I found this article on msn.com
and thought I share.  Be sure to ask me for a recommendation for a good
home inspector.

With home prices down as much as 50% from their peak several years ago,
especially in certain real-estate markets, many people are deciding with good
reason that now is the time to jump into homeownership or to invest in real
estate. While living in a brand-new home has its perks, these newer homes often
lack charm and personality.

This is why some people are drawn to older, historic homes, which are often
oozing with character. The downside is that they can also be money pits and
cause endless frustrations for homeowners. As the owner of a historic home
myself, I’ll be the first to say that owning an old home isn’t for everyone.
But in spite of the time and money I’ve poured into my 1910 Craftsman, I’d
still much rather live here in than in a swanky new subdivision. So how do you
know if owning a historic home is right for you? Here are five questions you
should ask before you sign on the dotted line.

1. Is the foundation solid?

Old homes often have foundation issues, which are incredibly costly to fix.
When you’re looking at a historic home, leave the living room and bedrooms for
last. The most important information is down in the basement. First, check the
foundation for signs of cracks or shifting. Also look for and test for mold in
the home, as it can be a sign of a weak foundation and other problems. You’ll
likely need to get a thorough home-inspection service to tell you for sure if
the foundation is solid, but if you see signs of crumbling or cracks, it’s best
to move on.

2. How old is the electrical wiring?

Many old homes still have the original knob-and-tube wiring. Although it works,
it can pose a fire hazard — especially in the attic, where it’s likely to be
covered by insulation. Evidence of the knob-and-tube wiring will be in the
basement. If the home’s wiring is outdated, make sure you consider the cost of
updating it. It’s a huge, expensive job. I know because I had to rewire my
entire home after I bought it.

3. How old is the plumbing?

If the house still has the original cast-iron pipes, you might need to replace
them because of mineral buildup, corrosion or leaks. Make sure you closely
inspect any exposed pipes in the basement to see if they’re in working order.
Mineral buildup in the pipes won’t be noticeable until you’re trying to take a
shower and realize that very little water is coming out. And if you’re wondering,
yes, I had to replace all my plumbing too. It wasn’t fun.

4. How is the house heated?

Old radiators may add character, but they’re an expensive way to heat the
house. Make sure you carefully analyze how much fuel oil you’ll need to heat
the house. If the home has central heat, check to see how old the furnace is.
This is another expensive replacement.

5. How’s the roof?

Replacing a roof is one of the most expensive home repairs you’ll make. I
replaced mine recently, and I could have taken a plush European vacation on
what I spent. Make sure you check the roof and the attic carefully for leaks.
If the roof is more than 10 to 15 years old, you might need to replace it
sometime during your ownership of the house.

Final thoughts

As you can see, owning a historic home is fraught with potentially expensive
repairs, but don’t let that scare you off from considering buying one. There
are definitely some pros to owning an older home, starting with the fact that
they are typically incredibly well-made and built with good, sturdy materials
and strong craftsmanship. They also usually contain beautiful old wooden
floors, gorgeous trim and molding, heavy wooden doors and cozy fireplaces that
beg to be lit on winter evenings.

 

I hope you find this information helpful.  Be sure to give me a call
for your buying and or selling needs or email me at meyosha@rrea.com .

 

Recommended Posts

Leave a Comment