To answer your question, you can certainly remodel an older home and make it "like new". It just depends on how much work you want to do on it. We have homes in my area that have been torn down except for one wall and been done over.
Some older homes have nice features that you might want to keep. I recommend you work with a very good Buyer Agent who can help you pick the right property.
Please to not discount the quality of older homes.
Many of them were built with better material and workmanship than the newer homes you see today.
The only thing I would urge you to be on point with is having a good inspcetor come out and inspect the installation material.
Some older home may have been paitned with lead bsaed paint...just make sure there are to chips in the paint.
Not to mention older homes usually have much more yard space than the newer ones, so you will own MORE land.
Very Best Of Success To You, and enjoy your new home , even if it turns out to be a little old:)
Kawain Payne, Realtor
Judy Bauer CRS GRI SFR
Coldwell Banker Bozigian
DRE Lic# 00763597
You've received some excellent answers - no matter the age a home can be remodeled to be whatever you want. It will depend on your remodeling budget, but there are some lovely older homes that have been updated - granite, tile, A/C, etc.
Your only limited by your imagination and your budget. Locally there are some excellent renovation contractors and lenders, I'd be happy to assist you with your needs as I am local real estate expert.
I look forward to hearing from you and being able to assist you.
Tamara Stoebe, REALTOR/Notary
GRI, e-PRO, CHS, QSC
DRE License #01827461
Prudential Troth REALTORS
1801 W. Ave. K
Lancaster, CA 93534
Fax (661) 422-3006
There isn't any thing in a 50 year old house that can't be updated or fixed:
Most were built with a crawl space under the floors, particularly in California; and while nobody want to crawl under there, it does make for easier working.
Compare it to doing a frame-off restoration on a '62 Corvette. Same principle.
In addition, there are several programs where you can borrow extra money to do the re-hab and have it piggy-back on the Loan.
If you want details, e-mail Shane Milne at "thebesthomeloans.com"; he is also on Trulia, you can look him up and see his profile and recommendations.
Good luck and may God bless