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History for Sale: Massachusetts’ Oldest Homes on the Market
June 14, 2021

History for Sale: Massachusetts’ Oldest Homes on the Market

by The CE Shop Team

If These Antique Walls Could Talk

Massachusetts is well known for its historical roots. As the site of the arrival of the Mayflower, the Boston Tea Party, or the famous Paul Revere, America wouldn’t be the same without the Bay State. Given its historical influence, it’s no surprise that Massachusetts is home to some of the country’s oldest properties, and many are up for sale. In today’s wild real estate market, potential buyers can’t be too picky — and given the stories and character these homes possess, one might be surprised by the potential these properties offer. 

Oldest Homes for Sale Today

While older homes often require more maintenance than new builds, their character can truly transport their owners back in time. To understand the details and differences between the types of architecture on our list below, let’s first break down what Federal style is and what sets it apart from the Cape Cod style. Federal style describes architecture built in the then-newly founded United States between 1780 and 1830. Federal style is symmetrical, a common feature of colonial houses, though it's more ornate. These houses tend to be narrower and taller than colonial homes. Additionally, Federal style incorporates brass or iron hardware alongside rich woods. Cape Cod-style homes are popular today and are often seen on the East Coast. Cape Cods are single-story framed buildings with gabled roofing. They featured very little ornamentation and are more functional than fashionable, utilizing local materials to construct simple homes that could withstand New England's often unforgiving climate. 

With this in mind, let’s explore some of the dreamy old homes available (as of publication) in the Bay State.  

Cape Cod

Cape Cod Antique, Built in 1745 – Barnstable, MA

If you or a client are looking for a home that’s almost 300 years old, then this Cape Cod property is perfect. Take a step back to simpler times in this cozy antique home that comes complete with its own barn. Located near the Old King’s Highway, the largest historic district in the United States, future residents will be surrounded by history. The home features an upstairs loft with living spaces and bedrooms with wide pine floors. The living room has high ceilings (not common when the home was constructed) with a dining room nearby adorned with rustic paneling. The current asking price is $495,000.

Home Features

  • 2 bedrooms
  • 1 bathroom
  • Garden
  • Beach access nearby

Charles Russell House

The Charles Russell House, Built in 1760 - Princeton, MA

This home is large considering the time it was built, which reflects its original owner’s affluence. The sprawling Federal-style home sits on almost four acres and is bordered by stonewalls. Residents will enjoy warm Massachusetts summers on the covered porch, and the home has plenty of room for the entire family to sit outside thanks to its multiple decks. The property also includes a carriage shed and room for gardening. This expansive antique is perfect for a big family ready to live in a piece of history. Detailed features include wood-beamed ceilings, wainscoting paneling, pine floors, and a walk-in pantry. This property in all its splendor is available for $799,900.

Home Features

  • 4 fireplaces
  • 7 bedrooms
  • 5 bathrooms
  • Sunroom
  • Barn

Federal Farmhouse

Federal Farmhouse, Built in 1786 – Princeton, MA

Looking for that quintessential New England countryside home? Well, here it is! This historic residence with a beautiful surrounding landscape is a little slice of paradise for those seeking privacy. This 18th-century Federal Colonial named the “Abner Howe House,” has seen generations raised here and is seeking a new family to cherish it. The heart of this home is its bright kitchen flooded with natural light. Residents will enjoy gorgeous views of Mt. Wachusett as they sit and swing on the outdoor deck. The property has been modernized with SubZero appliances and a Bosch dishwasher. The asking price is $749,900.

Home Features

  • 3 bedrooms
  • 2.5 bathrooms
  • Home office
  • Loft space
  • Fireplace

Historic Properties and Preservation

By owning a historic home, you not only own a slice of history but also enjoy a slew of additional benefits. To begin, the home is unique in that builders aren’t likely to recreate that particular style of architecture when constructing new builds. Next, historic homes are often in very desirable locations — which is why they’re likely still standing. They also tend to sell faster and fetch higher asking prices than your run-of-the-mill property. Lastly, homes listed on the National Register of Historic Places are oftentimes eligible for tax credits, grant money, and preservation loans if they meet certain rehabilitation standards. As always, check with both federal and state agencies or preservation networks to see if you or your client can help save a piece of the past with your next property purchase.

Take On 2021 With the Best Massachusetts Real Estate Courses From The CE Shop

Enroll in our Pre-Licensing program now to get your career started and begin connecting your fellow residents with the home of their dreams. Or keep going strong with one of our comprehensive, 100% online Continuing Education packages. Want to stay up to date on everything in Massachusetts? Join the New England Real Estate Facebook Group!