rrn78, Home Buyer in San Diego, CA

What are the disadvantages of buying a home that is old (say by 20 years)?

Asked by rrn78, San Diego, CA Tue Apr 2, 2013

My wife does not want to look for a home that is older than 2000. Is it true that there will be lot of maintenance work on it? How many years is the life of a home in CA?

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John William…, Agent, San Diego, CA
Tue Aug 13, 2013
The most important thing is to get a home inspection, my real estate partner and I just closed on a home in Golden Hill that was built in 1920, built like a bomb shelter with great timber and redwood, the foundation was super thick and in great shape.

Many older homes offer superior products that are now too expensive to use, electricity, slab and pipes should be checked. Get a good home inspector, check out neighborhoods like Mission Hills, South Park, North Park, University Heights and Kensington to see the quality that has disappeared in many cookie cutter newer enclaves.
1 vote
Arpad Racz, Agent, San Jose, CA
Sat Sep 13, 2014

Sometimes older homes have larger lots than new ones, or other beneficial factors. It is very important to research all the differences, and then make a practical decision. You can for starters see what the dollar per sq. ft. living area is in both neighborhoods (old and newer), then start evaluating the additional factors.

Kind regards,

0 votes
Brendan Brac…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, San Diego, CA
Sat Sep 13, 2014
If you want to buy a home that needs work, consider a loan program that allows you to include a Renovation Budget in the purchase of the home.

The 203(k) Renovation Loan may be able to help you get the home you've always wanted, by turning a home that's almost perfect into the home that's just right for you. You can purchase and renovate your new home, all in one loan, with one set of closing costs.

Benefits of the standard 203(k) loan include:
1) No limit on repair amount; $5,000 minimum
2) Fees for five draws are included
3) Single-family homes, PUDs and 2-4 unit primary residences are eligible
4) Cost consultant fee may be rolled into the mortgage
5) Several months of Mortgage payments may be included in the loan if the property is not habitable

Don't let the wrong carpet color, lack of central air conditioning or a poorly designed kitchen stop you from getting the home that's almost perfect. If you have a vision of the perfect home, we have a loan that could help you bring that vision to life.

Some examples of allowed renovations are:

New roof
Upgrade electrical or plumbing systems
Remodel kitchen or bath
Purchase and installation of new appliances
Room addition
Repair or replacement of structural damage
Replace windows
Install hardwood floors
Finish basement
New carpet or paint
Energy conservation improvements
Improve landscaping

These loans are especially great for FHA properties, older homes and REO homes but any home can benefit from some remodeling or cosmetic fixes, to make it your own.

Say you're shopping for a new home, and you keep finding houses that are almost perfect. Maybe the carpets are old and need replacing; maybe the paint is starting to peel; maybe you need a handicap ramp installed; maybe the furnace is just a little too old. Maybe you're checking out the REO or foreclosure and short sale markets and thinking that most of those homes need some work before you'd be happy in one of them.

Those problems don't have to be deal breakers. A 203(k) Renovation Loan can help you take care of those problems and turn a house that's almost perfect into the home that's just right for you. With a 203(k) loan, you can borrow money for repairs and upgrades in addition to your loan for the home itself, all bundled together so you only pay one set of closing costs and make only one payment each month for your financing.

These loans are especially great for FHA properties, older homes and homes bought on short sale or at foreclosure — but any home can benefit from some remodeling or cosmetic fixes, to make it your own. I can explain the details of the program and provide you with guidelines to stick to while you look at houses with your real estate agent, making it easier for you to find a home that will qualify.

We offer two types of 203(k) loans: the Streamline Renovation loan and the Standard Renovation loan

Feel free to call us

Brendan Bracken
Mortgage Advisor, NMLS#247272

Peoples Mortgage
2550 Fifth Ave #167
San Diego, Ca 92103

858-518-0523 cell
0 votes
Sam Shueh, , San Jose, CA
Tue Sep 2, 2014
Many homes will last as long as occupants take care of them. In CA I have seen solid homes built after 1880s. As long the foundation, soils etc have no issues. Many homes will last longer than east coast and there are homes built in late 17th century still occupied by proud home owners.

The newer (2000 homes built have better safety features) the downside is they use cheaper materials and take lots of short cuts. Concrete slabs, Chinese drywall. The high ceiling and great room feature may look spacious but they are thermally inefficient.

If your spouse wants newer home the choices is find a cookie cutter home on a tiny lot.

Sam Shueh
0 votes
reynoldsc99, Renter, Tulsa, OK
Thu Aug 28, 2014
One thing to consider is the kitchen. When a home is that old, chances are that the kitchen does not have the wiring that you may need. Older homes didn't have the appliances we use today, so they didn't provide outlets and circuits to support them. You should first find out whether the kitchen has been upgraded at all.

Claire Reynolds || http://www.mustangbuilderscorp.com/custom-cabinetry/
0 votes
Diana Hellman, Agent, Larchmont, NY
Wed Aug 27, 2014
I would agree with what John has said. I would just add that location is a very important part of the equation. In addition to the condition of the home (which is not necessarily determined by age), the location should not be disregarded.
0 votes
Robert Chome…, , San Diego, CA
Wed Aug 27, 2014
That is interesting I would look at 20 years old as new:) Primarily you could have dated hvac, flooring, roof, kitchen, baths. You have to look at the house and list out all the things you think you will have to replace or upgrade and factor that into your offer.
0 votes
Bradley Neum…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Franklin, TN
Sat Nov 9, 2013
Simple, more maintenance. But even new is not maintenance free. For mortgage help, call or email for a free pre-approval in less than 10 minutes. We lend our own money and are licensed in 49 states.

We can do: FHA, Conventional, USDA, VA, HARP, Interest Only, Home Equity, Fixed, and Variable. Find out which product is right for you by calling Brad at (855) 415-5626.

Brad Neumann
Sr. Loan Officer
Crosscountry Mortgage Inc.
Toll Free: (855) 415-5626 ext. 5734
Email: bneumann@myccmortgage.com
NMLS# 948036
0 votes
David Rudd, Agent, San Diego, CA
Tue Sep 10, 2013
Answer - depends. Has the home been remodeled, when were the appliances replaced, water heater, air condition, piping.......

Obviously, as homes age, maintenance costs rise.

Life of home is dependent on quality of construction. This also varies by builder.

If you find an older home, ask some of the neighbors. See what they have had to replace and their thoughts.

Best of luck,

David Rudd
Kindred Real Estate
0 votes
John Reeves, Agent, San Diego, CA
Tue Aug 13, 2013
Some buyers focus on the more practical aspect of buying a new home because it typically will require less maintenance than an older house. Personal preferences aside, there are pros and cons to buying a newly built home over a resale, as well as financial implications for each option.

If you need advice on this or have other questions and need help in finding a good home, please don't hesitate to contact me.

J. Reeves
CEO and Founder
Reef Point Realty & Construction
0 votes
Noah Grassi, Agent, San Diego, CA
Wed Jul 10, 2013
One other factor to consider is the seller. Sometimes I am on a showing and go into a walk-in closet with the buyer and everything is immaculate, orderly and thought out. Then we go into the garage and you could literally eat of the floors. In the kitchen, the cupboards don't show any clutter. These aren't areas that most sellers normally clean up right before selling. Garages, closets and cabinets usually show how they truly live and a seller that keeps their place like this can often take better care of a 20 year old home than somebody that had a rental property for sale that is only 5 years old. Do some investigation...usually you get a feeling for who's selling the place and how well they took care of it.
0 votes
Rick Creel, Agent, Glenville, NC
Wed Jul 10, 2013
Something you may want to keep in mind is the mechanical aspects of the home (hvac, water heaters, appliances). These do not have the same life span as a home. Duke Energy, our local power supply, says that refrigerators over 10 years use multiple amounts of energy, compared to newer appliances. Roofing is another factor. Older homes are great. If they have ben well maintained, I prefer them. However, you may have more bargaining power with an older home, due to of the possible issues mentioned. As a result, you may get more for your money in an older home.
0 votes
David Rudd, Agent, San Diego, CA
Sat Jul 6, 2013
A homes age only tells part of the story.

Quality of construction and materials used is the more important factor. As not only a licensed broker, but also appraiser and general contractor, I have seen a ton of homes, built the same year (lets say 20 years ago) with significantly different issues due to building quality and care of home.

One of the biggest items is if water has been kept away from the homes foundation and stucco. A lot of home owners like to put flowers right up against the home. These flowers get sprinklers or drip systems - and hence water on the house.

I suggest asking the neighbors in the area what items have they had to replace in the last five years. depending on materials and construction you may hear of roofs, re-piping, air units, heat units, windows.

Best of luck,

David Rudd
0 votes
Ruth and Per…, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Sat Jun 15, 2013
Hi rm

It's unlikely that a 20 year old will be purchased by you without Inspection and
Previewing the property. An inspection report will tell you any issues, good or bad.
Hence, work with a Realtor.

Homes in California if taken care of will last about 100 to 150 years.
We are seeing several in San Jose, Bay Area that are well over 115 years.

Now a days, roofs are being replaced with life time roofs or 50 year roofs, copper plumbing
That should last 50 plus years, and if the foundation is preserved well by having proper drainage
And keeping it dry then one is in good shape. Electrical panels are good for 55 plus years.

If there is no rodent activity, then the electric wires in the wall should stay sound.

Also, a key issue is termite, hence one should do regular pest control monthly, whether buying a new or old home, or do a termite inspection that may cost up to $200 once every three years.

Good luck.
Web Reference:  http://Ruthandperry.com
0 votes
Alex Shadpour, Agent, Carlsbad, CA
Sat Jun 15, 2013
Homes are not like cars. A 20 year old car that was driven regularly may not be a good purchase even if it was well taken care of. On the other hand a 20 year old home if it was well taken care of and upgraded could be as a good as a new one or even better depending of the upgrade, location and view.

Alex Shadpour, CRS®, ABR®, SFR
REALTOR®, ZipRealty Team Leader
Call/Text: 858.761.1167
Business: 858.605.1911, Fax: 866.886.4874
ZipRealty, Inc., License #01459622
Email: Shadpour@Gmail.com

Council of Residential Specialists (CRS®)
Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®)
Certified Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource (SFR)
0 votes
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Tue Jun 11, 2013
I purchased my primary residence in 1980. It was a circa 50's custom built 2000 sf 3&2. It has a raised stem wall foundation, hardwood floors, lath and plaster walls, ceramic tile countertops, crystal light fixtures and porcelain door knobs & lavatory fixtures throughout.

In 1993 we had a fire and I ended up having to rebuild part of it and replace the entire roof because smoke bellowed through the entire attic. I ended up actually adding 2500sf. The new construction was slab on grade, drywall and utilized the building materials that had evolved during the 80's & 90's building boom.

20 years later I have to say that I am now having more deferred maintenance issues with the newer construction than I've had with the older part of the home. This is certainly evidence to me that that age old adage "They just don't make things like they used to" really bare some truth.
0 votes
Joyce Du Jour, Agent, Poway, CA
Tue Jun 11, 2013
Life of a home depends on maintenance.

An older home gives you the opportunity to make it your own.

An older home may be less expensive.

0 votes
baldy127, Home Buyer, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Wed Apr 17, 2013
20 years is not old by today's standards, especially if the seller has upgraded the appliances, paint and landscaping. A new roof (depending on what kind) couldn't hurt. If the home is CBS with a concrete tile roof, you should be fine up to 40 years or so - if you don't gt caught in a hurricane!

We were looking recently in South Florida. In addition to new homes, we also looked at homes that were around 25 years old which were fine and a few (in certain art-deco neighborhoods) built in the '20s and '30s. those weren't so hot even when remodeled.

I also owned a home in LA for 6 years during the mid '80s. It was about 30 years old at the time and we had no problems. If the house has central air and the condensor and air handler are more than 15 years old, you might try to get the seller to install a new one - or as a concession pay for a good quality home warranty with appliance, roof and A/C coverage.

Reassure your wife depending on the upgrades and remodeling/replacements on the 20-year old property. It's probably just fine.
0 votes
Thank you
Flag Thu Apr 18, 2013
rrn78, Home Buyer, San Diego, CA
Wed Apr 3, 2013
Thanks so much for all your answers. You guys are knowledgeable
0 votes
You're most welcome!
Flag Wed Apr 3, 2013
You are very welcome. Good Luck and hope you find a home you really love!
Flag Wed Apr 3, 2013
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Tue Apr 2, 2013
In answer to the second part of your question. There will always be an appreciable amount of maintenance on any home you own. If you don't wish to deal with it then perhaps it would be better for you to rent/lease. There's nothing wrong with that concept and lots of folks are actually far better suited as renters.

The lifespan of a home depends largely on the ongoing and continuing maintenance you're willing to put into it. Some folks ignore it and end up at the end of the day with a huge amount of deferred maintenance. One way or another homes, like an automobile, a boat or even a human being has to be maintained.

There's nothing in this world made by man including MAN himself that doesn't have to be MAINTAINED. SORRY.
0 votes
Cory La Scala, Agent, San Diego, CA
Tue Apr 2, 2013
There are some beautiful and updated homes that are 50 years or more old. The important thing is the structure and the systems, if you want to avoid as much maintenance as possible. Homes with updated plumbing, electrical and roofing will be as much maintenance as a 10 year old home, and it'll likely have an updated interior as well. Plus, just because a home is new, doesn't mean it was built well. In fact, I recommend home inspections on new construction for exactly that reason (although the builders won't). You'll be able to tell if a home has been maintained well, and that's what you'll want to look for. And, be sure you'll have an agent that will be honest enough to point out the issues, not just the pretty stuff. I can understand where your wife is coming from, it's an important purchase!

Feel free to contact me with questions, or for help in finding a good home.

Warm Regards,

Independence Realty
DRE Lic # 01443391
619-825-6421 CELL
0 votes
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Tue Apr 2, 2013
First thing you will want to do is seek disclosure regarding any class action construction defect litigations that may have taken place if you're looking to purchase in a housing tract/development. As a construction defect litigation expert witness I can tell you that there was a huge amount of class action activity in those days.

If the home you're considering was one that was involved with one then chances are you'll be OK as far as any defects are concerned providing the settlement money was spent on resolving the defect issues. But as others have so aptly stated the home is only in as good of shape as the previous owner/s have maintained it.

You have to look at a home on a case by case basis. As a general contractor for the past 30 years and a real estate broker, developer, property manager and investor I can only say that it's up to you to do your due diligence and work with an honest RE professional and home inspector. Good luck.
0 votes
Trudi Geniale, Agent, San Diego, CA
Tue Apr 2, 2013
I don't think the age of a home is really relevant as much as how well the home was taken care of over the years. I grew up in New York City and also lived on the North Shore of Long Island. There are homes in all of these areas that are over 100 years old. People still are living in them and they get updated and repaired as needed. Some people will gut a home others will just maintain and keep the house as original as possible but put in modern repairs.
I have lived in Fort Lauderdale for many years and have seen my neghbors build a home to suit their needs and then the next family might want to have a bigger home and will tear down a 10 year old home and build a larger home on the lot.
I grew up, moved and have owned many different style loans. My home right now is a townhouse in San Diego built in 1993 and I have a condo in Florida that was built in 2005.

As a Realtor, I have sold homes which were built in the 1920's all the way up to new construction here in California. There are many factors in choosing a home such as how well it has been taken care of and what style of home you like. New construction does not always mean that the workmanship is great. But, The most important factor should be finding a home you love and that the home is in a location that you like and want to live in!

All homes require maintenace to keep them in good working order. When you sign a contract on a home you have the right to do inspections. If you find any problems; you then negotiate them with the Seller or move on. In my opinion age makes no difference. Maybe your Wife just wants a home that noone has ever lived in. Good Luck in finding the perfect home!
I work all around San Diego County and if I can help please give me a call.
Trudi Geniale - Owner
0 votes
Jason Conner, Agent, San Diego, CA
Tue Apr 2, 2013

I would say that you will start getting into some deferred maintanence issues at that point (i.e. water heater, heating unit, roof, etc.) that you will have to budget for depending on their remaining useful life. I fix up and sell a lot of bank owned homes so when I see a home I will take notice of these issues and give a rough budget to the buyer. Then you can use that info to make a good offer and still have enough left to do the repairs down the road. The physical inspection is always recommended as they are usually ex-contractors and will give you a head to toe assessment of the problems once you are in escrow.

In San Diego there are many homes alder than 20 years so if you want a home that is less than 20 years old you will be restricting your search to certain areas and you will probably be paying some sort of HOA and/or Mello-roos fees.

If you need more info or would like inof on the area I can help you as I have bought and sold homes all over San Diego County. Otherwise hope this helps and good luck!

Jason Conner
0 votes
Joseph Roraff, Agent, Onalaska, WI
Tue Apr 2, 2013
You never know what you are gonna get into when you buy a house. You could buy a new house that was built terribly and will only last 50 years but you could also buy a house that was built 20 years ago that was built solid and will last another 200 years.

Make sure to get that home inspection and if you know any contractors or builders then get their advice and thoughts.
Happy Home Hunting!

Joe Roraff
0 votes
Mike Beaureg…, Agent, La Jolla, CA
Tue Apr 2, 2013
It all depends on the construction of the home and how well it was maintained. You could see a general life expectancy of 40-60 years on a traditional stud framed home. Some homes in San Diego are well over 100+ years old and still in really good condition. Some are 50-60 and look like they need to be torn down.

Disadvantages are definitely maintenance. Termites are a big problem in San Diego and you will find active infestations in most older wood framed homes. Plus wood siding, roofs, metals and even plaster deteriorate over time, especially when exposed to unusual conditions such as ocean air and moisture which leads to rust and rot.

Same holds true for interior finishes, they deteriorate over time and are subject to constant abuse and damage. Of course, most of this is visual and you can tell as soon as you walk inside. If its dated, it will certainly look the part.

However, as I mentioned, many older homes have been well maintained through pride of ownership. Look for older homes in communities that have a high owner occupancy. These will come at a premium. Also, many older homes are being refurbished by investors, however, that is often the pretty finishes and not always deep into the bones.

In general, the newer the better, if you can find them in your price range. Usually the newer homes will come with association fees and added Mello Roos tax.

Hope this is helpful.
0 votes
Sinead McAll…, Agent, Oceanside, CA
Tue Apr 2, 2013
Good Evening,
It really depends on the home and how well it has been maintained. I have walked into 30 year old homes that are perfectly maintained and 10 year old homes that have been trashed. The biggest thing to think about is yes, the major systems (plumbing, electrical, etc.) could be as old as the house. Like Stephen below, I cannot stress enough the importance of a thorough physical inspection. Let me know if you need help house-hunting. I would be happy to help you and your wife find the perfect home!

Sinead McAllister-Clifford
Real Estate Broker/ Realtor®

McAllister Homes Real Estate
Residential Sales & Property Management
License 01366009
858-205-5215 CELL
brokermcallister@gmail.com EMAIL
0 votes
stephen webb…, Agent, Kirkland, WA
Tue Apr 2, 2013
Depends on how well it has been maintained. Many many good solid houses over 50 years old. Just be sure to have your purchase inspected.
If you where to decide on and establish a geographical area you prefer to live in and establish a price range than see every property for sale in that area and price range you would become a very savvy home owner. Its not that difficlut of an undertaking. In my real estate years I walked hundreds and hundreds of people through the process and they were always happy with the results. There are a series for articles at Your-Road-Home.com that outline the process for you. You will also find articles on home inspection.
My advice has always been; gather information, gather information and...
Than after yu gather up all your information you will find loan officers and real estate agents on Trulia offering their services. Good source.
Best of Luck, Stephen
0 votes
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