It's a Different Life, Just Some Thoughts
Well, after 9 months of remodeling (full time, all day every day) our 1888 Queen Anne we finally moved in March 18. Life is different in a 120 year old house than it was in our 10 year old very modern lake front home.
First, it's drafty and cold in the cooler weather. That's something we can adjust to.
The summer has been tough. Yes, we have a.c. but this old baby isn't very tight. Obviously we need to do some major work there. Our last electric bill was insane - well over double what one would expect in an average home of the same size.
Privacy is something I hadn't anticipated being an issue. The master bedroom is at the end of the hall and even though there's a half bath separating it and the room next to it, you can hear everything. My temporary solution has been to turn a little portable radio on in the half bath and shut the door to create a noisy barrier between the two bedrooms. It's not really a good solution though as the teen in the next room surely knows "why" the radio is on.
Secondly, homeowners insurance has proved to be a big headache. Half the companies don't insure a house over 100 years old. Of those that do, some won't insure a house that's been foreclosed on or bought as a bank property of short sale (ours was bought from a bank). Of the few remaining places I've contacted, they all want a receipt from a licensed contractor showing when all of the wiring and plumbing was updated. I can't produce that as the previous homeowner did the wiring himself and we did the plumbing ourselves. So, we're rated with 120 year old wiring and plumbing (curious, I don't even think this town got electricity until about 110 years ago). I supposed I will need to start questioning the neighbors as to who they have their insurance with. The rate we're paying now is crazy but it's the cheapest I've found.
We still have tons of trim work and touch up painting to do. It feels like we'll never really be done.
Still, all in all, I wouldn't trade it. Sure, it's cold and drafty, hot and steamy, noisy and everything creaks and moans but oh, the look on our friends faces when they walk in and see the 120 year old walnut floors that I just refinished .... or the nicely redone 10.5 foot ceilings .... yeah, it's worth it.