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Old 05-21-2008, 11:16 AM   #1
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Old vs. New - Need some Help


I am looking at purchasing "something" just not sure what is best.

My wife an I want to move into a town where there are two options

Option 1: Buy old (1880's to 1940's) and redo (not gut, but goo room by room, replace ALL mechanical's, window's etc...
Option 2: Buy REAL bad and tear down or a lot and build new.

We are looking at something in the 2250 to 2500sq ft range.

We would LOVE to buy old and fix up, but there is somthing telling me this will be to much (work and $$ for the end result)

Building new is nice, but then there is no "old world charm"

I would love to hear opinions on both side's, what the cost advantages and disadvantages are and any other info that will help me to decide.

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Old 05-21-2008, 01:11 PM   #2
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Old vs. New - Need some Help


Purcahsing old fixer upper:
EXPENSIVE.

Big costs: Utilities; Plumbing, electrical, heating = $$$

It's a fact, that once you start into a repair path, that "path" will widen into a road, then, a 4 lane highway of rehabbing (Projects always grow in scope, size, and COST, when you are working on an older home and renovating it).

In addition, do you like the idea of living in a partially finished home for 3 to 10 years? Do you like lots of dust, noise, drafts, mess...for long durations of time?

I have seen many a marriage stress to their extremes, or sadly, even end, because of a major and lengthy renovation.

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Old 05-21-2008, 01:13 PM   #3
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BTW: Consider the fact that you can build new and still incorporate old world charm design.
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Old 05-21-2008, 01:25 PM   #4
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Good info, I appreciate your reply.

I got a price on a prefab, and for 1500sq ft on a basement, it was around $300K (or $200 per sq ft).

If I were to, build stick is that a good ballpark price to use?

I am on the jersey shore.

My issue is that a Lot/tear down will run about $300K (50x150). So, I am over $600K to build.

In the $500 to 600K range, I can find a solid house, but need to "work on it" for some time until perfect.

Hard to determine what is the best road to take.
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Old 05-21-2008, 02:54 PM   #5
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Old vs. New - Need some Help


that is extremely good advice Atlantic gave you.Another thing to take into consideration on a refurbish is things you dont see coming.I bought a 4400 sqf home a little over two years ago and started gutting it right away.It all was going well even though I am a long haul trucker then the start of the second year I ended up in the hospital for 6 months with brain surgery.I had already pulled the walls and ceilings so that made for one damm cold winter in here I live in westren PA.and my heating cost were outrageous,and thats just one example.Dont get me wrong it has been fun and it is real nice to get a room finished but if you don't have the time or money or even the skill don't get into it
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:17 AM   #6
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Old vs. New - Need some Help


Not sure of your situation with distance from the new town, money or time but, would it be an option to buy a home and stay where you currently are for a month or two? That way you could remodel a few main rooms (1 bedroom, 1 bath, kitchen) and then move in and finish the rest of the house? That way you at least have a small portion finished and a few useable rooms when you move in. Would greatly reduce the stress of doing a full home remodel with you stuck living in the middle of ground zero.
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:47 AM   #7
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Living in a house while you go room by room is a mess. If yo can get the main rooms done like was stated above that is the ticket. My first house we lived in while we gutted it and rehabbed it, the dust was horrible. Having no counters for almost a year was horrible, we used scab pieces of wood. I won't do it again while I am living there. One room at a time is not bad though. Just not the main rooms. Plus there is the thing with upgrading all your plumbing and wiring, that is hard one room at a time. Sometimes you will need to pull something out of another room.
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:16 AM   #8
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In thinking about this and reading the responcs my plan will be this:

Option 1: Buy a lot or tear down and build new.
Option 2: Buy older, prior to moving in redo Master BR, Bathroom's, and kitchen. Redo the remainder of the house as we go.

In the house I am in now, even though it is only 20 year's old, in the last 5 year's we have liven through (me being the GC and doing some work) an addition, bathroom and kitchen gut's and remodel's, hardwood floor install's, etc.... I DO NOT want to go through that again and like the advise of finishing some main rooms first, then moving in.

For me, building new will be my preference, but I do not think I will be able to swing that from a $$$$ standpoint. We will see.
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Old 06-03-2008, 03:08 AM   #9
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think about what you just said
"We would LOVE to buy old and fix up, but there is somthing telling me this will be to much (work and $$ for the end result"
you have pretty much answered ur own question - "but there is somthing telling me this will be to much "

if your gut is telling you it's too much, then as we all know our guts normally don't lie. i will say that if you go into this thinking that way, then ya, it's gonna be too much. the best thing to do is weigh the pros and cons. get a good idea of what needs to be redone in the old house and add some to it cuz generally more will need doing than what you (think) will need to be done.
if it were me, i'd probley aim for a newer house and make it feel "old" by decorating it with an old feeling.

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