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nkellams1 06-19-2013 05:32 PM

113 year old home
 
My wife and I are looking to purchase our first home. We have found a completely remodeled home built in 1900. What are some things that we should be concerned with? Of course it has plaster walls, so im assuming that the home has stuffed newspaper insulation (or nothing at all). How big of a deal is Newspaper insulation, should this be a no deal for us?

Thanks,

joecaption 06-19-2013 05:55 PM

#1 Please go back and add your location to your profile, just go to Quick links to add it.
Old houses can be a money pit real quick, you say remodeled, paper and paint to make it what she ain't is not remodeling.
Remodeling would be if they opened up the walls and did the required fire blocking, insulated, brought the old wiring up to modern codes, replaced the old cast iron and steel plumbing with new PVC, copper or PEX. Removed the old roofing and replaced not just covered it over.
Word of warning never use a home inspector a realtor suggest, hire your own!
Better yet got a friend is in the trades, have them look it over and pay them.
Just a few of the common flaws in an old house.
Old useless septic system.
Under sized and over spanned floor joist.
Insect and water damage.
Failing foundation.
Lack od insulation which will make for a cold house and really high utility bills.
Shingles laid over old wooden shakes, or many layers of shingles.
Rot around a front porch or stoop. (only going to see it if you go under the house)
Still hot Knob and tube wiring.
Old wooden windows.
Chimneys with not liner or caps.

nkellams1 06-19-2013 06:02 PM

Evansville Indiana sorry....Here is a list of a few questions i asked and the answers.
Did they replace the wiring, 200 amp? Wiring in the house is up to code and panel is newer.

insulation condition? Walls and ceilings were not opened up except for master bedroom. see below.

When was the Hot water heater replaced. Appears to be a newer gas heater and works without any flaws.

along with the HVAC. HVAC was serviced in November

When was the plumbing replaced? Shower valves, faucets, shut off valves and toilets were replaced this year.

How old are the windows, and who installed them. Windows are all brand new high efficiency done by J&J Construction.

Are there wooden floors under the carpet. Guest bedroom downstairs and master hallway does have hardwood floors underneath.

How well insulated is the Master Bedroom addition? We have concerns about the Master being really hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Master bedroom was completely gutted and new insulation was put in all walls and ceiling. All insulation meets or exceeds current standards. All drywall was replaced.

Would the seller be willing to put up a fence on the other side of the property? Yes with an acceptable offer.

What all is included in the one year warranty? Julie you would be best to answer this as I don't have the coverage in front of me. I believe that it pretty much covers any issues that could arise.

How much is trash pick-up?Trash is included with water service.

Any Asbestos? lead paint? Not that I am aware off. Interior paint is all new, trim, walls and ceiling.

oh'mike 06-19-2013 06:28 PM

You need someone on sight to look it over---Antique houses are great as long as you don't buy one with a fatal flaw.

Can you find a good older contractor that could walk through the house and check on the expensive systems?

Foundation--
Rotted wood structure
plumbing
electrical
roof

Insulation can be added by drilling and filling--if the knob and tube electrical has been replaced.

Windows can be rebuilt if you like the looks of the old ones--
But if the foundation is shot or the sill plates are eaten by bugs---Oh,boy.

oh'mike 06-19-2013 06:37 PM

I just reread your post--
Electrical to code ? That is meaningless---todays code or code at the time it was installed---vintage wiring is grandfathered in and still meets 'code'

New valves and toilets? What about the drain system and water pipes?

There is lead paint--that is a given in a house of that age---however,if the new paint is in good shape,that is not a problem.
(until you have to rip open walls)

The right home inspector could fill you in--but a contractor would be my suggestion----

Daniel Holzman 06-19-2013 06:43 PM

I agree with O'Mike. An older house is likely constructed using very different materials and techniques than a modern house. Only those with long experience or significant training are going to be able to prepare a report for your use which details the critical aspects of the house, which would include foundation condition, framing, roofing, windows and doors, wiring, plumbing, heating, utility service.

Part of the appeal of an old house is that it (hopefully) retains some or most of the character of the original. This carries the usual pitfalls, including undersized structural components, insect damage, rot, poor insulation, dangerous wiring, faulty plumbing etc. Only a real expert can properly evaluate such a house.

nkellams1 06-19-2013 06:47 PM

Here is the address for the listing so you can see what im dealing with. I really appreciate everyones input Thanks,
http://www.erafirst.com/listings/14896

oh'mike 06-19-2013 08:13 PM

Several of us here have worked on antique houses---and Daniel is right--an older contractor with experience will 'look at the bones' of the house--

Your biggest concerns are structural soundness---if the foundation is good and the wood structure is sound---every thing else is relatively minor--

The house looks nice and the location is good---I've made a few trips to your city---I like fossils and camping--you are in a prime spot for both--

Good luck---I do house inspections for my regular customers--for free--because I know I will be the one to work on it if they buy.

mj12 06-19-2013 09:54 PM

Someone is trying to dump that house. I would offer them 60,000. Never feel bad about low balling then just walk away.

gregzoll 06-19-2013 10:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nkellams1 (Post 1204092)
My wife and I are looking to purchase our first home. We have found a completely remodeled home built in 1900. What are some things that we should be concerned with? Of course it has plaster walls, so im assuming that the home has stuffed newspaper insulation (or nothing at all). How big of a deal is Newspaper insulation, should this be a no deal for us?

Thanks,

Do you even want to start. Lets see: Knob & Tube that is still live, hidden junction points, screwed up catv/antenna wiring, telephone wiring that looks like rats are making a home, poorly insulated, poorly installed windows & doors, if not done by a licensed contractor, old plumbing, no insulation, or poorly installed insulation.

Personally I would start with by doing my own homework and talk to neighbors that have been in the neighborhood for a long time, dig through the county records for any permits for work, check out the County Tax assessor website to see what records they have (our's has pictures, so I can actually date our drive back to around 1965, same as when the tree in our front yard was planted, also about the same time our garage was built.).

There is a lot you can find out, by going around the neighborhood and talking to people, checking public info online, calling the county to see what permits were filed during the remodel, etc., before you sign on the line.

gregzoll 06-19-2013 10:18 PM

Look what I found. http://www.vanderburghassessor.org/D...11-059.063-027

They are giving the Garage a C, the Dwelling a D by their score, and Condition is AV. whatever that means. Looks like it was a tax sale in July & Dec. 2012, by the price it sold for those two times. I would call them and as what the scores mean for the two that have a C, and the Dwelling that has the D. I am guessing AV is for Average.

md2lgyk 06-20-2013 06:33 AM

How old are you? Are you skilled in DIY work? Do you have a lot of money to (potentially) spend on things that are wrong? While we have remodeled some portion of every house we've ever owned, and actually built our current house by ourselves, there is no way I would touch a house as old as what you're looking at. There are just too many unknowns that could cost you a ton of money.

A good example: An online university moved its headquarters to a town near here, and bought a few older homes to renovate into offices. Upon removing lath and plaster in a room of one of them, guess what they found? A LIVE Civil War cannon shell!

TheBobmanNH 06-20-2013 06:42 AM

Just to give a voice on the OTHER side of this issue, since everyone here is doom and gloom : I have a house that is almost the exact same age, and it's been fantastic. I know plenty of people who have houses that are fifteen years old that have pipes that burst and leaky windows and all other manner of problems related to the fact that untrained workers slap together shoddy (and, incidentally, ugly) houses by the dozens these days.

That said... all of what has been said above is true. But get a good inspection (or more than one), and be aware of the potential issues.... but don't be afraid just because it's old.

ccarlisle 06-20-2013 07:18 AM

"Someone is trying to dump that house."

I tend to agree; or it's being flipped. Or both. Looks like plenty was done - cosmetically - on the inside and outside to potentially cover up what you wouldn't want to see under normal conditions.

So the guy bought it for, say $20,000, puts in upgrades and renewals, say $30,000; so the guy wants to make a quick $40,000?

But no way are there electrical, insulation or plumbing upgrades done so basically you don't really know...get an inspection done as others have said. Expect a good inspection to take 3-4 hours...

That front bedroom with the two windows is going to be real cold, too, overhanging like that and I doubt there's spray foam under there.

gregzoll 06-20-2013 07:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheBobmanNH (Post 1204342)
Just to give a voice on the OTHER side of this issue, since everyone here is doom and gloom : I have a house that is almost the exact same age, and it's been fantastic. I know plenty of people who have houses that are fifteen years old that have pipes that burst and leaky windows and all other manner of problems related to the fact that untrained workers slap together shoddy (and, incidentally, ugly) houses by the dozens these days.

That said... all of what has been said above is true. But get a good inspection (or more than one), and be aware of the potential issues.... but don't be afraid just because it's old.

No one is being Doom & Gloom. We are just pointing out that there is a lot to be expected with old homes. Looking at the history on this home, from the Assessor site, it is possible that there was a lot of dirty flipping done during the past two years, along with shoddy upkeep.

The grades do not set right, if they are stating that the D is showing poor quality for the dwelling, but the OP needs to get ahold of the county to see what their grading system means.


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