Author Topic: Avoiding properties built before a certain year?  (Read 731 times)

jeromedawg

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Avoiding properties built before a certain year?
« on: June 08, 2018, 11:04:27 AM »
Hey all,

Was curious if there's a general rule or guideline when looking for properties (investment or primary) and factoring in the year built. I've heard from one investor who does fix and flips here in SoCal that he absolutely won't work with properties that are built before 1955. Not sure if it's the standards for plumbing or other construction though. Was curious what the consensus is on this matter...
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cloudsail

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Re: Avoiding properties built before a certain year?
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2018, 11:46:22 AM »
I prefer newer homes for investment.

Our current primary residence was built in 1918 :D A lot of insurance companies won't insure such an old house. It's pretty solid though, we bought it mostly for the location. I think a lot depends on the local market.

FIRE@50

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Re: Avoiding properties built before a certain year?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2018, 11:51:53 AM »
What about lead paint? Would that deter you from buying an older house?

sammybiker

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Re: Avoiding properties built before a certain year?
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2018, 03:14:25 PM »
I think it depends a lot on your market.  In a market where 1920s homes are everywhere, it may not be an issue and/or may even be more desirable.  And just because the bones are old, the home has probably been updated to where the internals are the same age as a home built in the 70s/80s+.

I would not avoid a property based purely on the year built.  I would argue that some of the best built homes will be your older properties and your decision whether to buy older properties will be based more on 1) do good tenants in your area want to rent an older home and 2) has the home been upgraded to modern times (wiring, HVAC, etc) or are you going to have to spend a lot of money doing that.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2018, 06:34:08 PM by sammybiker »

Johnez

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Re: Avoiding properties built before a certain year?
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2018, 04:25:44 PM »
I'm curious about this from an electrical and plumbing point of view. I know early electrical was knob and tube, don't know of the pitfalls in plumbing tho.

TheWifeHalf

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Re: Avoiding properties built before a certain year?
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2018, 07:05:57 PM »
TheHusbandHalf and I bought a house built in 1915, but he had the knowledge to know all that was needed.
2 things to watch out for:
We use a septic tank out here, and the house was sold with the original septic system. All it was was 2 tiles in the ground next to the house and then the waste went back to the creek, about 600 feet behind our back lot line. We put in a leach field and a tank the size needed for 3 bedrooms.

We bought from the original owner, who never had any kids, so that septic system worked for them all these years.

There was no insulation in the attic or walls.

We bought this house because of location, original owner who we know loved her home, and except for a few necessary updates, it was like walking into 1920-30 or so. In our opinion, it is much better built than some of the new ones we have gone through.


zeruel

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Re: Avoiding properties built before a certain year?
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2018, 07:11:57 PM »
I've just got to say, this is hillarious to coming from the Boston area. Most of the houses I see were built in like 1930; new construction is very rare.

Knob and tube wiring was used once upon a time, but just because a house is old doesn't mean it is still using it. I would not buy a house with active knob and tube wiring.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2018, 07:22:47 PM by zeruel »

tralfamadorian

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Re: Avoiding properties built before a certain year?
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2018, 07:37:30 PM »
I'm curious about this from an electrical and plumbing point of view. I know early electrical was knob and tube, don't know of the pitfalls in plumbing tho.

Galvanized steel.

I just bought my youngest house last year- c.1947.

neophyte

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Re: Avoiding properties built before a certain year?
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2018, 11:13:40 PM »
What? My neighborhood is almost all 100+ year old houses. Around here we say it's the new ones you have to watch out for.  My insurance does have my rebuild cost set as way, way, above market value because my house is built of brick and stone, but that's the only issue I've run into. 

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Avoiding properties built before a certain year?
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2018, 01:26:31 AM »
My "rule" for my last two house purchases was that I wouldn't buy a house built after 2000. So far it has served me quite well, and my 1947 house has generally had far fewer issues than the brand new houses some of my friends have bought.

That being said, if my goal was to flip a house, I'd probably stick with post-1955 too. For example, the wiring in my older house is a pain to deal with, but aside from putting in a new light fixture every few years I don't fiddle with it much. For a flipper, doubling the time it takes to install a new light takes a big bit out of their bottom line.

Jon Bon

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Re: Avoiding properties built before a certain year?
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2018, 06:36:39 AM »
There is no rule. This is the ultimate YMMV question.

That is like asking is for a general rule about how to learn.  Its way to vague and general. In real estate everything eventually becomes a deal at a good enough price. So a 200 year old log cabin with termites to a 2000's home with toxic Chinese drywall. Everything has a good price.

Market forces are excellent and pricing this pros and cons for you so you dont really have too!

Now mechanicals are a different story.

Electrical has evolved over time, so as a general rule newer=better. However Most old homes have had electrical replaced (at varying degrees) through their lifetimes.
Plumbing is more forgiving. Copper pipe will likely outlive you depending on the type of water you have. I have polybutylene pipes in one of my houses, prone to failure, class action lawsuits etc. But it still works and is not work ripping out yet. Pex is currently my favorite but cvpc is fine too.
HVAC - newer is almost always better
Roof - newer is better, but dimensional >> 3 tab shingles

As always if any quality material is installed incorrectly it will never perform as well as older inferior quality stuff that has been installed correctly.

Can I say YMMV? Because You Mileage Will Totally Vary!