Old Home Certified: What does it mean?

What it is

Old Home Certified is a Realtor® designation offered exclusively by Preservation Alliance of Minnesota. To earn it, an agent has to take nine classes taught by experts in the fields of architecture, geography, historic preservation, old-school HVAC systems and more. Maintaining the designation requires additional continuing education each year.

Why it matters

Who cares about Old Home Certification? Well—how about you? Especially if you’re planning to buy or sell a home in Minneapolis or St. Paul, where 80% of homes are 50+ years old. In fact, the average Minneapolis home was built in 1940—nearly 80 years ago. Home-building has changed in many ways since then, from how houses are framed to how they’re heated. For example, most homes built before 1930 still have a coal chute.Becoming Old Home Certified has given me a wealth of information and understanding about how these homes were built—and why they were built that way. I can tell a banister from a balustrade, and a foursquare from a bungalow.  I can point out the virtues of a gravity furnace (they last forever) as well as the issues (enormous and inefficient). I can also help to identify potential hazards such as knob-and-tube wiring, and the kind of floor tile, common to 1940s-and-earlier basements, that contains asbestos.

Let’s put it to good use!

Whether you’re buying or selling an older home, it smart to know what’s fine as is, what will likely need updating, and what it might cost to do so. I can help you answer those questions, or put you in touch with the experts who can.

The oldest home I’ve sold to date was this 1860 charmer in Lindstrom, home of the Chisago County Historical Society for many years until first-time home buyers Kate and Steve purchased it last July.

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