No extreme makeover needed

Lots of folks dream of buying an old home, and, of course, most older homes require extensive (and expensive) restorative work.

And yet, we wonder whether that’s not part of the appeal—whether restoring an old house, even if professionals are hired to handle the work, doesn’t make it feel a bit more like home for some folks.

We’re not the least bit handy, and if we could buy a mint-condition house from the 1930s or ‘40s, it would please us no end. We’re confident it’d feel like home the minute we moved in, before we’d even unpacked. Having little to no aptitude for fixing things, we don’t think we’d miss that part of the experience at all.

But where are you going to find a home from the 1930s or ‘40s in mint condition, right?

Well, if you’re willing to settle from a house built in the 1950s, Te Puke, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand is where.

The story, as related in the Bay of Plenty Times, goes that a man named Peter Welch and another fellow constructed the home pictured below in 1959.

The home has remained unoccupied—and therefore unsullied and undamaged—since. It’s a true time capsule, as you can see in the slideshow at the Bay of Plenty Times web site. Mr. Welch recently passed on, but the trustee of his estate tells the story this way: “Mr. Welch was a member of the navy in World War II. At the end of the war he came to New Zealand, initially to Christchurch, then decided the Bay of Plenty was the place for him.

“He had been here a little while and his mother and sister were still in England, so he built the house on the understanding they would come to New Zealand. But they never came.

“The sister came over to visit once, but she never lived here.”

The new owner of the house, who chooses to remain anonymous, is reportedly renting the house out. Here’s hoping the tenants have a sense of history and an appreciation of the opportunity they’ve been afforded and treat the home with kid gloves as long as they live there.