Let’s pretend you’ve fallen in love with a Palos Verdes Old Spanish home or a Spanish Revival home built in the 1920s or 1930s. And let’s say you want to bring this home back to its glory days. You’re going to be asking yourself what to consider if you are buying an old spanish home.
You might already have some ideas as to what you want to invest your money in and make no mistake, it is an investment because of the high demand Old Spanish homes have. And you want to be smart about it too right? You just don’t want to be throwing precious money around without a plan. It goes without saying, make sure you hire a professional home inspector who is expert in this type of home and construction. Once you’ve discovered the defects, then you can start budgeting for your journey.
One of the first things what to consider if you are buying an Old Spanish home is if the property is designated as a historical building. Here’s a great article on how historic designation could affect your remodeling plans. You may have to adhere to a number of regulations and be subject to some historical preservation oversight in order to update the home. This could increase your budget by 10-30%.
What to consider if you are buying an Old Spanish home
Another facet in analyzing what to consider if you are buying an Old Spanish home is how extensive the remodeling will be. Are you going to replace floors for example, or refinish. Are you going to the studs and building back out or are you just repairing and painting plaster walls?
Remember, artisans today cost way more than back in the 1920s. So how authentic will be your renovation? The more accurate the detail work, the higher the cost of both materials and labor.
To keep the language straight when you’re talking with vendors and contractors, use this as a guide
Preservation means restoring and using the building for its original purpose, with as much of the original features and décor saved as possible.
Restoration means tearing out improvements made over time that don’t reflect the original age and style of the home, and then repairing those areas to closely match the original size, shape, color, etc.
Reconstruction means making major changes to the floor plan such as adding new rooms and dramatically altering and repurposing parts of the home.
Renovation or remodeling freshens the look of the home using modern materials such as updating an older kitchen with custom cabinetry, farm sinks and granite countertops.
Now, before you begin, one thing you could do that could save you money is to check with local and state government entities to find out if there are any subsidies or tax incentives available. Don’t forget to research the original architect of the home and contact any organizations stewarding the legacy of such architects. They will be able to help in making sure you are being “authentic” in your preservation or restoration and perhaps might even have financial help. Kirtland Cutter is one such famous architect who migrated from the Seattle area to Los Angeles in the 1920s and there is a following of his style to this very day. Another architect is Walter and his brother Pierpont Davis who designed the famous La Venta Inn here in Palos Verdes Estates
It’s an exciting time when you’re buying one of these homes and what to consider if you are buying an Old Spanish home becomes an exercise in the application of the Rule of the 5 P’s … Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Get all your preparation and diligence done upfront. Remember, it’s a lot easier to erase a line on a piece of paper than tear down a wall after it’s been built.
Old Spanish Homes
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1650 Manhattan Avenue
And what if you go the other way, oh, let’s say more toward the Neutra mid-century modern style