Author Topic: Buying a 1940 house as a rental  (Read 1213 times)


  • Pencil Stache
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Buying a 1940 house as a rental
« on: February 04, 2017, 09:51:53 PM »

From reading on here and listening to the podcasts, it seems this isn't too uncommon in the rust belt.  However, I'm looking to do this in Texas for about $65,000.  It would cash flow around 17% based on projected rents.  Prior owner rehabbed it. 

Anyone here have any experience with a property this old?  I'm concerned about plumbing, electrical, etc beyond the normal rehab work that is typically done.  If I'm going to own this house for 30 years or more as a rental, I'm concerned about how much i may have to pay to replace plumbing etc down the road.

Any thoughts there or data from your own experience to help me guage how much risk I'm taking on?


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Buying a 1940 house as a rental
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2017, 11:53:46 PM »
Crawlspace or slab construction?  Crawlspace will be dirty but plumbing won't cost all that much, especially if you do it yourself..

How old is the roof, the hvac, the water heater, stove and fridge?   Only reason to ask here is that if they are real old you'll have to replace some of them before you build up a kitty to repair them with.

New electrical panel isn't that bad.  Not fun to pay for, but not that bad.   

I would suggest a good home inspection guy that can give you some estimates.   You can even bring along a roofer, plumber, hvac and electrician on your inspection tour to give you estimates of what needs doing.   They are willing to do that if you build a relationship with them and explain what you are doing.   

If the price is right (and that includes repairs to get it ready for rental), go for it. 


  • Stubble
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Re: Buying a 1940 house as a rental
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2017, 11:54:49 PM »
Our house was built in 1940. We bought in 2012. We've replaced the roof, all of the plumbing, new sewer lateral, added a furnace and ductwork (there was none), new electric panel and service, lots of new wiring (we still have some knob and tube in the house but are replacing as we go instead of doing a big rewire), foundation retrofit, hot water heater, tons of termite damage repair .. and that does not include the aesthetic stuff. Walls are plaster and lathe with lead paint.

So basically we've replaced every major system in the house. But there had been no rehabbing before our purchase, so the place you're looking at might be better. Make sure you get a good home inspection and know what you're getting into.

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  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Buying a 1940 house as a rental
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2017, 03:13:21 AM »
I rehabbed a 1930s bungalow last summer (I'm in the UK though, not Texas).  The structure was sound, but the plumbing needed completely replacing, the wiring updating, a couple of new windows put in and the interior stripped out, insulated and painted.  The good thing is that with an older building the facilities and systems that supply them are usually simple and there is access to replace them without doing much if any damage to the fabric of the building.

I did find some asbestos in mine which I had professionally removed (it could have been left if not disturbed but I didn't want to risk that with renters going in): this was not expensive in the scheme of things so could be worth checking out.