Author Topic: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?  (Read 2950 times)

anni

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 149
  • Age: 25
  • Location: Rocky Mtns
Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« on: November 12, 2020, 11:46:16 AM »
edit to clarify: no, I'm not buying this house! just trying to set reasonable goals with y'all's help :)

All year long I've had stars in my eyes looking at beautiful old houses all over the country online. Here's one of my favorites. When I'm not deep in the weeds with optimizing my day to day expenses, I'm an absolute romantic and a day dreamer with impractical goals. Go figure. So as I'm saving up for my first home, browsing stupidly expensive condos and townhouses and trying to figure out my budget and where I might want to eventually settle down, I can't help but keep houses like that one in the back of my mind. So, please, talk me out of it? 😅

Just looking at the house above - obviously the sheer size means things like traditional gas or electric could be exorbitant. The amount of (beautiful) landscaping, decking, and stonework would probably create 20 hours a week of just maintenance, cleaning, and yard work. And if anything broke (like that spiral staircase), the custom work needed would increase the cost exponentially.

But otherwise, on the surface, it just looks... stunning. And stunningly affordable. What else am I missing? How many hidden costs for properties like this can you predict in advance through an inspection or an appraisal? There are some real beauties available all over the country at any given time, and I can't stop looking at them :)

I'm also wondering, given the drawbacks and expenses that might come with owning something so old, whether it would be possible or practical to build something new like this today. I feel like building the above house versus buying it would probably double the cost (current pandemic material shortages notwithstanding).
« Last Edit: December 04, 2020, 12:58:33 PM by anni »

J Boogie

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1465
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2020, 12:31:10 PM »
I can't help but notice one hell of a gravity defying deck about 3/4 of the way through those pictures. Even with modern steel I beam cantilevers, that much unsupported overhang would be a stretch.

Regardless, the costs are strewn about. Your heating costs are likely to be insane. The bigger and older the house, the more likely your heating bill is to remind you the rent you used to pay before you bought a house. Your cooling bill, if cooling exists, is gonna be high as well if you try to cool the whole house. It's easier to keep the heat inside of a well insulated and simple house. The more complicated the house, the more windows and doors, the harder it will be to effectively air seal. Old houses like this, when you add it all up, often up having the equivalent of a large window or door open at all times when it comes to inadequate air sealing.

Repairs and upgrades can be a whole year's salary and beyond, depending on the scope. A lot of roofing quotes people for normal houses are 4 figures or just barely 5. This house could require 3-10x that amount. And you don't want to hire the lowball bidder because older houses require more craft and attention to detail - otherwise you just wasted good money on a botched job.

I have an 1890 duplex. I live in a 2bd 1ba unit.





former player

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6288
  • Location: Avalon
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2020, 12:47:40 PM »
You would need a plan for the house to 1) be fully used and 2) earn money.

As to 1) the quickest way for a house to deteriorate is for it not to be used.  How many rooms in that house would you use and how many might you never need to go into from month to month, or even year to year?

As to 2) the reason the house is cheap is that as a single family home it is a time and money pit - unless you can make money off it (renting out rooms, AirBnB, movie and television and advertising shoots).  Can you make the house into a paying full or part time job?

I would also look hard at the quality of construction.  This one actually looks pretty solid (that decking aside - a deck that massive in a damp woodland setting is expensive and extensive rot waiting to happen).  If a house is well enough built, used and maintained it should be able to last for centuries.  Sadly the design life for many new houses is only 60 years.  This one does at least look as though it should have more than another 60 years in it.

waltworks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4864
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2020, 12:49:08 PM »
Didn't you just move to Steamboat?

Wanting pretty old houses is like wanting fine diamond jewelry or Faberge eggs or high end sports cars. It's financial suicide, but if it's the only way you can be happy, so be it. Your choices are to 1) stop looking at house listings, especially when you're not actually in the market, and remove this desire from your life or 2) just suck it up and work a decade extra to afford constantly fixing your Faberge egg house.

Your mind is pretty plastic. You can feed it a steady diet of HGTV "cute" houses, and the results will be predictable. Or you can find something else to obsess about that's cheaper/healthier.

-W

YttriumNitrate

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1172
  • Location: Northwest Indiana
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2020, 01:20:30 PM »
While it looks nice in the listing, Google Maps shows that it overlooks a 4-lane road and a BMW dealership.

CNM

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 534
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2020, 01:23:29 PM »
My law office is in a 100 year old building.  A major annoyance/problem is the electricity.  There are not enough plugs for modern living and the fuses blow more easily.  Our landlord is having an electrician come next week to see if anything can be done... I suspect if there is a solution, it will be expensive.

mspym

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4229
  • Location: Downunder
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2020, 01:25:32 PM »
Yeah I'd do a quick read of marble4's journal for an eye-opening discussion about old houses and maintenance costs.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2020, 01:15:09 PM by mspym »

J Boogie

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1465
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2020, 01:25:42 PM »
Ok, now that some other people have seen it, can anyone explain what the hell is supporting that deck off the living room?

YttriumNitrate

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1172
  • Location: Northwest Indiana
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2020, 01:26:57 PM »
Ok, now that some other people have seen it, can anyone explain what the hell is supporting that deck off the living room?

Tradition.

anni

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 149
  • Age: 25
  • Location: Rocky Mtns
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2020, 01:33:13 PM »
@waltworks I did, thanks for asking! :) it's great so far and we lucked into a pretty nice and affordable rental. But those mountains over on the east coast were just as tempting, leading to my ogling all these old houses over the summer. Renting is awesome right now but not something I want to do for too much longer. Uprooting everything every year is gettin' old, and I just want to clutter up a basement with arts and crafts, dang it! I'm still two or three years out from buying, so like I mentioned I'm just trying to wrap my head around how much I should save up first so I can set the right goals. (obsessive as charged). Your analogy is helpful! But at least I could put part of the Faberge egg on Airbnb if it was in the right location.... (*cue irrational justification of Luxurious Money Pit©*). Anyway... thanks, talking these things through always helps with abating the obsession!

@former player Movie sets in your house, what an interesting idea!


Also, yes, LOL at that deck.

anni

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 149
  • Age: 25
  • Location: Rocky Mtns
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2020, 01:35:25 PM »
While it looks nice in the listing, Google Maps shows that it overlooks a 4-lane road and a BMW dealership.

Oh yeah, I remember seeing that. This one sold already anyway... It just kinda kicked off my first "omg, you can own sh*t like this?!" research frenzy.

FINate

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2078
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2020, 01:39:10 PM »
Ok, now that some other people have seen it, can anyone explain what the hell is supporting that deck off the living room?

The depth is distorted by a wide angle lens. RE photographers love wide angle because it makes spaces look huge. There's another photo using a normal lens looking down the spiral stairs and you can see the deck in question out the window, which is really a small balcony.

uniwelder

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 242
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Virginia
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2020, 01:52:29 PM »
I live relatively close to this house, which is a LCOL area and as mentioned, does back up to a main road and commercial properties.  This posting got me really curious, so here's some snooping----

From city records, its tax assessed at 456k, so you might expect a normal sales price around 550k based on most house values around here, and was last sold in 2005 for 416k.  Zillow also shows several times it was listed for sale in the past year, each time with the price being lowered, until it finally sold recently for 355k.

It looks gorgeous, but there must be some serious deficiency, based on pricing history.  I'd love to know what its problems are.

anni

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 149
  • Age: 25
  • Location: Rocky Mtns
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2020, 02:18:40 PM »
I live relatively close to this house, which is a LCOL area and as mentioned, does back up to a main road and commercial properties.  This posting got me really curious, so here's some snooping----

From city records, its tax assessed at 456k, so you might expect a normal sales price around 550k based on most house values around here, and was last sold in 2005 for 416k.  Zillow also shows several times it was listed for sale in the past year, each time with the price being lowered, until it finally sold recently for 355k.

It looks gorgeous, but there must be some serious deficiency, based on pricing history.  I'd love to know what its problems are.

Cool! I don't know much about Roanoke except that it seems to have some really cool old architecture and talented local artists :)
But yeah, that's what I'm trying to get at here! I'm curious what could be so off-putting as to knock $150-$200K off the list price. Major infestations? Rot? Ghosts?

J Boogie

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1465
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2020, 02:40:02 PM »
Ok, now that some other people have seen it, can anyone explain what the hell is supporting that deck off the living room?

The depth is distorted by a wide angle lens. RE photographers love wide angle because it makes spaces look huge. There's another photo using a normal lens looking down the spiral stairs and you can see the deck in question out the window, which is really a small balcony.

Good point. Still, based on the amount of deckboards which are usually about 5.5" wide, the balcony is about 6-8 feet. No way to tell from here if the joists are continuous or sistered, but either way they're touching masonry in a rainy forested environment. I would put down some posts ASAP if it were my house.

uniwelder

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 242
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Virginia
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2020, 03:26:19 PM »
I live relatively close to this house, which is a LCOL area and as mentioned, does back up to a main road and commercial properties.  This posting got me really curious, so here's some snooping----

From city records, its tax assessed at 456k, so you might expect a normal sales price around 550k based on most house values around here, and was last sold in 2005 for 416k.  Zillow also shows several times it was listed for sale in the past year, each time with the price being lowered, until it finally sold recently for 355k.

It looks gorgeous, but there must be some serious deficiency, based on pricing history.  I'd love to know what its problems are.

Cool! I don't know much about Roanoke except that it seems to have some really cool old architecture and talented local artists :)
But yeah, that's what I'm trying to get at here! I'm curious what could be so off-putting as to knock $150-$200K off the list price. Major infestations? Rot? Ghosts?

It is a very beautiful area with mountains, woods, river.  Great for hiking (appalachian trail runs through) and canoeing/kayaking.  The biggest problem is that's its pretty isolated.

AccidentialMustache

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 437
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2020, 09:47:27 PM »
I grew up in a 1920s bungalow, outside Chicago.

There are cool things, like finding a scrap of newspaper in the wall they used during a plaster repair in '39 which was some major event right before WW2 kicked off. It might have been "Germany invades Poland".

Then there's not cool things, like it is always hot/cold/humid/dry, pick whichever 2 you don't want it to be. "Mutually exclusive" pairs aren't, of course, too hot upstairs and too cold in the basement is 100% doable.

Now the one you listed is more like a mansion, and so has probably been cared for/updated better than the one I grew up in. Still.

Everything about old houses is expensive. Structural brick -- do you know how to tuckpoint? Do you want to learn? What about laying plaster on the walls? I see one photo with a socket, which is a 3-prong which is good, but stick a power tester in there and see if ground is even connected, or if they just replaced a 2-prong socket with what they could grab at a store. They tend to have fuses (which suck, and don't generally qualify for code, so if you need anything done, you end up having to upgrade it to bring it up to code) and low amperage service (so you can't do things like add an air conditioner if it lacks one and you want one). Upping the amperage means coming up to code, which means tearing out plaster, which means minimum 5 figures. On a larger old mansion that could be 6 figures. If you can still find someone who'll work with plaster as opposed to tell you to rip it all out and drywall it (you'd lose the look, and some of the "non-square" parts of the house would be "not fun" with drywall).

This all said, I don't know that you're responding to it being a 1920s house. Some of how it looks I really like too, but I'm pretty sure that's a response to the wood, and the built-ins, the seating near windows (even if that's radiators), light from multiple sides of rooms, etc. You can get those not in a money pit. Go look up the Not So Big House book series by Sarah Susanka. Even modern homes can invoke that, if they have quality, as opposed to soulless, empty(space) mcmansions.

Edit: oh and wifi or cell service? Have fun with that. Sometimes they'd use chicken wire as part of putting plaster up, so you'd be living in a faraday cage.

I hadn't touched on the fun of lead based paint, asbestos, etc.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2020, 09:50:04 PM by AccidentialMustache »

Fishindude

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2728
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2020, 07:44:09 AM »
Our house was built in 1914.   We've replaced everything; roof, siding, insulation, windows and doors, all of the plumbing, all of the HVAC, all of the electrical, replaced the well and septic, complete new kitchen, new flooring and all finishes.  Did everything pay as we go so it never hurt too bad.   Sits on a rock foundation and everything isn't precisely level straight and square, but it's a pretty darned nice house now. 

I like old houses better than the new stuff.   They are typically built much more heavy duty and in the best locations, and just look a lot better than the new stuff in my opinion.

If you have some do it yourself skills, patience and the financial wherewithal to see it through, I think you'll have much nicer home buying an old gem. 

lhamo

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1123
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2020, 08:42:30 AM »
I'm guessing it may well still have knob and tube wiring, which will cause many insurance companies to blacklist it until it is replaced.  And totally rewiring that space with those plaster walls is going to be $$$$.  We bought a unit in a 1917 co-op building in NYC in 2000 that still had knob and tube -- it was the prevailing type of wiring for new construction in that era.  We should have had it replaced before we moved in, but we didn't.  It was really dodgy.   We sold the place 2.5 years later after we had moved overseas.  I won't buy another house with knob and tube.

Fishindude

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2728
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2020, 09:43:19 AM »
I'm guessing it may well still have knob and tube wiring, which will cause many insurance companies to blacklist it until it is replaced.  And totally rewiring that space with those plaster walls is going to be $$$$.  We bought a unit in a 1917 co-op building in NYC in 2000 that still had knob and tube -- it was the prevailing type of wiring for new construction in that era.  We should have had it replaced before we moved in, but we didn't.  It was really dodgy.   We sold the place 2.5 years later after we had moved overseas.  I won't buy another house with knob and tube.

Although there are possibly some remnants of the knob & tube wiring still remaining, I would seriously doubt if any of it is still live and in use.
Most of that was replaced long ago, haven't used much of it since the 1930's.

waltworks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4864
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2020, 09:57:18 AM »
I've looked at 1900-1920 vintage houses in Salt Lake (which is most of the downtown/Avenues/Sugarhouse area that constitutes the main/old part of SLC) that still had live knob/tube. Sketchy!

There was a place I looked at once in MI that was basically a mansion (including servant's quarters!) that was <$500k, and in a great spot in the woods/near trails, awesome neighborhood. A buddy who lives nearby estimated annual maintenance at $75k due to landscaping/preventing vegetation from overgrowing it, lots of roof/window/siding/etc that goes through a lot of freeze/thaw, etc, etc.

FishinDude is right though that often old houses are built on the best spots. And sometimes they're built really well. But for my money I'd rather live in a boring-ass 70s split level ranch or something. A house is just a place to sleep, for me.

-W

SunnyDays

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1732
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2020, 10:12:04 AM »
Yup, you said it.  It's a day dream.  Something you can enjoy thinking about (only the good parts, of course).  But to buy such a thing as a first house, at your age?  Really unwise.  You don't know what you don't know about old houses, and by the time you find out, it will be too late because you'll already own it.  If it's something you just can't shake, find one to rent somewhere, so you get some experience with the realities.  Dip your toes in, don't jump into the deep end.

I've been in your position with beach houses.  I lusted after a certain one for over a year, trying to convince myself I could do it (the issue was distance and time and effort rather than money), and when it finally sold I was somewhat disappointed, but mostly relieved.  Then I started looking (online) at other nearby houses but finally came to my senses and realized that I was probably enjoyed thinking about it more than anything.  So now when I need a feel-good, I look at them, but have stopped obsessing about how to make it work.

iris lily

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4199
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2020, 11:03:04 AM »
Dear OP,

if you cannot see the path to maintaining that beauty to the point of selling your children to do so, do not take it on! It does not deserve you.

Haha.old house lover here.

But seriously I might kill for that house. I don’t understand why it is so cheap. Oh wait, 3+ hours from D.C. I guess that explains it.

TrMama

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3885
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2020, 11:47:19 AM »
From the pictures I see at least 2 heating systems (rads and forced air furnace), possibly also augmented by some baseboard units (can't tell if it's a baseboard or just some big-ass molding). This does not bode well for either utility expenses or personal comfort. I also see an electrical cord snaking all the way around a bedroom to reach the light on the nightstand. I bet there aren't enough outlets to support modern electrical demand.

We live in a normal 15 yr old house that's a bit larger and more complex than we really need. I can tell you that maintenance costs on a bigger house are killer. We need a new roof next summer. Quotes are $30K. Our deck is also rotten and I'm budgeting another $10K for that. Oh and I'll "hopefully" spend part of the winter replacing the floors in the basement suite and then completely repainting that unit as well.

Yes, you can save some money via DIY (though not always and less so if you're not skilled) but the trade off is that DIY becomes how you spend all your time. Do you like DIY? Would you rather do that than ski, or hike, or whatever else it is you do in your free time?

anni

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 149
  • Age: 25
  • Location: Rocky Mtns
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2020, 11:59:09 AM »
Yup, you said it.  It's a day dream.  Something you can enjoy thinking about (only the good parts, of course).  But to buy such a thing as a first house, at your age?  Really unwise.  You don't know what you don't know about old houses, and by the time you find out, it will be too late because you'll already own it.  If it's something you just can't shake, find one to rent somewhere, so you get some experience with the realities.  Dip your toes in, don't jump into the deep end.

I've been in your position with beach houses.  I lusted after a certain one for over a year, trying to convince myself I could do it (the issue was distance and time and effort rather than money), and when it finally sold I was somewhat disappointed, but mostly relieved.  Then I started looking (online) at other nearby houses but finally came to my senses and realized that I was probably enjoyed thinking about it more than anything.  So now when I need a feel-good, I look at them, but have stopped obsessing about how to make it work.

My last rental was actually built in ~1905, and man was that house a train wreck! The details and the layout were beautiful and the location was amazing, but the house was literally falling apart from sitting empty for several years. So part of the reason I starting looking into this stuff was actually because I couldn't help but think, man, if this were my house, I'd be taking so much better care of it! ...Easier said than done lol.

partgypsy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4410
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #25 on: November 13, 2020, 12:03:39 PM »
I'm guessing it may well still have knob and tube wiring, which will cause many insurance companies to blacklist it until it is replaced.  And totally rewiring that space with those plaster walls is going to be $$$$.  We bought a unit in a 1917 co-op building in NYC in 2000 that still had knob and tube -- it was the prevailing type of wiring for new construction in that era.  We should have had it replaced before we moved in, but we didn't.  It was really dodgy.   We sold the place 2.5 years later after we had moved overseas.  I won't buy another house with knob and tube.

I was going to post the same thing. rewiring, plumbing means breaking open those beautiful stuccoed plastered walls. Alot of repair people do not want to bother with plaster walls so they quote high prices. the finishing are beautiful (wood beams etc) but also means any repairs means specialists. the house is quite obviously built on a slope, so just means you need to study water run off before purchasing.

 but I agree with you it's the kind of house that takes my breath away. It looks well maintained, beautiful stonework, both expansive and also cozy areas. Plus a turret! As someone said it's all about what you are willing to sacrifice. If your joy is puttering around fixing up and enjoying your house, then why not? 
« Last Edit: November 13, 2020, 12:11:43 PM by partgypsy »

former player

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6288
  • Location: Avalon
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #26 on: November 13, 2020, 01:30:38 PM »
I'm guessing it may well still have knob and tube wiring, which will cause many insurance companies to blacklist it until it is replaced.  And totally rewiring that space with those plaster walls is going to be $$$$.  We bought a unit in a 1917 co-op building in NYC in 2000 that still had knob and tube -- it was the prevailing type of wiring for new construction in that era.  We should have had it replaced before we moved in, but we didn't.  It was really dodgy.   We sold the place 2.5 years later after we had moved overseas.  I won't buy another house with knob and tube.

I was going to post the same thing. rewiring, plumbing means breaking open those beautiful stuccoed plastered walls. Alot of repair people do not want to bother with plaster walls so they quote high prices. the finishing are beautiful (wood beams etc) but also means any repairs means specialists. the house is quite obviously built on a slope, so just means you need to study water run off before purchasing.

 but I agree with you it's the kind of house that takes my breath away. It looks well maintained, beautiful stonework, both expansive and also cozy areas. Plus a turret! As someone said it's all about what you are willing to sacrifice. If your joy is puttering around fixing up and enjoying your house, then why not?
I've had some rewiring and additional plumbing done on my 1930s house with plaster walls and it's all been done without disturbing the plaster.  Replacement wiring can be fished through existing runs or put behind baseboards/skirting boards, new wiring and plumbing can run through the attic or through the joists between floors.  It does take tradesmen who know what they are doing, but here in the UK that would be almost all of them.  So the plaster walls aren't affected.

iris lily

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4199
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #27 on: November 13, 2020, 06:10:38 PM »
From the pictures I see at least 2 heating systems (rads and forced air furnace), possibly also augmented by some baseboard units (can't tell if it's a baseboard or just some big-ass molding). This does not bode well for either utility expenses or personal comfort...



Not true.

Gas forced air is reasonable in price and efficient. Hot water heat through radiators is evenly distributed and “soft” heat. Both are good, very goo. In my area electric heat is shitshow.

People don’t like radiators, but I like ‘Em. I am looking forward the the winter in my newly purchased condo in a 1927 building with radiator heat.

partgypsy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4410
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #28 on: November 13, 2020, 06:18:28 PM »
I'm guessing it may well still have knob and tube wiring, which will cause many insurance companies to blacklist it until it is replaced.  And totally rewiring that space with those plaster walls is going to be $$$$.  We bought a unit in a 1917 co-op building in NYC in 2000 that still had knob and tube -- it was the prevailing type of wiring for new construction in that era.  We should have had it replaced before we moved in, but we didn't.  It was really dodgy.   We sold the place 2.5 years later after we had moved overseas.  I won't buy another house with knob and tube.

I was going to post the same thing. rewiring, plumbing means breaking open those beautiful stuccoed plastered walls. Alot of repair people do not want to bother with plaster walls so they quote high prices. the finishing are beautiful (wood beams etc) but also means any repairs means specialists. the house is quite obviously built on a slope, so just means you need to study water run off before purchasing.

 but I agree with you it's the kind of house that takes my breath away. It looks well maintained, beautiful stonework, both expansive and also cozy areas. Plus a turret! As someone said it's all about what you are willing to sacrifice. If your joy is puttering around fixing up and enjoying your house, then why not?
I've had some rewiring and additional plumbing done on my 1930s house with plaster walls and it's all been done without disturbing the plaster.  Replacement wiring can be fished through existing runs or put behind baseboards/skirting boards, new wiring and plumbing can run through the attic or through the joists between floors.  It does take tradesmen who know what they are doing, but here in the UK that would be almost all of them.  So the plaster walls aren't affected.
in the UK you may have more people willing/skilled to work on plaster walls. We had to have our whole house rewired and finally someone who was willing to, and also able to fish the wire through, etc to disturb walls as little as possible.

AccidentialMustache

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 437
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2020, 07:02:42 PM »
Although there are possibly some remnants of the knob & tube wiring still remaining, I would seriously doubt if any of it is still live and in use.
Most of that was replaced long ago, haven't used much of it since the 1930's.

I helped dad replace some (but maybe not all) of the knob & tube in their 1920s house.

Separately, I found it installed (and since deactivated when we cut the power) in some 1950s "DIY" farm kids builds out in the county that we bought.

Don't assume. :-P

Steeze

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 912
  • Age: 33
  • Location: NYC Area of Earth
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2020, 08:04:51 PM »
@waltworks I did, thanks for asking! :) it's great so far and we lucked into a pretty nice and affordable rental. But those mountains over on the east coast were just as tempting, leading to my ogling all these old houses over the summer. Renting is awesome right now but not something I want to do for too much longer. Uprooting everything every year is gettin' old, and I just want to clutter up a basement with arts and crafts, dang it! I'm still two or three years out from buying, so like I mentioned I'm just trying to wrap my head around how much I should save up first so I can set the right goals. (obsessive as charged). Your analogy is helpful! But at least I could put part of the Faberge egg on Airbnb if it was in the right location.... (*cue irrational justification of Luxurious Money Pit©*). Anyway... thanks, talking these things through always helps with abating the obsession!

@former player Movie sets in your house, what an interesting idea!


Also, yes, LOL at that deck.

Spent a few years in The Boat myself. Some of my best years, enjoy it!

TrMama

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3885
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #31 on: November 13, 2020, 10:03:30 PM »
From the pictures I see at least 2 heating systems (rads and forced air furnace), possibly also augmented by some baseboard units (can't tell if it's a baseboard or just some big-ass molding). This does not bode well for either utility expenses or personal comfort...



Not true.

Gas forced air is reasonable in price and efficient. Hot water heat through radiators is evenly distributed and “soft” heat. Both are good, very goo. In my area electric heat is shitshow.

People don’t like radiators, but I like ‘Em. I am looking forward the the winter in my newly purchased condo in a 1927 building with radiator heat.

Yes, I understand that both can be good, efficient heating systems. However, the fact that this house appears to have 2 different heating systems is a red flag to me. Maybe there's a good reason for this, like maybe the house had a big addition put on at some point and the old part has rads while the addition got a forced air system. However, it's still something that's worth pointing out to a novice homeowner.

Zamboni

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2861
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #32 on: November 13, 2020, 10:54:46 PM »
There's plenty of the knob and tube electrical here in NC as well. Avoid.

Huge costs on a 70-100 year old home?
Electrical? Check
Plumbing? Check
Getting rid of the mildewy moldy smells? Check

What you probably realize is how much extra money goes into just fixing old rusted-out plumbing. Just replacing the sump pump in our basement set us back $11K. For something I don't ever see or even think about, if I'm lucky!

As another example, my home has a beautiful pink mid-century bathroom similar to the one in that house. The sink was rusting out and we knew it had to be replaced along with the piping both in and out right when we bought it. No biggie, right? It's just a bathroom sink, right? Wrong!

Those tiles are set in concrete and they aren't going to just pop off like tile installed in the 80's or 90's. So forget about those clever "remove and reuse tile" videos on youtube, because your tiles aren't coming down unless you break them, and it's impossible to get replacement tiles to match them. So how are you going to replace the sink pipes in the wall, then? Or are you just going to drink that cloudy water the whole time you live there? Well, you are going to have to demo out some tiles to allow access to the pipes, and then you are going to have to either demo the tile in the whole bathroom ($$$$) or figure out how to match (Impossible), patch (might look sketch), or hide (most likely) the areas where the tile had to be removed. What you think will be a $100-$300 job turns into a $1500 job with all the delays caused by needing multiple specialty sub-contractors in the blink of an eye. Then the standard sinks and cabinets will all be 1/2" too tall because sinks used to be lower and the existing towel rack gets in the way. So just move the towel rack? Proceed directly to jail and do not collect $200 when you pass go because the towel rack is imbedded into concrete and **the tile** which can't be matched in the spot where the tile rack used to be. So you'll end up having to get a custom sink cabinet that fits under the flared out towel rack tile or you'll buy a standard size and saw the legs shorter and patch it with paint you buy at the hobby store (which is what I did.)
Time . . . money . . . effort. But now, more than a month and more than $1000 later, you have a sink you can safely drink from. Worth it?

Also, I can tell looking at that house that many aspects are not going to be up to current code. Which means you might have a nice idea for really fixing up a room right with a period appropriate look, but a lot of contractors won't want to remodel them for you because of the permit and coding challenges. We have 3 bathrooms in our home that we can't do more than "repair" because the amount of inches on either side of the commodes is not up to code. Unfortunately sometimes you don't realize how much money it is going to take to bring something up to code and pass inspection until you've already poured some money and tons of planning brainpower into it. Ugh!

Those "hey we've got a problem" moment in a lot of the HGTV shows? Happens every time you do something in an older home, and it never leads to anything but more money burning up in the air around you.

Finally, a lot of the quaint stuff in older homes is not that practical. People were generally smaller. They had less clothes, no appliances, and barely any shampoo/lotion type stuff, so they generally had WAAAY less storage. It's not all as romantic as it seems.

ROF Expat

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 322
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #33 on: November 14, 2020, 07:00:35 AM »
OP,

Like some of the other posters here, I fall into the "I love old houses" group.  I own a 1930s home.  That said, I suspect you may be romanticizing the positive parts of life in an old house and underestimating the negative parts.  Here are some thoughts off the top of my head: 

--You will be shocked to learn what it costs to heat and cool an old house.  Old houses were mostly cold and drafty in the Winter and hot and humid in the Summer.  Insulation was close to nonexistent and windows and doors don't seal well.  Temperatures were generally kept cool in the Winter and people wore sweaters.  People sweated in the Summer.  If you live in an old house you either learn to live with lower temperatures the way people did in the old days or you pay exorbitant utility bills.  Old houses weren't built with the ducting required by central air conditioning in mind.  If you want to install air conditioning, you either pay for massive amounts of ducting, high velocity, or mini splits.  And the AC will never be as efficient as in a well-designed modern house.  I pay insane utility bills in the coldest months of winter, and my house isn't all that big. 

--Modern houses are standardized, but old houses are often not.  If you need to replace a door or storm door you may find that you need custom sizes.  This gets expensive very fast.  Ask me how I know.  All that cool original hardware (locks, doorknobs, etc) is incredibly difficult to repair or replace. 

--Old houses are maintenance intensive.  As just one example; all that exterior wood trim needs to be scraped and repainted on a regular basis.  If those wood floors are original, they need to be refinished.  This doesn't happen often, but when it does, it is expensive and messy.   

--Charming old maintenance intensive houses often have maintenance intensive yards.  I gave up on doing my own yard work very quickly.  And it turns out that dry stack stone walls need to be maintained (who knew?)

--You often need specialist contractors.  You can't just call any local hvac guy to look at a steam boiler and radiators.  Regular roof guys don't know how to deal with slate tiles.  And when contractors come and see your big expensive looking house, they often give you a higher quote because "he/she is rich and can afford it." 

--Work that is often cheap and easy on a newer house is often much more expensive and complex on an old house.  Ask me about installing ceiling fans and the associated wiring in plaster walls and ceilings. 

--No matter how well built the house was, stuff wears out.  My main outgoing sewer line broke (it was terracotta) and the repair was expensive.  This is the kind of thing that no inspection will reveal, and that you just have to expect with a hundred-year-old house. 

--You can't let maintenance slip.  Small problems get worse (and more expensive) if you don't deal with them quickly.  For example, having a slate roof means spending a couple of hundred dollars every year or two to have a roof specialist do an inspection and repair any issues before they become a much bigger problem.  If you don't keep up with that maintenance intensive yard and flaking paint, your charming old house can become an eyesore very quickly. 

--You have to furnish that big old house.  Large amounts of space in a period house imply filling that space.  Buying that that Tudor Revival and filling it with Ikea flat pack furniture or bookshelves made from milk crates and 1 x 8s is probably not the look you envision. 

--Renting or selling an old house can be problematic.  Most people don't want to deal with the maintenance and the inconveniences.  And you really don't want a renter who isn't going to either do the maintenance or work closely with your property manager to make sure everything gets done. 

OK, with all those negatives, I love my old house.  People ooh and aah when they come to dinner parties.  Workmen shake their heads and say "they don't build 'em like this anymore" (just before they hand me a bill that will cover their kid's next semester at college).  But it didn't come into my life until we were pretty much FI.  IMHO, a house is basically a place to live.  Buying one that's bigger, older, more interesting, etc. falls into the category of a hobby.  If you want to spend a lot of your time and money on your house as a hobby, go for it, but I advise you to be prepared for big utility and maintenance bills and to be mentally and financially prepared for an unexpected ten or twenty thousand dollar expense to happen a couple of times in the first few years. 

The fact that you're asking about hidden expenses indicates that you already have a good idea that they're out there.  Big old houses are money pits, and if you aren't prepared to do a lot of work yourself, you need to be prepared to pay someone else to do it.  My advice is basically to keep your housing modest and invest the difference.  Down the road, when you are confident you know where you want to live for the long term, you will likely be in a position to buy a charming old money pit if you still want it. 

Good luck with whatever path you choose!

lhamo

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1123
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #34 on: November 14, 2020, 10:03:46 AM »
Here in Seattle sewer line inspections + video documentation are becoming a pretty standard part of home inspections.  We had one done that revealed a break/blockage that we required the seller to fix before we closed.  Stupidly, we trusted them that everything was good and did not ask for a copy of the video to verify that the line was clear all the way down to the city main.  This spring, roughly 3 years after we purchased, we had more issues and an inspection/jetting revealed further breaks and blockages.  It took us over a month, switching companies 3x (the industry standard seems to be to give a low bid for the initial, smaller job and then jack up the price for work that turns up later), and nearly $25k to get the problem fixed for good (installation of access point near the house for jetting, two rounds of jetting + two spot repairs of breaks/blockages + lining of 100+ ft of drain from house to city main -- the latter is guaranteed for 20 years so at least we shouldn't have any more issues, though we will need to scope/jet every 2-3 years to make sure tree roots are not infiltrating/blocking at the seams of the lining).  If we had known the condition of the line was as bad as it was, we could have had the lining process done shortly after we purchased -- that would have cost about $10k, saving us $15k on the repairs we had done by waiting.

I will never buy another house without a full inspection, including video before and after any repairs, of the entire sewer line.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2020, 12:23:39 PM by lhamo »

Morning Glory

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1975
  • Location: The Garden Path
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #35 on: November 14, 2020, 10:54:32 AM »
My house turned 100 this year!!!! The most expensive things are heat and electricity, but I think that's from not living in town and the house being bigger than the old one. It's been remodeled and added onto a few times so not much is original, although we have a couple of drafty windows.

 We've had problems with ice dams in one spot where three additions come together. The basement is chronically wet too and we have to stay on top of cleaning up mold, which means me scrubbing it with bleach. We've also had a frozen septic line a couple times.

The cheapest house to maintain was a 1940s cracker box. Lots of tall trees in the neighborhood so not much need for ac, and the thing was built to last. I think 40s-50s are the sweet spot when it comes to small and practical housing.

theoverlook

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 362
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #36 on: November 16, 2020, 10:31:35 AM »
Ok, now that some other people have seen it, can anyone explain what the hell is supporting that deck off the living room?
If it's anything like some of the fancy old places I looked at when last house shopping, those deck beams go straight through the masonry wall and are the structural joists inside. That gives it plenty of cantilever strength but makes replacing them basically impossible. I looked at one that had massive timbers through the house and out supporting a deck - or at least used to. The outside portion of the timbers rotted so they cut them flush with the stone work of the house.

Looking at larger pictures of this place on Zillow it looks like there's some rot issues (of course!) in those deck beams. It's hard to tell without really close up good photos or being there in person, of course. But I suspect those boards are 100 years old and have been exposed to weather their whole life span. Without religious maintenance they will have some rot in them.

Jon Bon

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1268
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #37 on: November 16, 2020, 12:45:12 PM »
As a proud owner of multiple 100 year old homes, its really not that big of a deal. To be fair, I own homes, and not mansions. They were build for solidly middle/upper class people. Mansions that can only be worked on by "artisans' are not my cup of tea, dont buy one of those!

That being said there are a few things you need to get used to.

Plaster and lath, its a thing, its different and inferior to drywall, its there you get used to living with it. You just have to treat it differently.

Basements/foundations - they will get damp, you will never put finished living space down there, as a bonus they never need a sump pump.

Electrical, in 2020 most of it has been replaced. the spots where I find it most is within first floor light fixtures. The second floor they can replace from the attic, but the first floor you have to pull down all that aforementioned plaster and lath to get to. Generally most/all of the outlets have been updated.

Chimneys - lots of these, they suck. They always leak. Generally I try to push all the forced air out the side of the house and roof over the chimneys.

A/C - The houses have it, but they rarely have second (or third) floor returns so getting the hot air out of the upper floors is damn near impossible. You have no idea how many people this fact is completely lost on.....


GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 17618
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #38 on: November 16, 2020, 01:16:09 PM »
I grew up in an old house.

It was originally a log cabin that had had extra rooms and then eventually a second floor added on to it.  The core part of the house was about 100 years old when we moved in.  Lot of weird problems.  Problems with wiring (no grounds were used in the house).  Problems with foundations shifting strangely over the year as the ground thawed/froze which caused the floors to slant different directions and the doors to sometimes open or sometimes be wedged in place for a few months.  Problems with carpenter ants eating the logs in house and running rampant through the walls.  Problems with plumbing (the toilet fell through from the main floor to the crawl space as my mother was using it one exciting winter morning).  Old houses can be cool . . . but in general they're a lot of work and you'll find that the work is often difficult because of the lack of standardization.  They're also not usually very energy efficient.

If you have your heart set on one, knock yourself out.  Just make sure you go in with your eyes open.

anni

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 149
  • Age: 25
  • Location: Rocky Mtns
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #39 on: November 16, 2020, 02:50:50 PM »
The comparisons between "home" and "hobby" are quite resonant for me. As I examined other houses that recently hit the market, I realized that I could DIY a lot of the crafted details that draw me in (to an extent). Stained glass making runs in my family, for example. Crown moulding, ceiling medallions, antique chandeliers, custom tiles, even fancy curving staircases could, in theory, be brought into a more modern house, without making the house a permanent full time job.

@Zamboni - I hear what you're saying about irreplaceable details. But I wonder if a ceramicist could have made a couple of custom tiles to replace what you had to remove? I know that was only a small part of the problem, but that's the first place my mind went to.

It does seem like building, rather than buying, a house like the first one I shared would be prohibitively expensive, but I think I better understand why now. And I just wanted to plug one of my favorite corners of the internet, the blog McMansion Hell (funny enough, a '70s Tudor style is the most recent review). I browsed back through her archive and found this article from last year: The myth of ‘We don’t build houses like we used to’. I still wonder what drove this shift:

Quote
...it is unfortunate that the proliferation of the McMansion has reflected unkindly on the non-architect builder. However, after modernism, which had a rich tradition in building residential architecture for all income levels, the focus of many architecture firms shifted to more lucrative civic and commercial projects.

Sun Hat

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 897
  • Location: Canada
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #40 on: November 22, 2020, 06:53:07 AM »
I live in a small house built in 1921. It has a lot of the charm of the big older houses, but both the decor and scale are more modest, which can make the project easier and cheaper to undertake. For instance, if I need to re-do the plumbing or electrical, it's not a problem, since it's all accessible from the basement ceiling.

Where I live, the ground shifts a lot, and 100 years of shifting meant that the foundation had a lot of cracks in it when I moved in. The bad news is that it cost ~ $50K CAD to install piles, fix the cracks and waterproof it. The good news is that it could have been a lot more if the house was bigger, and doing the work allowed me the access to insulate the basement walls from the exterior and interior.

The exterior walls had NO insulation, and the attic had vermiculite (which normally contains asbestos) covered in fiberglass batts, but only to about R20, which is waaaaaaay too little insulation for my crazy cold climate. I added blown-in cellulose to the attic for a sweet $10 thanks to a utility rebate, and had a contractor blow it into the walls from the exterior for $2k. Now, my house has lower utility bills than some condos I've lived in! A note about exterior wall insulation: it can be added either from the outside or inside by cutting small golf-ball sized holes in the wall so that they can fit a blower into the cavity. My house has stucco on the exterior and a combination of plaster and lath and drywall on the interior, so patching the exterior was far easier than doing the work from the inside.  On houses like the one that you  shared, or like the one I lived in as a tot where there's brick on the exterior, you'd have to do the work from the inside - risking damaging all of the beautiful millwork.

One feature that I LOVE about older homes is the high ceilings. If you're thinking about bringing the details of old homes into a newer build, bring a measuring tape with you to home viewings. My house is only 768 sqft, but feels much airier than a lot of other houses I've seen because of the lofty ceilings.

Morning Glory

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1975
  • Location: The Garden Path
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #41 on: November 22, 2020, 07:25:37 AM »
Oh yes, I love the high ceilings and tall narrow windows in the original part of my house. Also stained glass.

sonofsven

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 108
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #42 on: November 22, 2020, 11:51:31 AM »
I love old houses! I've looked at, lived in and repaired old houses for myself and for clients. At this point in my career I build (and live in) new houses. New houses are better in nearly every conceivable benchmark but one: they often don't look as good. Most new homes are built with an eye towards the design and layout of the interior. Many old houses were built with the design focused on the exterior, especially in regards to the symmetry of the placement of doors, windows, and dormers.
But you will never meet the energy efficiency of a new home no matter how much insulation and air sealing you do to an old home, and this is more interesting to me now than the "look" of a classic old house.
This is not to say that new homes are without fault, I find them too large, with overly complicated rooflines, and many are ugly to me, and finished with fake stone, or thin cedar shingles stuck to plywood, and ridiculous high vaulted entryways, etc.
If you really want an old house, I would recommend a smaller one than the attached listing ( which is now SOLD; did you buy it?)

anni

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 149
  • Age: 25
  • Location: Rocky Mtns
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #43 on: December 01, 2020, 10:21:57 AM »
I grew up in an old house.

It was originally a log cabin that had had extra rooms and then eventually a second floor added on to it.  The core part of the house was about 100 years old when we moved in.  Lot of weird problems.  Problems with wiring (no grounds were used in the house).  Problems with foundations shifting strangely over the year as the ground thawed/froze which caused the floors to slant different directions and the doors to sometimes open or sometimes be wedged in place for a few months.  Problems with carpenter ants eating the logs in house and running rampant through the walls.  Problems with plumbing (the toilet fell through from the main floor to the crawl space as my mother was using it one exciting winter morning).  Old houses can be cool . . . but in general they're a lot of work and you'll find that the work is often difficult because of the lack of standardization.  They're also not usually very energy efficient.

If you have your heart set on one, knock yourself out.  Just make sure you go in with your eyes open.

I just saw this and this comment really made my morning. I hope everyone was alright.

I love old houses! I've looked at, lived in and repaired old houses for myself and for clients. At this point in my career I build (and live in) new houses. New houses are better in nearly every conceivable benchmark but one: they often don't look as good. Most new homes are built with an eye towards the design and layout of the interior. Many old houses were built with the design focused on the exterior, especially in regards to the symmetry of the placement of doors, windows, and dormers.
But you will never meet the energy efficiency of a new home no matter how much insulation and air sealing you do to an old home, and this is more interesting to me now than the "look" of a classic old house.
This is not to say that new homes are without fault, I find them too large, with overly complicated rooflines, and many are ugly to me, and finished with fake stone, or thin cedar shingles stuck to plywood, and ridiculous high vaulted entryways, etc.
If you really want an old house, I would recommend a smaller one than the attached listing ( which is now SOLD; did you buy it?)

No, I wasn't looking to buy! Just doing my research to start making a $$ plan. This thread has totally talked me out of anything like the example I linked to for a first home (but still, what a steal!)

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 17618
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #44 on: December 01, 2020, 11:57:00 AM »
I grew up in an old house.

It was originally a log cabin that had had extra rooms and then eventually a second floor added on to it.  The core part of the house was about 100 years old when we moved in.  Lot of weird problems.  Problems with wiring (no grounds were used in the house).  Problems with foundations shifting strangely over the year as the ground thawed/froze which caused the floors to slant different directions and the doors to sometimes open or sometimes be wedged in place for a few months.  Problems with carpenter ants eating the logs in house and running rampant through the walls.  Problems with plumbing (the toilet fell through from the main floor to the crawl space as my mother was using it one exciting winter morning).  Old houses can be cool . . . but in general they're a lot of work and you'll find that the work is often difficult because of the lack of standardization.  They're also not usually very energy efficient.

If you have your heart set on one, knock yourself out.  Just make sure you go in with your eyes open.

I just saw this and this comment really made my morning. I hope everyone was alright.

Aside from deeply wounded dignity, all were fine.  :P

theoverlook

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 362
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #45 on: December 03, 2020, 11:38:44 AM »
I wanted to both thank and curse you for showing me that Captivating Houses blog. I have thoroughly fallen in love with a botanical gardens for sale in Scotland and wish I was closer to being able to move around as that has rocketed up to my #1 retirement goal.

https://www.captivatinghouses.com/2020/11/09/1858-fixer-upper-for-sale-in-dunbartonshire-scotland/

anni

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 149
  • Age: 25
  • Location: Rocky Mtns
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #46 on: December 04, 2020, 12:57:41 PM »
I wanted to both thank and curse you for showing me that Captivating Houses blog. I have thoroughly fallen in love with a botanical gardens for sale in Scotland and wish I was closer to being able to move around as that has rocketed up to my #1 retirement goal.

https://www.captivatinghouses.com/2020/11/09/1858-fixer-upper-for-sale-in-dunbartonshire-scotland/

:D You're welcome and I'm sorry! Holy cow - 1858! and what a beauty! That looks like a couple of years' worth of restoration work, but what fun work and what a rewarding outcome you'd have. Waterfall on premise? stone bridge? excuse me?
« Last Edit: December 04, 2020, 01:01:06 PM by anni »

iris lily

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4199
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #47 on: December 05, 2020, 11:03:35 AM »
I wanted to both thank and curse you for showing me that Captivating Houses blog. I have thoroughly fallen in love with a botanical gardens for sale in Scotland and wish I was closer to being able to move around as that has rocketed up to my #1 retirement goal.

https://www.captivatinghouses.com/2020/11/09/1858-fixer-upper-for-sale-in-dunbartonshire-scotland/

I’m not even going to look at that. I will not look. You can’t make me.

When I win the billion dollar lottery I will move to Yorkshire because it’s very close to Scotland where I can have a very nice place as well as my Yorkshire place and then have a place in southern England. I don’t really care about France or Italy.

jpdx

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
Re: Buying a huge 1920s house - what are the real costs?
« Reply #48 on: December 27, 2020, 01:42:36 AM »
I bought an old bungalow in a great neighborhood. I paid a lot and for that I get to spend every moment of my "free time" maintaining and updating the house. I love it, I've learned a lot, and wouldn't have it any other way. New houses are ugly.