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Old 06-20-2013, 07:35 AM   #16
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ccarlisle, that is what a friend of ours is dealing with, with her two upstairs bedrooms. They covered the front windows, and a back one, that is in closets, but she wants to place false walls in front of them inside the closet, to help retain some heat in the home, until she can get the windows replaced.

Her problem is, that her ex-boyfriend left her holding onto a money pit, and if she had known that it was going to drain her of sanity and money, she would have never got it. It has been one thing after another with this place that she has, and they sugar coated the sell so bad, that it is now too late to go back after the realtor for shady practice.


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Old 06-20-2013, 08:46 AM   #17
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Your first trip should be to city hall to pull the permits. If there is not a plumbing, electrical, roofing permit etc. Then Skip on the house.

Personally I would have no problem owning a house from 1900. Hell, one of my favorite houses is the one my parents have as their primary right now, we think the "bones" are from the late 1700's but noone knows - THAT is how old it is.

My problem is a "flipped" house of that age though ........ if it was a house where someone had the intention of living for the rest of their lives but had a change come up .... I'd buy that house. That doesn't look like that is the case with this house .... it looks like someone is trying to flip it and that would scare me because I would wonder what's underneath all the plaster.
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:54 AM   #18
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I admit a strong bias since I worked primarily on the preservation and restoration of antique homes. While all the horror scenarios mentioned are possible, so is ending up with a home of true character and that was actually built with tools like a level and a square. And I have certainly seen 20-30 year homes falling apart more completely from the ailments mentioned and terrible initial construction than I have reasonably well maintained homes from the 1900s.

I would definitely look over the permit and sales history for the house. If it was some sort of foreclosure or a project taken on by a bottom feeding flipper, walk from it. Something better will come along.

I think if you are serious about the home, I would definitely invest in your very own complete and thorough inspection. Among other things, knowing what you are up against going in will help you make a realistic offer and budget for what is ahead of you.

As mentioned. Ask around for a name and call a contractor to look over the inspection report and take a second look at the property for you. I would have taken the time to do it for you with the thought in mind I might get some work out of it. I would not have expected you to hand the work to me automatically though. A contractor can give you a good indication of how long things will take, the materials and resources to install them you will need, and whether you can do them yourself. Most of us can give you an honest opinion about what it will be like living in the house with some of the renovations going on.

Old houses can strain marriages and bad first home experiences can taint you if you feel enslaved to the home. Most of those who have committed to rescuing or just renovating old homes love them and would probably never live in anything else.

Finally, make sure you know what historical landmark status or other neighborhood ordinances apply to an antique home. Some have real trouble with such restrictions and limits as to what they can do to their homes. If your potential home falls into the category and you will have trouble with such things, an old home may not be for you. Hysterial preservation people usually have the best interests of the community in mind (and of course their own property values) but some can be draconian to the point of quite annoying.


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