I am both a real estate broker & a loan office. If you need any help, just let me know.
Good luck to you in any case,
Isaac Real Estate Team
Champions Real Estate Services
TriStar Finance #MLO-107799
Office: 425-483-6849 Cell: 206-841-9976
Winner of Seattle Magazines 5 Star
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Siding: Many of the alternatives to cedar siding simply do not hold up well. They need just as much maintenance as cedar, but if they don't get it they require expensive replacement siding. An older house with cedar siding which has been well maintained may very well be the best product you could hope for.
Electrical: This is probably the one area where a new house has a clear advantage. Outlet spacing, grounding wires, number of circuits, and the ability of the insulating covers to withstand heat have all improved over the years. Then there are the defective products of the past, such as Zinsco and Federal Pacific breaker panels. On the bright side, I think we're finally getting to the point where our houses' electrical demand is decreasing, so it's less likely the number of circuits will be inadequate going forward.
Plumbing: Here older may likely be better in that older may be more likely to be copper. All the other materials, older or newer, may be problematic in some way, or at least inferior.
Insulation: This can also be a concern, but for most houses the ceilings and floors can be easily upgraded. Upgrading walls can be more problematic.
Prior Upgrades: This is an area that you have to take on a case by case basis. As a general rule, remodeling that changes the floor plan is a negative, because the design is poorly thought out or simply doesn't fit. I've seen notable exceptions, however. Then there is also the un-permitted work which is done, but covered up (e.g. sheet rock) so that the quality of the work cannot be determined.
Bottom line is I wouldn't shy away from older homes. The one I ended up buying was built in 1969.
Certain things about an 1960's built home may be better than today's construction. You'll need a thorough inspection to check out the electrical, plumbing and insulation as well as everything else. Some of the main concerns may be "updates" done along the way.
Whatever you do make certain your agent looks at true comparables to determine the value.
One more thought, a 203K Rehab loan can help you finance into the loan the updates you may need/want to do.