Monday, July 12, 2010

Welcome to Vintage Arizona Real Estate!

My name is Kelly Tjon and I'm a Realtor in and around Phoenix, Arizona.  While I can and do help buyers find homes of all ages, I really love working with the homes that qualify as vintage.  For me, this encompasses homes built all the way up to the late 1970s.  Each era has a look and feel that appeals to me.  The incredible craftsmanship of the early 1900s, the detailed yet simple look of the forties and fifties, and of course, the clean mid-century moderns.

I have loved vintage homes since the very first one I bought when I was just twenty years old.  That first house, built in 1917, opened up a whole world of love for me for the old.  The heavy duty woodwork throughout, the leaded glass panels in the cabinets flanking the massive fireplace, the ornate concrete planters on the front porch.  The details all added up to something I just knew I had to have, even if the neighborhood was less than stellar.   

My next older home was actually newer, as it was built in 1968.  While lacking a lot of the decorative details that made my first house so appealing, it did have the same attention to workmanship that I appreciated.  Not long after closing escrow on this home, I pulled back one corner of carpeting in the back of a closet in a bedroom and discovered what I'd hoped for, original hardwood flooring!  My husband was more than fine with the carpeting and didn't want to have to deal with removing it.  So I did what any lover of vintage would do, I waited until he went on a business trip and started pulling it all up.  By the time he got home, I was working on removing the tack strip.  Once he saw how gorgeous the floors were, he agreed that it was worth the subterfuge.  The thing is, I am 99% sure those floors had never seen the light of day prior to that.  They looked like they had been installed and immediately covered in carpet.  When we went to sell the house three years later, those floors were what everyone commented on.

A few years ago, my husband suggested that I quit trying to convince him to go to open houses of older homes and just get licensed as a Realtor.  So I did.  Now, I get to see all sorts of homes in my travels.  Some of my clients insist on nothing but newer homes and I absolutely respect that.  Not everyone wants to live in an "old" house.  Not everyone wants to deal with some of the things that inherently come with buying an older home.  And not everyone wants to undo what the previous owners have "updated" in order to try and bring back the former beauty of retro real estate.  But some people do.  And this blog is for those people.

This blog is for everyone who has ever walked into a home they were thinking of purchasing and breathing a sigh of relief at seeing pink tile in the bathroom.  This is for everyone who appreciates a home that doesn't look like every other house in their neighborhood.  And this blog is for everyone who has ever pulled back one corner of carpeting in the back of a closet in the hopes of finding a treasure underneath.

Welcome home.