Berks County possesses an amazing architectural selection of residential properties ranging from traditional colonial to contemporary styled homes. After WWII the country experienced an economic explosion that was greatly responsible in creating what is known today as the suburbs. Berks County was primed for this innovative change.
The city of Reading was ripe with hard working blue collar workers who were looking to provide a better lifestyle for themselves and their families. The surrounding countryside was just full of open land & farms. These eventually were cultivated into the suburban areas Berks County enjoys today. Out of this expansion was born the Hayes & Whitman split level home style, Sterling ranchers & mid-century modern contemporary homes. These mid-century homes represent an era that offers a uniquely special quality. They are the home you grew up in, your grandmothers home, your aunt and uncles home and yes, the Brady’s home.
Whenever I am asked to preview and list a mid-century styled home the first thing the seller will ask is “should I update the property?” The sellers tell me that their family, friends, hairdresser, butcher, paper boy and, of course, HGTV and other such media tell them they should. I say No! Here’s why….In many cases the homes have been very well kept by the owner. I am still surprised when I see a 40 or 50 year old home that is still occupied by the original owner. They obviously grew up in an era where you took care of what you had. For this reason the homes are solid and built “Like They Used to be”. The only difference is that they are not of a decor that is appreciated by the newer home buyers. Well, that is changing.
Mid-century homes engender interest from discerning buyers who care about and respect the architecture and style of the era. These buyers, of which there seem to be many, tend to gravitate away from today’s styles & designs. Instead, they gravitate toward the classic homes from around the post-world war era. Quite a few of these homes, including classic farm houses present themselves in Berks County. They may have new home renovations in place that enhance the charm unattainable in modern homes. They may await the ideal home renovation from the interested buyer. In either case, enhancement and renovation of mid-century homes seems to be an attractive proposition to many home buyers and homeowners of mid-century property.
My second reason for advising the sellers to ignore the naysayers is value. Many of the mid-century homes in Berks County fall into the $149,000 to $300,000 price range with the median being closer to $200,000. In order for a seller to update a 40 or 50 year old home they will likely have to spend in excess of what the cost of the renovations will return in sales value. It is like a wooden boat in the middle of a lake. If the boat is well built but has 5 holes in the bow how many do you have to plug so it does not sink to the bottom of the lake? The obvious answer is all of them. So where do you stop with home renovation? If you remodel the kitchen & baths and leave the rest people will say the decor is still dated. The other factor is the neighborhood. While you can renovate your home that does not mean the neighbors will and that affects value as well.
Sell what you have and fix what is broken or unsafe is my answer. There is a large contingent of retro/mid-century home lovers everywhere. Especially at a site called RetroRenovation.com. Check them out. You will be surprised what a following your mid-century home has. They were kind enough to feature two mid-century Berks County homes I am marketing on their blog. Be sure to read the blog comments. They are great! Click the links below to preview them:
Some of these Berks County homes from the mid-century achieve stunning appeal with just a little home renovation. What they may lack in modern characteristics, becomes a distinct quality and amenity under a little scrutiny and touch of renovation.
Come see what mid-century homes in Berks County offer. Take a look at the potential and delightful transformation owning this type of home brings. If you are a discerning buyer with a taste for retro architecture and mid-century interior design, Berks County has some pleasant surprises for you. Find out more about the these charming opportunities and beautiful examples of mid-century homes from an renowned era of history. Learn about homes with a unique combination of distinctive and practical living accommodations rarely duplicated since that time.