Buying an 80 or 90 year old house

New / Eng lowNW
May 11 21 Comments

I like this beautiful corner house in a good neighborhood in Oakland (Laurel District). It's built in 1938. There has been renovations and it looks really good.

What are other considerations? Any experience on buying an old house?

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TOP 21 Comments
  • Facebook public2
    Never understood this type of concern. I would never buy a new house. Old homes especially in the 20s and 30s are ideal. They are high quality, unique, and have incredible detail. They are usually also in ideal locations. New homes are built with cheap materials and invest in cosmetic garbage like backsplashes rather than the bones. Old houses are all I would ever buy.
    May 11 7
    • Facebook public2
      Yep, older houses are made of steel, solid woods, and are over engineered (they've been through 100 years of earth to prove it). Most new construction is made of cheap plastics. Insulation and windows are an easy replacement. Old houses have excellent ducts and 20s or 30s will have beautiful oversized vents which were designed for oil rather than forced air.
      May 11
    • New / Eng DEV_ENV
      @public2 That's appeal to nature, not reason. Synthetic materials are often better than "natural". E.g. OSB boards are much stronger than natural wood. Modern houses are built with knowledge gained over all these decades.
      May 12
    • Facebook public2
      Ok, like I said just my opinion. I buy a lot of houses but never new construction. I'm sure a builder could make a better house but most focus on cheap to maximize their profits as you know.
      May 12
    • eBay
      seat

      eBay

      BIO
      Why did you click on me 😡
      seatmore
      That’s why you build your own house
      May 12
    • Facebook public2
      Sure that would be great if you have the time and money! Personally I would never do that in any major ca. The permits and outrage alone is not worth it at all.
      May 12
  • New / Other
    DuQvV7y

    New Other

    BIO
    Did stuff. Hustled hard. Retired
    DuQvV7ymore
    My house was built in 1908. It’s a Queen Anne Victorian with intricate woodwork and brickwork craftsmanship that you rarely see today.

    Show me where you can get 10ft pocket doors and 11ft ceilings in new homes...

    If you have any DIY knowledge, this is a know brainer. If you can’t tell a wrench from a trowel maybe it just isn’t for you.
    May 12 2
    • New arhR58
      This is right on. Get a subscription to family handyman and watch some this old House. If you aren't a diy person for small projects it's gonna be intimidating.
      May 12
    • VMware SweetPease
      To see the fine craftsmanship today, you just got to get out of the factory produced homes. If you are in the Bay Area go see the custom built homes in places like ruby hill in pleasonton, Blackhawk, Saratoga, Los Altos hills etc.
      May 12
  • New / Eng DEV_ENV
    As long as load bearing structure is fine, go for it. Make sure framing has no termite or water damage. Everything else can be modernizied/renovated. One issue with old houses is toxic materials e.g. lead paint. If you are doing any work on the house, make sure it's properly handled. Old houses usually have poor thermal insulation and no ducts for central AC, heating. It can be retrofitted but could be expensive.
    May 11 0
  • Expedia crayRoomm8
    Lead, asbestos, faulty electric wire chewed up my rats, mold, foundation issues, insects, arsenic compounds, mercury , and if renovated in the 50-60s add to that random toxic fumes from plastics. Water pipes from toxic metals. And might want to get a Geiger counter, my parents 1920’s home beeped like an annoying children’s toy. We never found the true source except to narrow it down to something in the walls, it was just dumb luck my dad had Geiger counter lying around and decided to play with it.
    May 12 1
    • VMware SweetPease
      Drywall often tends to be radioactive.
      May 12
  • New arhR58
    My house was built in 1880. It's been through a Reno and we did more. You will likely find crazy shit but if it checks off the list then I'd do it again. It isn't like new homes don't have problems or toxins, we just don't know about it yet. Get a contractor you can trust and keep him, you'll be fine. Get a good inspection, don't follow your Realtors guy. Realize they will miss things and yeah you'll pay for it.
    May 12 0
  • Microsoft
    temp_

    Microsoft

    PRE
    Amazon
    temp_more
    Check that the plumbing and electrical are upto code. Get a scoping on the plumbing pipes.
    May 11 2
    • VMware SweetPease
      Code changes frequently. Almost 0% of existing houses would meet current code.
      May 12
    • Microsoft
      temp_

      Microsoft

      PRE
      Amazon
      temp_more
      Yes but this is also good for negotiation if it's not to code.

      Look for knob and tube wiring.
      May 12
  • Capital One Vfua50
    Stay away from too old house unless you have lot of cash for repairs and renovation
    May 11 0
  • eBay
    seat

    eBay

    BIO
    Why did you click on me 😡
    seatmore
    Tear it down and build a new house
    May 11 0
  • Pinterest darker1
    Just don’t buy
    May 11 0