Home Buying in Katy>Question Details

Beverly Brown, Real Estate Pro in Katy, TX

Is purchasing a home that is 20 years old a good decision?

Asked by Beverly Brown, Katy, TX Fri Feb 10, 2012

I'm worried about shifting foundation in older homes, should that be a concern?

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Dear Suze,
As a 25 year Houston native I can tell you there are no homes in Houston with a basement. Houston is too close to sea level and very flat and 100% humidity is the norm, therefore nobody builds basements here. We have what we call a "Texas Basement", but you would probably call it a floored in attic.

I know of one exception: In River Oaks (the most expensive part of town full of multi-million dollar homes) they built up a huge foundation so they could add a bowling alley in the 3/4 above ground basement. It was owned by "Diamond Jim"/"Silver Dollar Jim" West Jr. back in the 1930's. He was an excentric oil man that used to throw silver Dollars to people when he went out. He had over 30 cars and is known for being a wild and crazy guy. If your curious to see how rich you have to be to build a basement in Houston you can follow this link to read more about him: http://www.pioneeroilproducers.com/IndustryAntecotes/Antecot…

I wish you the best of luck Beverly! Happy house hunting!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 18, 2012
Vickey hit the nail right on the head. This past summer was one of the worst for Houstonians and because of that, foundation companies flourished (and are still flourishing) because of the overwhelming amount of orders. Foundation issues are something that will eventually happen, the key is to fix the problem as soon as possible. When a company repairs a foundation, they wull usually warranty the work for 10-15 years. Purchasing a home that is 20 years old is a good decision if you can purchase it under market value, make the necessary repairs, and still be under market value :)

I work with investors, and first time home buyers alike.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 17, 2012

There are pro's and con's to purchasing any home, new or not!! The question is does it work for you and your family, is the location good for school, work, shopping, activities, etc.

Shifting foundation can happen on any home built in the Houston Area, our soil is Gumbo or clay and when we have a normal amount of rain fall it stays very moist but when we have a dry spell like this past year and if the foundation wasn't kept moist then you can have foundation problems, it's that simple. The age of the house has not much to do with the moisture around it.

Foundation repair is very common in our area and there are many repair companies that will give a life time warranty on those repairs, what I would suggest is making sure it's a company that has been around awhile and will continue to be around.

Having said that the age shouldn't be as much of a concern as the condition of the house. If it has been well cared for and works for you and your family what difference does the age make?

Have fun looking for your home!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 10, 2012
Ask about the furnace, roof and basement. If there is a warranty still in place on the construction, you might investigate to see if they are still valid or expired. Otherwise, inspection is your best bet. Some parts of a home improve with age. The wood flooring and framing actually get stronger.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 10, 2012
Hello Beverly,
My suggestion to you would be on purchase of any homes new or resale make sure you have inspection done
to satisfy your descision.
The purchase of home 20years or 30years is all depending on the location and price.
Some older homes are put together better than new ones, and materials used were better higher quality.
Web Reference: http://www.MrsoldHomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 10, 2012
20 years is not really that old. There are some really nice homes available in Katy that are 20 years and older.All depends on how well the owner has taken care if it and updated the energy efficiency features. You can find many new homes that have ac system rated 15 seer and some 20 year old homes that have 20 seer
systems. All depends on the owner.
Concerning foundations, it is the seller's responsibility the have the foundation repaired if the inspection dictates. And as the Buyer you should receive a lifetime transferable warranty on that foundation.
Foundations are subject to problems all across southeast Texas because of the soil and thousands of small
fault lines. Owners can take prcautions against foundation settlement,but few do.
Web Reference: http://www.larrystovall.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 10, 2012
Hi Beverly,

A home that was built in 1992 isn't really "old" by any standard. Also, in my opinion, the "age" of the foundation shouldn't really concern you when it comes to "shifting". I would be more concerned with the construction, drainage, what type of soil or "earth" the foundation was poured on, etc. Have a licensed home inspector or foundation/construction expert you trust check it out before you make a decision.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 10, 2012
Each home stands on it's own. Older homes that have been cared for by their owners can be a fine choice. Each home stands on its own so you need to weigh the pros and cons of each specific home. I have seen many 20 year old homes that are in much better condition than a 5 year home.

Don Groff
REALTOR® | Mortgage Broker
Keller Williams Realty | 360 Lending Group
o.512.669.5599 m.512.633.4157
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 10, 2012
If the property suits your needs, no reason not to consider an older home; do have the property professionally inspected, and go from there....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 10, 2012
A home that is 20-30 years old can be a good choice depending on your needs. Often the older homes are on much larger lots than a new home. Builders today squeeze more homes into less space to maximize their profits. So if you want a big yard an older home is an obvious choice. Make sure you have it inspected and if you have reasons to suspect the foundation has issues have a foundation company come and inspect it for problems. Many older homes are on pier and beam foundation which can be easier to level than the slab type foundations. Ask your Realtor for the names of several inspectors to check out this home. I wish you the best on your purchase!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 10, 2012
It depends on the home. Your inspections will provide the answers you seek. In SF, we buy and sell properties that are much older - some are over 100 years old.

Oggi Kashi
Broker Associate, Paragon Real Estate Group CA DRE 01844627
All data from sources deemed reliable but subject to errors and omissions, and not warranted.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 10, 2012
I there is settlement in any type of home. Homes that are on hills tend to have more shifting then homes on flat surface. I love homes from the 20's and 30's because they are usually built really solid, plaster walls, etc. As for a home that is 20 years old, keep in mind that some of the mechanicals, roof, windows etc may be approaching the time to replace mark. Just get a good home inspection done so you have peace of mind.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 10, 2012
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