mom’s home the representation it needs.

Reality is yes, it may sell to a flipper or so,e one who wants to undo the period style…no one can ultimately control that…but I can tell you that there are people out there who do appreciate what could now be called “retro” styling.

It happened to my friends house. I met her in 1980. She bought it new in 1956 and raised her family there, went through a horrible divorce and came out with the house in the end of that and lived there until the end of her life at 94 in 2016. I am friends with all of her children and we chatted about the sale of the home and much of the house was in its original styling with just a few things changed…the kitchen had been expanded and added onto and remodeled and some light fixtures had been changed by myself in the late 80s for a nicer look but other than that the bathrooms were all original as well as most of everything else. The couple who bought the house loved it’s original styling and has contemporary mid century modern taste and it all just fits perfectly in the house which was styled with mid century modern accents at the time. I do wish I hadn’t thrown away the mid century modern light fixtures I changed in the 80s and 90s…but some of them were looking really dated then and she really wanted them gone as she had inherited her mother’s more traditional furnishings and deleted some of the now aged mid century items so it was decided to get some less modern fixtures to avoid the styling clash.

Anyway…send me an email…

Post# 450275 , Reply# 7   2/22/2022 at 08:53 (824 days old) by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

Hey Jo, thanks for the info - it is greatly appreciated.
Great to hear you know a good realtor who understands the value of time capsule homes. This is certainly how we want to sell. A flipper will only give cheap offers anyway, and really there are no big problems to fix to warrant a cheap bid. Therefore a realtor is how we would go.

Right now the house is not currently for sale. My mom wants to stay there until she never wakes up or MUST go to an assisted living place. Should either of these happen, and only the One above knows when, then the whole estate goes up for sale as soon as possible. Could be now or 15 years from now.
This is why I am doing this exercise now, so I can prepare for the whirlwind of activities that would entail.
Best to be prepared in advance then get scammed by a low-baller. Of course around here right now, there are bidding wars on homes, especially ones that need no repairs. Her area is in a high-value neighborhood since it is walking distance to an Elementary school (the one my sis and I went to).

I just had my mom's old 8mm film reels converted to digital, and was greatly surprised to see that the last reel was dedicated to our family, from 1967 to 1974.
It was an emotional experience to see that house and neighborhood when it was brand new. I was teary-eyed to see both my parents when they were in their 20's-30's, and later my sister and I when we were just a few years old. Also there were pictures of my parent's first employers in that area - they were very proud to live and work in that community.

I will send you a personal email shortly - thanks for the offer!

Post# 450286 , Reply# 8   2/22/2022 at 13:27 (823 days old) by Jo (Dallas,TX)        

Things are going for amazing pricing here, no doubt.

I am in same boat with you. Just lost my Dad last year two weeks before his 85th. Mom remains in the house the bought brand new in 1966. They did redecorate though…my Mom likes to change things periodically. Usually every 5 to 10 years years or a room or two ends up getting redone…usually the oldest one. She actually wants me to change the upstairs hall bathroom vanity and sink. That bathroom is the only original room in the house anymore with the wallpaper having been changed three times. The Kohler toilet and tub and sink are blue but the rest of the bathroom is white it the vanity is a basic stained Cabinet that she refinished once. Changing the vanity and countertop sink will give the room a fresh look and while perhaps changing the toilet too to white may be a good idea…I’m not sure that will be smart with the blue tub which is too much to replace…might be better to keep the toilet and tub matching each other. Tub tile is white…floor is white with blue one inch mosaic peppered in. Without a major rip out…replacement of the floor and tub just isn’t of interest. But I can easily do the vanity and with the current wallpaper she likes and is in good condition it ties in the blue just fine. I think we may see the blue make a comeback. It’s not horrible like pink or harvest gold or avocado and the blue are just accent pieces at this point and not overwhelming.

We have a lot of slides and moved the 8mm home movies to vhs some years ago but now that is outdated. We just bought a slide converter that saves them as video picture files we can all share. The movies will need to be put on something digital. I anticipate Mom staying in the house as long as she can as well…she has no interest in leaving the house anytime soon. I took her up to the second home in Massachusetts this summer and she was there for 7 weeks and when we got back to NJ and as soon as she set foot in the door there she said ahhh…it’s good to be home, this is MY house”. At that point I knew that yeah, she’s not going to be interested in leaving the house. My Brother wants her to move to something smaller but I’m not approaching that subject with her…she can stay there as long as possible in my opinion as it gives her comfort. Even if we eventually have to bring in various types of help…that’s ok as long as she is happy. This past year we deleted my Dad’s things and that enabled us to move things off high and difficult to reach places for her as actually was her suggestion. She doesn’t like using a stepladder if at all possible so I was very willing to do all the rearranging she requested the way she wanted so everything is easily accessible for her. She had my Dad do the step ladder stuff but with him gone now she really doesn’t like suddenly having to do it and she isn’t super stable on her feet due to arthritis in her feet which she openly says she finds irritating and annoying that she can’t move the same way on her feet she always did previously.

Post# 451418 , Reply# 9   4/9/2022 at 13:25 (777 days old) by JustJunque (Western MA)        

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I realize this thread is a couple/few months old. But, health and other issues have kept me away from the site for quite some time.
In response to the original post; that might be my idea of a dream home!

We've only purchased one house so far. It was built in 1965, but the one previous family who owned it had remodeled most of it over the years. Now, I'd say the overall look is late '80s/early '90s.
Having been born in the late '60s, and most of my childhood memories being circa 1970s, I bet your mother's house would be right up my alley!
I feel a little sick to my stomach whenever I see a house from the 1970s or earlier go up for sale.
It pretty much always means that the entire thing has just been gutted and remodeled.
I've heard so many realtors advise people before putting a house on the market; "Of course, you'll have to update the kitchen and bath/baths before it will sell."
I wish more people would offer "time capsule" houses for sale. Like someone stated, they're only original once.
Eleven or twelve years ago, when we were house hunting, we looked at one mid to late 1950s cape style house that was pretty much a time capsule.
I think I may have audibly gasped when I walked into the big bathroom that was entirely original pink tile everywhere. Original fixtures, which may have been pink as well, and all the original chrome. Sink legs, medicine cabinet, etc. Small tile floor.
Unfortunately, that house was too far out of our price range.
I've been tempted to approach the current owners and ask if that magnificent bathroom is still the same.
But, part of me doesn't want to know if they ripped it out.

Sorry to go on for so long.
I just wanted to chime in as one more who would very much appreciate finding a time capsule house from that era!
I hope your mom gets to enjoy her home for many more years! My mom is almost 91, so I kind of get it.
I hate the thought of the place where I spent my entire childhood going away too. But, for way too many reasons, there's absolutely nothing I can do about it.

Take care, and God bless,

Post# 451488 , Reply# 10   4/11/2022 at 22:50 (775 days old) by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

Hey Barry,
No problem! I welcome wholesome comments to my threads regardless of age.
Hope your health issues have improved and hope they keep doing so. I had been through a lot myself over the last 2 years...

I feel the same as you do about houses. Very seldom do I see nice originals. I have friends that had a nice 80's home and they recently painted all the varnished wood paneling and trim with white. It was gross. They did the same with the cabinets, too - yells CHEAP quite loudly..
My ex-GF had another nice original home in Plano - beautiful wood paneling and trim. Wet bar, custom skylights, and sunken master tub (that filled with water when it rained...) Mostly original reddish appliances and original HVAC units even. It had lots of rich charm. She was too cheap to change it and I was glad. I liked that house.

My mom's house is a more entry level home but it still looks nice for what it is. I personally think all the white and stainless crap makes it all look so cheap and lifeless.
I hope to find a buyer like you when the time comes. Like with classic cars, they are only original once, and more time goes by, the chances of them being lest alone diminish.

Ironically, just yesterday she started discussing selling the house and furnishings. I then reminded her again to what an apartment is like. 2k+ a month and noise and disturbances 24/7. She remembered and dropped the subject. As long as she still get around, and she does. She is very active and never gets lazy or put off. Tough ol' bird indeed...

I recently got her old 8mm film reels transferred to digital and we have really enjoyed seeing her house and neighborhood when it was brand new in 66. No trees, only small bushes, and unique house colors and styles. Was cool to see their 63 Meteor in the garage and seeing what has not changed and what had. VERY unique experience... The to see us little kids running around - well that was one of a kind as well.

Thanks again for your input!

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