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Old 12-20-2012, 03:51 PM   #1
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Old Historic House in Florida


I am considering buying a "historic" house in South Florida as an investment.

It is being offered as a short sale.

The value is more in the land. Great location.

The house is NOT so great. OLD - built in the 1920s.

Due to the historic nature of the house, and the neighborhood, the city would never allow the house to be torn down and the current potential of the land to be leveraged.

The house itself does have it's charm. It has those old windows with 8" thick trims, original Dade County pine floors, baseboards were hand done and 12" tall. All the doors were custom wood craved and has old hardware that I know if I need to replace will not find a match. Some windows have the old church stained glass windows.

Problem is the wood floor is not level, some spots are bowed a bit, as you walk it squeaks. Realtor says this is typical with 1920 houses, that "it's part of the charm". I am thinking it is cost prohibitive to try and level the floors? The floor joists below must be crooked and bowed?

Also rooms have no closets, or closets that's as small as an airplane toilet. So one must bring in armoires.

So, is it normal to have squeaky bowed floors on 1920 houses? Is it something one would try to correct? Or is it "part of the charm"?
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:11 PM   #2
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Old Historic House in Florida


"Wow" man send some pics, not the floor, the house, hell I can live with squeaky floors. Put some talc on it. Man would I love to do a house like that.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:13 PM   #3
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Old Historic House in Florida


Near impossible to find level floors in an old house.
It sounds like you may know know what to even look for or know what's it's going to take or cost.
Better have an engineer, or at least a real GC (general contractor) come take a look at it.
Lot's of us here do this kind of work all the time, sometimes it's just a matter of adding a beam, adding more piers, sistering some joist.
Other time the old joist are eatten up with insects, fungus, to long a span, under sized ECT.
No way to tell without being on site and know what to look for.
Your main money when dealing with an old house is in a lot of cases all the wiring will need to be redo, all the plumbing replaced to get rid of all the old steel and cast iron pipe.
New roof.
All new HVAC.
I've had many a customer buy an old house because it had charm and end up spending over $100,000 to bring it up to code and up date all the main systems.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:54 PM   #4
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Old Historic House in Florida


Joe, wiring has been updated, not sure how much, but I saw GFCI receptacles in bathrooms and kitchen.

New central AC was put in already.

New metal roof with 30 year warranty.

I noticed they connected to city sewer 4 years ago. Old septic tank removed and filled.

There is probably hidden issues. I saw evidence of termites, but in Florida termites are everywhere.

Was told the owner put in 150K to update the house. He paid 350K in 2003.

Now it's in short sale.

But yes squeaky floors. In Florida we have no basement, but the house is raised by several feet with the front steps. So there is a crawl space below.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:58 PM   #5
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Old Historic House in Florida


Quote:
Originally Posted by ToolSeeker View Post
"Wow" man send some pics, not the floor, the house, hell I can live with squeaky floors. Put some talc on it. Man would I love to do a house like that.
I will visit it again this week...I will snap some pictures and post.

I am sure in locations like Boston old houses are common, but down here in South Florida it's not that common.

It's got character but I am trying to decide if those "characters" are nightmares. For example if the city ask me to replace those stained glass windows with hurricane impact glasses what do I do?
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:10 PM   #6
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Old Historic House in Florida


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Originally Posted by miamicuse View Post
I will visit it again this week...I will snap some pictures and post.

I am sure in locations like Boston old houses are common, but down here in South Florida it's not that common.

It's got character but I am trying to decide if those "characters" are nightmares. For example if the city ask me to replace those stained glass windows with hurricane impact glasses what do I do?
What I would do first is check with the historical society. They can probably answer more of your questions than we can. And they could give you a better understanding of what to expect from our wonderful government.
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:35 PM   #7
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Old Historic House in Florida


If you put in new windows they would have to meet the new codes.
There not going to make you go back and redo the old ones.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:55 PM   #8
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Old Historic House in Florida


Just be careful when buying old homes,they are called "money pits" for a reason.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:06 PM   #9
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Get an expert in that place to see if it's worth saving----there is a reason the floors arent level---what is that reason?

I am trying to work up an estimate on demolishing a house that a naive 'investor ' recently purchased---

The house was junk---they never wanted to 'waste money' on an inspector because the sale was 'as is'---
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
If you put in new windows they would have to meet the new codes.
There not going to make you go back and redo the old ones.
nOT SURE WHAT YOU MEAN, jOE- YOU MEAN ONE would be forced to replace older "putty" windows with new ones? Or, if one wants to maintain the putty and redo the windows the city will not allow it? I dont thing so, as I owned such a house and never happened. They will never force one to replace the old windows just cuz someone thinks they arent adequate.

Also, "bringing up to code" (another poster)? So, one buys an old house and the city code enforcement officer forces you to bring all the elec, plumbing, insulation, roofing, etc etc as if it is a new house ? No, I doubt it. Yes, if say, one wanted to put in a NEW deck on say, the second floor, yes, one has to prepare structiure to code, but not existing structure.
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Old 12-23-2012, 01:19 AM   #11
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Old Historic House in Florida


He means any new updating or new systems have to conform to current codes. Older, non-conforming things can be left as is and in most cases are covered under a grandfather clause.
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