Home Buying in Palo Alto>Question Details

Geethal With…, Home Buyer in West Hempstead, NY

What do you think about buying a 100 year old house if it's in good outside condition?

Asked by Geethal Withanachchi, West Hempstead, NY Tue Nov 9, 2010

What do you think about buying a 100 year old house if it's in good outside condition?

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14
David Tapper’s answer
It's all in the buy. If can get if for the right price, go for it. Be careful that the foundation is not turning to dust. Get professional inspections and you should be fine.

Tap
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 10, 2010
In Palo Alto, most of the value is in the LAND not the house.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 10, 2010
I think it's great - obviously get it inspected and be vigilant with the results, but an old house can be great. Full of character and charm. I live in a 125 year old house - it was a bit of a wreck when we got it, but a few years and a load of work later, we love it. As long as the mechanicals are up to date (furnace, water heater, electrical system) and the roof and gutters are not as old as the house, it can be a great thing to do!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 10, 2010
How amazing is that ... is it in a historic district? Construction many times these homes can be difficult to replace items such as windows and etc.

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
972-699-9111
http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 10, 2010
As Marcy and others have pointed out it's the condition of the frame and foundation and roof that are important. So if you do your inspections and it comes out fine then, buy all means go ahead with the purchase as the age is a moot point.
Regards,
Allyson
408-705-6578
allyson@homesbyallyson.com
DRE# 01397256
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 10, 2010
I love old homes! They typically have much more class and character than newer homes and are usually in better neighborhoods with great walkability.

Old homes could have serious issues - but I've also seen 5 year old homes with cracked foundations and other major issues. It’s been stated well below: order inspections and have a serious look at everything. Due diligence is the order of the day – however, it is with newer homes as well.

One major issue? Closets are normally very small.

Here is a post that may be helpful:

Why New Isn't Better: Five Critical Facts To Know
http://www.trulia.com/blog/carl_medford/2010/02/why_new_isn_…

In addition, with walk scores gaining prominence these days, and with many old homes in graet locations, here is another post that may be helpful:

Walk Scores Gaining Momentum: How To Discover YOUR Walk Score
http://www.trulia.com/blog/carl_medford/2010/07/walk_scores_…
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 10, 2010
Like the others say. Get the property inspected. I would also suggest using someone that is familiar with the construction of these older homes. Someone that has been working the area. If you plan on remodeling, bring in a contractor with the same type experience. Framing, plumbing and electrical may require upgrades or replacement which will add to construction costs. If your not planning on remodeling, get a good grip on maintenance costs for a home that old.

Best Regards,

Eric Soderlund
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 10, 2010
I have seen homes 50 yrs old that needed to be knocked down. I have seen structures close to 100 years old that were built with quality materials & superior craftsmanship that could survive another 100 yrs. Like the others said below, quality inspections are KEY. Make sure you are working with someone who is ASHI certified, and has a lot of experience. I have seen the difference, and you don't want to be on the short end of the inspection.
Good luck & Enjoy!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 10, 2010
100 year old, 20 years old, or right out of the box....get the home inspected by a licensed inspector and then proceed.
Web Reference: http://www.321property.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 10, 2010
In California, the condition of the foundation and framing are more important than the outside contition. If you get a property inspection, roof inspection, foundation inspection, chimney inspection, and termite inspection you should get a good idea if the home is sound and a good investment.

Marcy Moyer
DRE 01191194
Web Reference: http://www.marcymoyer.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 9, 2010
Like any property, consider the location. Regarding the structure, your biggest risks are plumbing, wiring, termites and foundation. Any of these could cause problems with getting a mortgage loan or insurance. Luckily, there are plently of inspectors around who specialize in those things and can point out any problems that exist. I agree with Jerry - those old homes not only have a lot of design charm, but they were built to last. You could also benefit if the property is a historical landmark, though there can be down sides to that, too.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 9, 2010
That depends on the house, and location. Keep in mind that older homes at one time had knob and tube electrical, galvanized plumbing, tar paper sewer lines, asbestos floor and side, and lead paint. You will want to know what they have done to bring the home up to safer standards, and if possible how some of the environmental hazards were handled.

There is a new law which requires painters to be environmentally certified when painting a home prior to 1978.

That said, there is a charm about about the older homes which you simply don't find in newer homes. The details and history have a following.
Web Reference: http://terrivellios.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 9, 2010
You will find the old growth pine used to construct these homes are far superior to todays materials. New pine for framing is far softer than the old growth pine. Have a home inspector go through the house from top to bottom and that will answer any fears.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 9, 2010
I would ask the listing agent if there are reports on the property. If there are I would carefuuly read them and ask lots of questions.
Norma
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 9, 2010
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