Old Homes New Purposes

Many old homes are ignored or reluctantly left alone to rot. Why? Quite often people see the renovation and maintenance costs and can’t see how they could afford such a project. This is very understandable but sad for the beauty and life in old homes.  Such homes, especially large ones, have potential waiting to be released.

Such possibilities can be both internal and external uses depending on the condition of the home and grounds as well as the comfort of the owner. These internal uses for bedrooms as an example can include collaboration spaces for local consultants and artists. Depending on the size, these bedrooms could include a table for discussion and access to internet-none for a space to unplug-in a comfortable setting that may encourage workers to think in a different space than they are accustomed to. If the owner wishes to have the rooms do more than just be office space, the tables could fold down from a Murphy bed cleverly hidden in plain sight. Thus they could then be used for AirBnB or guests coming in for the holidays.

Holidays are great for themed events in older homes, especially Halloween and Christmas. Themed events such as parties and classes can bring income to help alleviate the cost of either renovating or maintenance, again depending on the condition of the home. It wouldn’t go very well to have a holiday wine tasting or a haunted Halloween night special and not have the proper facilities. Also, this does of course also require a certain level of comfort with strangers in one’s home. If one does not mind people wandering about one’s property, there are other possibilities as well.

There are a few options that can be mostly limited to just the grounds, just the home, or across both. If the home is structurally sound and has bathroom facilities (although one can use portable toilets as well), then the house can be used for photo shoots. Beautiful homes, even run down can make great backdrops for prom or wedding photos. Fashion shoots, especially with local companies, can bring in an income to the owner. The house does not need to be completely renovated to be a beautiful setting or a haunted one to the right customer. Old Victorians or farmhouses make great sets for horror films, especially if it is still run down. The Hegeler Carus mansion is a great example as it is a mansion in the Midwest that was recently used for a film called “The Letter: A Lovecraftian Tale.” While the mansion is not privately owned (it is on the National Register of Historic Places and foundation owned), it does give a great view of the possibilities that can be found in old homes. The featured picture above is the south face of the mansion.

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