Personality types are a fantastic way to learn a bit about yourself. There are countless tests like the DISC or Myers/Briggs. And, there is one test you’ve probably not heard of- the reason you may have missed it is because . . . well . . . I just invented it. The “SPA” test is an important tool in diagnosing your “Old Home Personality Type,” before it’s too late.
Study each of these 3 old house personality types below and determine which fits you best. You may have to ask a friend or spouse for an honest classification since self-diagnosis is difficult due to large doses of denial.
This personality type is looking for an old house to save. Preferably one that is on the verge of falling down (so your before and after pictures can be really dramatic). You relish the chance to put on a new roof or reframe load bearing walls. A gutted house is like a blank canvas to you. You are ready to pick up your hammer and fix something, anything! Nothing scares you away and that is your greatest strength (and weakness because occasionally you bite off more than you can chew). You’re the one on the front lines saving historic homes before someone comes along with a bulldozer and a plan.
The Scavenger’s Old House: This house will likely be a steal, mainly because most people won’t even see it as a real house. Just an old eyesore spreading blight to the rest of the neighborhood. The house will a need a bit of everything and a lot of the expensive things. New roof, HVAC, plumbing, electrical. Maybe some lead and asbestos abatement just to top it all off. But, the house has good bones, a good floor plan, location, or historical significance that makes it worth saving. It’ll take time, but the house will be immaculately restored when you finish.
This personality type is the finisher. After the heavy lifting is done, you come in to perfect the details. You’re likely a good painter, not bad at patching damaged plaster walls or installing some trim and molding. You might even be willing to tackle a bathroom remodel on your own. The point is, you don’t mind handling the upkeep that comes with owning an old house all by yourself. A little help from skilled trades like plumbers and electricians occasionally, and you can handle most tasks
The Perfecter’s Old House: It has been maintained, but not exactly updated through the years. Nothing major is falling apart on your potential home. Though the kitchen or bathroom is likely stuck in an unfortunate decade, you can handle it. There’s a lot of little repairs and improvements to fill your weekends, for the next year or so, but soon enough you’ll have it tweaked just the way you want it.
For this personality type, the “D” in DIY stands for “Don’t.” You are more than happy to acquire an old house where all the work has been done. The closest thing you have to a hammer is an old shoe. When a light goes out you’ll change the bulb and if that doesn’t fix it – you’ve done all you can. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against these folks. In fact, I am married to one of them and she is my favorite person in the whole wide world. You just don’t like to live in a house where things break and need to be fixed. You like extended warranties and clean hassle free products. “Newer is better” would be your bumper sticker if it wouldn’t mess up your new car.
The Acquirer’s Old House: If the house is not move-in ready, don’t bother. Strangely, you’d be well suited to team up with a Scavenger because after they finish restoring a house to its historic glory, they’re usually looking to sell and find their next project. You’d be very happy in a properly restored old house where all the hard work has already been finished. You’ll pay more, but these houses are easy to find and will be just as easy (if not easier) to maintain as a brand new house.
Whatever old house personality type you are, there is an old house for you. While it is a fun and fulfilling journey full of great stories, owning an old home is usually nothing like a day at the . . .SPA.
So, what do you think? Which one are you?
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
I love old houses, working with my hands, and teaching others the excitment of doing it yourself! Everything is teachable if you only give it the chance.
8 thoughts on “Personality Types (Old House Style)”
At heart I’m a Scavenger, but for practical reasons (budget, and Aquirer husband) I’ve had to settle for being a Perfecter. My old house was built around 1830, and every owner since then has been a handyman, meaning that everything was good enough, but nothing was perfect (and nothing was up to code). I got to restore lots of old windows, replace lots of dry rot, and deal with lots of rusted plumbing, but was very relieved to learn that 90% of the knob and tube was already replaced. Sadly, we moved across country before I was able to finish fixing all of the wavy, seasickness-inducing floors….
I’m renting it out (to a handyman) so at least I still have a shot at dealing with those!
I’m totally a scavenger. Eight years in, and my 1890 folk Victorian it’s still not finished.
Finished. Ha. Houses like mine are never finished.
Ha! I think I am a scavanger at heart, but my husband is an aquirer. We may have to find compromise as Perfecters.
Marriage is always a compromise isn’t it?
My husband and I are Perfecters. We are in the process of Perfecting our old house right now. When we bought the house, the electrical, plumbing, and roofing were all updated, but the windows, doors, trims, and details were still there. The old fir floors were covered up by laminate flooring, but we have since removed the laminate and refinished the wood floors. The previous owner had finished all of the “boring” necessary updates for us, leaving us with the fun Perfecting details. Love it! 🙂
Beth, sounds like you hit the jackpot!
“…before it’s too late” Hahahaha! Love it.
Absolutely, unequivocally, I’m a SCAVENGER, with the additional qualification that I’m going to preserve as much as I can of all the original fabric, even where it’s deteriorating (there’s gotta be some way to repair and renew — instead of replace; that’d be too easy — this one, punky old board).
Spoken like a true Scavenger!