We are DONE! ✅ After 6 long months of home remodeling, the Old Town Renovation Project is complete!
The intention in creating this video series throughout my home renovation project was to shed light on what the ENTIRE process looked like. (HDTV gives us false ideas of costs, time and required upgrades of older homes!) Here are my 3 big take-aways and lessons I’ve learned. NOTE; these recommendations are based our current market condition in Tacoma, WA and some of my personal beliefs of maintaining and preserving older homes.
Hiring the right Contractors takes time and patience. Reputable and reasonably priced contractors are hard to find and when you do they maybe booked for 4 – 6 months. Sometimes it’s worth the wait. A) Interview multiple contractors B) Sign a contract C) Define CLEARLY what their scope of work is. Spend time unpacking the scheduling and work flow of each contractor. It’s worth your time and 💰 💰💰!!!!
Budget. A) Have a budget! You’ll need this especially if you are remodeling your personal home. Why? Because you’ll want to splurge on all the fancy things (I’m guilty). B) Have at least 25% more funds available than what you think it will cost. Just do it.
Remodeling Old Houses IS NOT the same as remodeling a newer (modernized) Home. I am the first one to admit, that I WANT that cute older Bungalow, Victorian Craftsman, or anything older home! I personally prefer their home features and find them more attractive. Buying older homes comes with it additional responsibility and care. Update The electrical and plumbing systems that will over time fail or be a safety hazard. It’s no small (or cheap) task. If done correctly it will more than pay for itself and you’ll have a gem of a home and Real Estate Investment.
Cheers to you making the absolute most of your next Real Estate Investment or Home! Holler if you need a savvy Realtor to represent you on the sale or purchase of your home/investment. (253) 381-9788.
Here Links to all the videos, (if you want little walk through memory lane) or a refresher on a certain item or stage of the Reno.
SOLD! I remember like it was yesterday; how anxiously Katy and Nick were to hear from me on the status of their offer. The home; a well kept 1900’s style Craftsman home a stones throw away from the Metropolitan Market and all things Proctor. They weren’t the only buyers who fell in love. We were competing against seven other offers and knew we had to go all in if we wanted a real chance at having the sellers accept their offer. And we did – we went all in.
Home in Proctor District – Tacoma, WA
The Crandall’s were half way through selling their home in Seattle and actively looking for their next home in Tacoma. I was nervous they were going to fall in love with a house (like this!) and have a hard time getting their offer accepted BECAUSE we had write a contingent offer (English please) we had to sell their home first, before we could close on their next home. Sellers are rightfully reluctant to accept an offer with a home sale contingency… but we had to try.
Crandall’s contingent home in Seattle, WA – Listed and SOLD for $525,000
I learned that the sellers had been in this home for well over 20 years and it was evident at first glance that they LOVED (I mean REALLY loved!) their yard. Katy who’s an Arborist and Biologist noted the unique and mostly native plant types present in what she was dreaming would be HER next yard. When we sat down to craft the best possible offer, the buyers made note of the sellers lovingly cared for yard. Expressing their admiration and liking towards the sellers labor of love didn’t change their offer price, but it might have played a role in the sellers decision making. I mean, just think – after over two decades of living in and loving a home, of course you care about the profit you make AND you can’t help but wonder “who is going to be living in my house?” Providing the sellers some reassurance that they too would love and care for the yard, may sway them towards your offer. In this case, it did.
After Katy and Nick signed their offer and I sent to the listing agent; we waited. Stewing, trying to think of anything else I can do to give my clients a competitive edge, I ask myself “should I present my client offer in person?” So I called, asked if the sellers agent and BAM! 12 hours later, I’m sitting in front of the sellers and their Broker, presenting The Crandall’s offer and hand written letter on their behalf.
Signing Offer for Proctor Home (fingers crossed!)
Four grueling hours after I presented their offer and several anxious text and calls to the listing agent “Did the sellers accept my clients offer?” “Is there anything else we can do to improve our offer?” “When will the sellers be making the final decision?” FINALLY we got the signed contract back; Katy and Nick got their dream home in Tacoma. ♥️ 🏡 Later we learned that it made a difference to the sellers to hear Katy and Nick’s story. Their offer wasn’t the highest offer the sellers had received, but other competitive terms made it the offer the seller accepted. Often times selling and buying a home is about telling your story. As both a buyer and a seller. Tell Your Story.
Happy Together! Tacoma, WA
After the excitement of their offer being accepted, slight panic set in for me in thinking about having to sell their current home in Seattle. If the buyer on their Seattle Home was unable to perform, The Crandall’s would be unable to purchase their 1900’s style Craftsman home and would be back at square one. 😭 Fortunately, the appraisal for their Seattle home was set to come in that week and it did, fully satisfied! (phew!)
Now that the Crandall’s had their offer accepted, the reality of letting go of their first home, would soon be setting in ♥️ 🏡
We move forward with the home inspection at the Proctor House (YES we had a home inspection!). Kept our promise to the seller that it was for informational purposes only and made no requests for repairs. Our inspections showed that the house wasn’t falling over and needed no significant repair – Katy and Nick were happy.
Now that the discovery process was nearing the end, (we also reviewed the Title of the property, shopped for Insurance providers and general neighborhood review) Katy and Nick were elated to move forward on the purchase of their new home in Tacoma. We closed on their Seattle House and the following day, CLOSED and got keys for their new home.
Welcome Home Katy and Nick. You did it!!!
Home in Tacoma, WA
CALL/TEXT Realtor Jenny Wetzel for more information on Buying/Selling in Tacoma. (253) 381-9788
Who’s ready to geek out on a little bit of Tacoma History?! After reading this blog, you’ll walk away with a baseline idea of what a Historical District in Tacoma is, where they are located, what it means for home owners and where you go to find more resources. You will be fully equipped to dive deeper and answer some of your own questions regarding Historic Homes in Tacoma and if your home could qualify to be registered. Let’s start with the basics….
Historic Landmark (city + state) Blue Mouse Theater – Tacoma, WA is the oldest continually operating Theater in Washington State. 2611 N Proctor Street
What is a Historic District?
Historic Districts are areas within Tacoma that have been determined to have unique character and related development patterns specific to a period of time. The intent behind these Historic Districts and Landmarks is to preserve and maintain older homes and neighborhoods throughout the City of Tacoma. Our inventory of older homes and buildings is one of the things that makes our city stand out! To have a committee that guides and provides resource to expand our understanding of unique architecture and history that surrounds us, is pretty awesome.
How many Historic Districts are there?
The city of Tacoma has eight Historic Districts across three registers; National Register(NR), State Register(WR) and Tacoma Register(TR).
“The Wedge” (TR, WR, NR)
“North Slope” (TR, WR, NR)
Old City Hall (TR, WR, NR)
Union Depot/Warehouse (TR, WR, NR)
Salmon Beach (WR)
Buckley’s (WR, NR)
College Park (WR, NR)
Notice that I outlined which of these district are National, State and Local. Local District are more highly governed, where as the regulations for National and State are less stringent. (We’ll talk about what this means for home owners in just a second). To give you an idea of what a Historic District looks like, below is a photo of The North Slope Historic District. The North Slope is the largest established Historic District in Tacoma AND one of the largest in the Country! Click HERE to find a wealth of knowledge on all eight districts, on the City of Tacoma’s website.
North Slope Historic District – City of Tacoma
What are the benefits of buying a home in a Historically Designated Area? These only apply to the Tacoma registry, not National or State.
Did you know that homes located within any given historical society hold their value and increase in value more than surrounding homes that are not located within a historic district? It is true! And although you may be at times frustrated with the limitations you can complete regarding the exterior of your home, or the fact that you had to replace your windows with more expensive wood windows vs vinyl, it will likely pay for itself in the long run. (that and if you maintain your wood windows, they’ll last you far longer than vinyl windows would!)
If you do perform renovations on your home, the city offers to reduce your overall taxes for the following 10 years. HERE you can click and find out if you qualify and what renovation costs go towards and the various incentives offered
Be apart of one Tacoma’s History! For example, Tacoma’s North Slope District is the largest Local district in the Nation! (wow) And as residence it is something to be really proud of.
For morebenefits on owning in a historic home, click HERE
Engine House No 9. – 2019. The history behind this building is exciting! And to most it’s simply a great place to enjoy a cold beer and great conversation. That’s great too. 😊
Engine House No. 9. Sketch from Tacoma Public Library dated 1907. – One of the first taverns in Pierce County to serve Microbrew. Located on 611 N Pine Street
I’m a Home Buyer/Seller and I’m interested in buying in a Historically Designated Area – What should I know?
I’m glad you asked! These things that I am going to list are specific to LOCAL historical areas and may not apply to State or National. Although the following things I am going to mention, may be burdensome to homeowners at times, they serve a purpose and pay for themselves longterm.
Windows. This is the most common frustration. Home owners must replace their windows with wood windows vs (cheaper) vinyl windows or other varieties. The city is now allowing fiberglass windows and variations of wood windows to be installed. Be sure to verify directly with them, before moving forward with your purchase.
Exterior. No significant modification can be made to the exterior of the home, especially if they change the street view of the home. The intent here is to preserve the original look of the home from the street. For example: you will like NOT be able to enclose your porch, as it would change the look of the home.
ADU’s are approved in historic areas, but again – if the addition is visibly seen from the street, it will likely not get approval from the Committee
Painting your home? Be sure to run this by the committee. And (big surprise!) if you are hoping to paint your house lime green, it’s likely not going happen.😉
Changing out siding? Newer hardy plank siding is approved, but it must be a specific texture and style.
Ok. Bottom line here folks, get a good understanding of the limitations and guidelines the Historic Committee has set for. If you are looking to talk to a human at the City of Tacoma to answer some specific questions, give Lauren Hoogkamer of call. (253) 591-5254. She is the Historic Preservation Officer and is happy to answer your questions.
Stewart Middle School – Tacoma, WA. Built in 1925 and more recently added to the City Historic Registry. 5010 S Pacific Ave Tacoma
How do I find the History of my home?
Awww. Yes! Once I discovered this tool, I was hooked for hours, researching my personal home and stalking friends and families to see if they were the lucky ducks who purchased a home with an exciting tail or two. HEREis a link to the Pierce County Building Index at the Tacoma Public Library.
What if I DO NOT own a home in one of the eight Historic District? Can it be designated as a Historical Landmark?
Short answer – YES! it most certainly can. Here is the baseline criteria your home must meet:
Must be 50 years of age
In fair condition OR retain original materials to be able to convey its significance
The building has something that sets it apart from others like it. This might include a unique design or excellent condition
This building must have something that makes it important:
Does it represent the architectural style well?
Is it emblematic of a theme or local history?
Is it connected to a significant person?
To read more about the guidelines for Historic Landmark approval, click HERE
For more information on your historic home or the process of buying or selling, contact Realtor, Jenny Wetzel; 253-381-9788; Jenny@jennywetzelhomes.com