picture of living room in Kalamazoo historic homeKalamazoo MI Real Estate:

My REALTOR said that I would be getting a Warranty Deed when I purchase my home.  What’s a Warranty Deed?

When you purchase your historic home (or any other home for that matter) a Warranty Deed provides a number of guarantees from the seller to the buyer. A warranty deed includes a full description of the property and asserts that the seller of the historic home actually owns and can transfer full and clear title of the property. A warranty deed also certifies that the historic property is free of any easements, liens, or other encumbrances on ownership.

My aunt wanted to sell us her historic home and she said we could change title with a Quit Claim Deed. What’s a Quit Claim Deed?

Quit Claim Deeds are used when the transfer of ownership in the historic property does not occur as the result of a traditional sale. For example when a historic home in the Kalamazoo area is conveyed through a Will or as a gift, when property is placed in a trust, or to distribute property as part of a divorce settlement then a Quit Claim Deed can be used to transfer the title.   Quit Claim Deeds in Kalamazoo are also common when someone wants to sell historic property but they’re not entirely certain what the property boundaries are or whether any other claims can be made on the property.

Is there greater risk when you purchase a historic home and get title with a Quit Claim Deed?

Quit claim Deeds do not contain any guarantees of any kind, which means that you could buy a historic property, receive a Quit Claim Deed, and later find out that the person you bought it from wasn’t legally able to sell you the property at all.

What is the difference between a Quit Claim Deed and a Warranty Deed in Kalamazoo MI?

When it comes to a Warranty Deed vs. a Quit Claim Deed, the major difference is in the guarantees. Under a warranty deed, if it turns out that the property is not what the seller promised or there’s an uncleared lien or other block to the title, the buyer can sue the seller and recover damages. But if the property was conveyed through a Quit Claim Deed, the buyer has no options for solving the problem. For this reason, a Warranty Deed should generally be viewed as more valuable than a Quit Claim Deed, though there are some special circumstances where that is not the case.

Privy digging in the yards of historic homes…….a favorite past time

Image of person ready to dig for bottlesI was a bit surprised. We had lived in our 1860s historic home in Kalamazoo for about 6 months when the UPS delivery man rang our doorbell, handed me a package and said, “Is this your home? Can I dig your privy?”

Say what??

“Can my partner and I come and dig your privys? There are a group of us who love digging out outhouses where we find all kinds of old bottles, dolls, toys, pottery, dishes, etc. Remember that outhouses are the places where things were thrown away…..”

Wow….the things that happen when you live in a historic house…..

For those of you who might like to join in the privy digging fun and the sharing of old bottles, you might want to check out the Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club.

Here is the information about their club as found in the Local Organization Guide maintained by the Kalamazoo Public Library.

ATTN: Charles Parker
607 Crocket Ave
Portage, MI 49024
Email: crebel1862@aol.com
Personnel: Charles Parker, Contact, 269-329-0853.
Election: October
Goal: To increase interest and knowledge in antique bottles.
Services: April bottle show; monthly meetings (except June-August); information programs.
Area Served: Southwest Michigan.
Eligibility: Anyone interested in antique (historically significant) bottles.
Sources of support: Membership dues; annual show and raffle.
Affiliation: Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors.
Nonprofit Status: MI Nonprofit Corporation
Source of Info: Phone 01/2012 per Charles Parker.

Have you joined a Historical Society?

image of happy people who learn about historic Kalamazoo real estateOne of the best ways to continue to learn about the history of the area and find out more about the Kalamazoo historical homes is to get connected to historical societies. This information is taken from the local organization directory which is maintained by the Kalamazoo Public Library. (Portage’s Historic Commission information was provided by the website from the City of Portage, MI. )

Mailing Address:
PO Box 1623
Kalamazoo, MI 49005
Phone: 269-381-2006
Personnel: Lynn Houghton, Contact.
Goal: To preserve and to promote Kalamazoo’s historical heritage.
Services: Sponsors seminars and workshops on topics of historical interest; publishes new historic research; reprints books of historical importance to our area; conducts home tours, walks and teas; holds periodic meetings with speakers; sponsors trips to points of historic interest; periodic newsletter.
Eligibility: Anyone interested in Kalamazoo County history.
Sources of support: Membership dues: $10.00 individual, $17.50 family, $30.00 sustaining; book sales; donations; special events.

927 N Drake Road
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Mailing Address:
7275 W Main St
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Phone: 269-375-2549
Email: kdoldo61@chartermi.net
Website(s): http://oshtemohistoricalsociety.org
Personnel: Kay Oppliger, Contact 269-375-2549; Mary Anne Britvec, Contact 269-342-4332.
Goal: To educate the public about life in Oshtemo from the late 1800s to the present and to gather historical information about Oshtemo families and businesses.
Services: Restoration of the Benjamin Drake Homestead at 927 N. Drake Road into an active History/Research Room showcasing life in the 1800s; educational programs and history room; monthly meetings – call for time and place.
Area Served: Oshtemo Township.
Eligibility: Open to all including those living outside Oshtemo Township.
Sources of support: Dues; fundraising activities.
Nonprofit Status: 501c3
Source of Info: Email 08/2012 per Kay.

ATTN: Sharon Ferraro
415 Stockbridge
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
Mailing Address:
415 Stockbridge
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
Phone: 269-337-8804
FAX: 269-337-8513
Email: ferraros@kalamazoocity.org
Website(s): http://www.kalamazoocity.org.
Personnel: Sharon Ferraro, Coordinator.
Hours: M-F 8:00am-5:00pm.
Goal: To administer, enforce, and advise on the historic district ordinance.
Services: Provides design review and assistance to property owners and their contractors to ensure that properties located in the City’s historic districts comply with city ordinances regulating any construction, alterations or repairs to the exterior of structures, moving buildings, and/or demolition and available tax credits.
Area Served: City of Kalamazoo.
Sources of support: City general fund.
Source of Info: Email 02/2012 per Sharon Ferraro.

ATTN: Sharon Ferraro
415 Stockbridge
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
Mailing Address:
415 Stockbridge
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
Phone: 269-337-8804
FAX: 269-337-8513
Email: ferraros@kalamazoocity.org
Website(s): http://www.kalamazoocity.org
Personnel: Sharon Ferraro, Contact.
Hours: M-F 8:00am – 5:00pm.
Goal: To research and inventory city historic sites and buildings warranting preservation; to promote historical preservation.
Services: Citizen advisory board on preservation matters; awards to city buildings that are excellent examples of renovation or restoration; holds Preservation Month activities; publishes books, brochures.
Area Served: Kalamazoo City only.
Eligibility: Kalamazoo City resident.
Sources of support: Sale of two published books, historical calendar, and note cards; state preservation grants.
Source of Info: Email 02/2012 per Sharon Ferraro.

300 N Richardson Ave
Vicksburg, MI 49097
Mailing Address:
PO Box 103
Vicksburg, MI 49097
Phone: 269-649-1733
Email: vixmus1@yahoo.com
Website(s): http://www.vicksburghistory.org/
Personnel: Margaret Snyder, Curator, (Cell) 269-491-1436.
Hours: Sa 10:00am-3:00pm; other times – groups or individuals by appointment only. Closed Jan 1 – May 1.
Goal: To preserve, protect, and present history of the Greater Vicksburg area.
Services: Operation of Vicksburg Historic Village and Depot Museum; Historical Society programs; supervised archives; research during museum hours or by appointment.
Area Served: Vicksburg School District; Brady Township and portions of Pavilion, Schoolcraft, and Wakeshma Townships.
Source of Info: Email 09/2011 Maggie Snyder.

Meeting Schedule: 1st Wednesday at 8:15 a.m. at City Hall
City Staff Liaison: Erica Eklov (269) 329-4400

**This commission has vacancies – contact the Office of the City Clerk if interested.**

This nine-member commission is charged with reviewing plans and applications for the construction, alteration, repair of historic properties. In addition, the commission maintains the roster of established and potential districts, may initiate district modification procedures and reviews proposed exterior changes to homes within the Portage Historic District.

The annual Homeowners Gathering is an event hosted by the Commission each May in coordination with national “Preservation Month” and is open to the public. Please watch for the 2013 event details.

The Commission also promotes Where the Trails Crossed. The 67-page full color book highlights the story of 42 of the oldest properties in the City of Portage. Where the Trails Crossed is available at Portage City Hall for $5.

You can own 9826 D Ave, built by Easton Tallmon in 1860!

According to the program of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra Historic Homes Tour, Dr. Joseph Tallman immigrated from Germany to practice medicine in New York City.  His son, James, came to the new state of Michigan in 1837 with his wife Elizabeth and their six children.  They purchased 560 acres of land, the Southwest quadrant of Alamo Center, bordered by 6th street and D Avenue.  The country was little more than a wilderness and Mr. Tallman had to cut the road through (D. Ave.) to reach his tract of land.  Five homes were built, all on D. Ave. by four sons and a daughter, all to the West of Alamo Center.  Easton was the third child and 10 years old when they moved to Michigan.  In 1855 he married Helen Tarbell and in 1860 built this wonderful Italianate home at 9826 D Ave.




Helen and Easton raised five children in the home.    Mr. Tallman was friends with many Native Americans in the area.  The Tallman family donated land for the existing Alamo Center Cemetery and the nearby Congregational church, which they helped build and attended.  The cemetery holds the gravesites of many Tallmans, Tarbells and Barbers (Barbours).  The house has passed through many owners and is now owned by Dan and Sue Kilgore.  The Kilgore’s have restored and adapted rooms back to an original appearance, adding bathrooms and a kitchen.  The barn is from the 1860’s and had been converted into the Kilgore’s design studio where they produce interiors for clients throughout the U.S.  The gardens have been developed using existing vintage plants and adding appropriate plants, trees and shrubbery.

You can now have the opportunity to add your name to the list of owners of this home. Call us today for a private showing.

What REALTOR specializes in selling Historic Homes?

Historic Homes are unique. There is unique historic character, there is unique history, there are usually great stories of searching for just the right trim, cupboards or …..

Some REALTORS appreciate historic homes, and, frankly some REALTORS don’t. Some REALTORS know how to relate to historic and antique home lovers….and some don’t. Some REALTORS market historic homes creatively and some don’t.
Be sure to pick a REALTOR that loves historic homes and knows how to market them.

David Veenstra, of The Veenstra Team in Kalamazoo MI is a history buff. He also lives in an 1860s historic home.

The Veenstra Team  started specializing in selling historic homes a year or so ago. We sold this fabulous Image of Historic Portage Home sold by The Veenstra Team in 20111870s Italianate on Angling Road in Portage in 2011.  This home was built by Henry and Harriet Brooks.  Both Henry and Harriet were children of nearby farmers Isaac Brooks and Stephan Howard.  Both of these men were early settlers in the area.  The property was, at one time an 80 acre farm which was from land that was given to Henry and Harriet by Henry’s father.
We have a list of people who love to get historic home listings.  We have a list of places where we promote historic homes that we are marketing.  We have this website where we feature Historic Homes….and we have a love of historic houses!  That makes for a great combination for getting historic homes sold!

If you have a historic home that you are considering selling,  please give us a call.

If you are looking for a historic home to purchase,  give us a call.  We can create a personal website that will show you what historic homes are currently on the market and we will alert you each time a new historic home comes on the market!  We can set up this website for a variety of SW MI cites, not just Kalamazoo.  If you are looking for a historic home in Kalamazoo, we may know of a historic property that is not even on the market yet.  We have a “Might Move Program and Database” where we keep a list of people who MAY be interested in buying or selling if the circumstances or timing were JUST RIGHT.

We look forward to working with you!
The Veenstra Team

Finding heat registers for historic homes!

Wonderful old pantry in Kalamazoo historic home for sale - 9286 W D Ave

This fabulous pantry is part of the fabulous Italianate Home for Sale at 9286 D Ave in Kalamazoo. For instance, Piscataway homes for sale have been an intelligent, steady and slow investment for the past decade with their continuing slow-but-consistant property value growth. Check out the featured listings for more info!

One of the challenges when you own a historic home is finding replacements for heat registers and cold air returns.  If you own a Kalamazoo historic home, there are a couple places to check to find old heat registers and cold air returns.  One of the places is Heritage Antiques and Restoration on Edwards street in downtown Kalamazoo.  They have a decent selection of historic heat registers and cold air returns.  The prices have been going up over there quite rapidly, unfortunately.  The Habitat for Humanity store on Lake Drive also is a place to check, but they don’t carry a large selection — you just might randomly find one there.

If you are not in Kalamazoo, or can’t find what you are looking for around town, there are a few good places on the web.

Recently I was hunting for some historic registers and I found the following websites to carry what I was looking for.  I will link them here so you can avoid some Googling time!  🙂

There may be other places that you have found.  If so,  please write back and let us know.  When you purchase historic homes, part of the joy and fun is the search for authentic reproductions or replacements.  Enjoy the hunt!