Insult to My House

Dear Mrs. McVeigh,
I am in the process of purchasing an older home in a nice neighborhood. I met my soon to be across the street neighbor at a party. She made the comment that she is surprised that we bought the house and are not tearing it down. Her implication of course is that it is an old house that is in such poor condition, that it should not be saved. I was so stunned as of what to say, that I just said nothing. My friend who was with me tried to save the situation by explaining that I am good at remodeling houses. Typically, when a moment like that passes, I think of a lot of great “come backs.” But honestly, I am still at a loss of how to respond in a situation like this. Any advice?
Lover of a Remodel

Dear Lover of a Remodel,
I am going to give this person the benefit of the doubt, and hope that she did not realize that she was so offensive. You can either approach it with a humorous come back such as, “I was going to have you over for coffee, but I guess you would not want to hang out in an old house like mine.” Or put her on the spot, and fire back with some questions such as, “You think it should be torn down? Why do you think that? When is the last time you have been in it? Do you not like older homes?” Or come back with a flat statement, “I think it is a shame that so many old houses are torn down. I think it is only right to try to save them for historical and environmental reasons.” If you are faced with this type of comment again, I hope you can adopt one of these approaches in answering this question.