How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

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Kennedy
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How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by Kennedy » Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:17 pm

A large lot I'm considering buying has an old, two story 1400 sq feet farm house that is around 60 years old. It does not have a cement foundation. Instead, it was built on a piling foundation. The house appears, to a non-expert like me, to need a total overhaul, but I can't say whether I would be better off just having it bulldozed.

How do I know whether to bulldoze it or if it's worth repairing? I haven't yet had an inspector out, but I'm hoping people here will give me tell-tell signs that I should throw in the towel before I go to the expense of hiring an inspector.

Here's what I saw: The porch is caving in and severely slanted/uneven. The rest of the floor appears fairly level. Much of the dry wall needs to be replaced. About half of the hardwood floors can probably be sanded and finished. The rest look rotten or have already been replaced with what looks like sheets of particle board. I believe it has original plumbing and electric. The stairs to the upstairs are really narrow with a very low handrail that can't be to today's code. No obvious signs of water intrusion, but there is tons of rodent and possibly larger animal droppings.

It's not inhabited now. Roof is metal and looks okay from the ground as best as I can tell. I flushed the toilet and it seemed to work okay. Water came out of the faucet as expected. Many broken windows throughout the home. A few interesting features of the era- a couple original built in cabinets and interesting casings around the windows. Otherwise, it's dark, gloomy with tiny rooms. In a medium cost of living area on old farmland. The exterior is siding that will need to be replaced. No idea of the status of any insulation, but I'm guessing it's consistent with the time period. I'm guessing there may be lead based paint issues and maybe asbestos, but I don't know.

No central A/C. I saw a propane tank in the yard and assume it's used to heat the house some how.

My spouse took one look and said it should be demolished, but I'm wondering if it's worth salvaging. Any thoughts as to what to look for or would it be best to pay to have an inspector or possibly a general contractor go out and take a look? Any other information I can add?

MathWizard
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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by MathWizard » Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:30 pm

It sounds like you would be better demolishing.

Cost per square foot for remodel is generally much higher than new construction.

If you aren't ready to replace it all, you will end up with good construction over old, so if you are no ready to completely replace, don't buy the property.

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MP123
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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by MP123 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:41 pm

I assume the value is in the land?

What are your plans for the lot? Large acreage? Desirable area? What general part of the country? Do you intend to live there?

It certainly doesn't sound like the structure is worth keeping from your description. The lack of a foundation in particular is concerning. Of course if it's oceanfront in Malibu...

LittleMaggieMae
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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by LittleMaggieMae » Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:55 pm

An inspection will give you are starting point to determine the answer. Also find out how the cost of doing a teardown. (It can be just as expensive as fixing it up! depending on your County laws/taxes/fees and whatnot).

Is there a reason the house was built on pilings? Is the ground unlevel? or does flooding occur? or is the ground unstable? Is it common for houses in the area to be built that way?

Do you have anyone who can help you estimate the cost of tearing out/replacing the drywall? Do you know an electrician? A plumber? (or atleast someone who could DIY some of the parts?)

Does the house have a reasonable floor plan (was it just "patched" together - or was it built from some sort of plan?) Is the kitchen laid out well? What about the house's "systems" - like septic or city sewer? Well or city water? (if it's got city water/sewer - that's major work that has been done.) If it's well water - you may need to check the quality of the water. A good well can be pricey to put in. In other words - does the house have good 'bones' and 'systems"? It can be expensive to put in water, sewer, electric where none exists.

I would think hiring out all the work to bring the house back into working condition would be cost prohibitive.
I would think if you can do much of the work as a DIY and perhaps have friends/relatives who can contribute/help in different areas it might be worthwhile.

This all depends on what an inspection report comes back with.

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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by 123 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:06 pm

Kennedy wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:17 pm
A large lot I'm considering buying has an old, two story 1400 sq feet farm house that is around 60 years old...
Are you interested in using the house/property for a personal residence or some kind of development (lot split with/without new homes or apartments)?
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

Freetime76
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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by Freetime76 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:06 pm

What’s drawing you to this house or property lot? We’ve been in this situation before looking at homes and property. DH worked insurance claims construction, so he can fix anything...and he would say that not everything should be fixed. In fact, he desperately wants us to build new next time so that he can quit fixing other people’s less-than-stellar fixes.

Gut feeling for me is that a house that’s only 60 yrs old and already isn’t worth messing with (including the lot) unless there is something spectacular involved with that exact location. A 1798 mansion, ok maybe if you’re passionate about historic buildings. Circa mid-20th century - hmm..

In your shoes, before bothering with an inspection or contractors, I would want to consider:
1. Forget the budget for a minute. :shock: If you “redid” the whole house, is it going to be something you actually want, or would it be 10% original and 90% patch/replace/add-on? Small rooms and steep steps that a queen mattress won’t fit up aren’t going to change easily, if it’s even feasible at all. Resist feeling sorry for the house.
2. If you have to contract out for all the work (I.e. you or your husband are not in constructive trades or otherwise know what you’re doing), Eexpect to be hemorrhaging :dollar money :dollar just to get to a livable building. Expect to not be able to plan terribly accurately. And where are you living in the meantime?
3. In general, Opening a wall means you need to bring it up to code, which can be more time/$.
4. Asbestos is no joke. Don’t mess with it. Don’t listen to romanticized DIY blogs about how someone removed it and survived. [Call me in 20 years...not good.]

For your reference regarding repairs - the more “layers” you have to fix, the worse off you are. Example: you mentioned rotted flooring, how deep does it go? Deeper is worse. This house sounds bad.
Bad flooring = just replace carpet or refinish/replace hardwoods. Bad subfloor = pull flooring and replace (plywood) subfloor. Bad floor joists = all of above, plus now you’re into the structure of the house floor, which can impact electrical, plumbing, HVAC.

Don’t forget septic system, well water quality and type of electrical system. Vacant homes don’t do well...rodents can do tons of damage, plus lack of using the plumbing and keeping the climate controlled inside the house. Good luck!

Freetime76
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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by Freetime76 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:08 pm

Also, I forgot to say: if it’s a small lot, old houses can be grandfathered in for how close to lot lines. New builds will not.

wilked
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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by wilked » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:11 pm

What is your intent on the home? Will you be living there? Rental? Something else?

Not enough info given


Can you share some photos? Why spend the time describing when 5- 10 photos will tell it all?

Vanguard Fan 1367
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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:40 pm

I would certainly be careful before you purchase. My wife and I bought a house built in 1924 and we thought that we would gradually remodel things.

We bought the house, put some money into it then decided that all the projects that it needed to bring it up to where my wife would like it would be overwhelming. So we sold it. I figured that we would have to put a lot more money into the house to make the wife happy than we would get back on a sale.

We also aren't very good at finding good people to work on houses for moderate fees. So we discovered that we probably should let someone else have project houses.

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Watty
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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by Watty » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:42 pm

Also pay a lot of attention to what the rest of the neighborhood is like.

It would be problematic to build a new house on that lot if there are other rodent infested non-habitual houses nearby. Even if the other houses in the neighborhood are passable now you also need consider what the other houses will be like in 20 or 30 years if the neighborhood is declining.

With a house like that you will likely not be able to get conventional financing so you would need to research what sort of home rehabilitation loans are available if you would not be paying cash.

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Cubicle
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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by Cubicle » Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:11 pm

Freetime76 wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:08 pm
Also, I forgot to say: if it’s a small lot, old houses can be grandfathered in for how close to lot lines. New builds will not.
The most important point. I renovated my house. I was "gently" told by a employee of the town don't make any changes to the exterior structure as you "may" run into setback issues, grading, concrete slope... They couldn't/wouldn't definitively tell me without a survey & permit application.

I think the 2nd most important thing is, what is your budget? Neither option (new vs rehab) may make sense. Demolitions, like another poster said, can be very pricey; the cost of debris removal is higher than you might expect.

And it does not sound like you could rehab the property satisfactorily. I'm concluding that as from your description it sounds like major structural changes to the property would have to be made, or you'd have to concede on.

Mr. Rumples
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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by Mr. Rumples » Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:14 pm

My preference would be to save a house of this age, but given your description, its a tear down. First consider if you would want to deal with the possible asbestos and lead no matter what you decide to do. You would have to hire someone to judge if the piling foundation is sound (how deep are they and of what are they made). Then you described a porch which is caving in, drywall (plaster/plasterboard?) having to be replaced, half the flooring is shot, narrow stairs, rodent and animal waste...depending on where it is that could involve disease, windows are shot, siding shot; a metal roof that has been ignored and is 60 years old is of dubious soundness, they need to be maintained, albeit different than a shingle roof...in short other than the framing and the pluming, what's there that is sound?

Assuming the home has copper plumbing, how sound is it? Copper doesn't last forever and depending on the water, 60 years is a long time.

When renovating a home, each locality will have requirements that after a certain percentage of the home has to be replaced, the entire structure has to be brought up to code. The rule of thumb use to be 50% that's from the old UBC rules, but that might be out of date. Your local building inspector might be able to provide some rules of thumb regarding what you might be in for regarding the 50% rule.

They might be able to tell you what the requirements are for the water source. Is it safe to drink? Where I live, in a semi-rural area, the well water doesn't taste good and the wells this summer were drying up. Is there decent pressure? And how old is the pump and how deep is the well?

This site might provide insight into costs. I'm on my fourth home, improvements are usually full of surprises.

https://www.homewyse.com

carolinaman
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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by carolinaman » Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:58 am

It sounds like it should be torn down. However, I would not have a lot of confidence in a building inspector's determination of that. A good remodeler would be a better person to inspect it or possibly a structural engineer. If the framing and foundation are sound, it is likely cheaper to repair rather than rebuild assuming the house footprint suits you. However, I caution you on the repair approach. If you do not have a really good contractor doing the work, this could turn into a big mess.

You are probably better off buying a home in much better condition or building new.

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lthenderson
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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by lthenderson » Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:20 am

Kennedy wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:17 pm
My spouse took one look and said it should be demolished, but I'm wondering if it's worth salvaging. Any thoughts as to what to look for or would it be best to pay to have an inspector or possibly a general contractor go out and take a look? Any other information I can add?
I'll be the contrarian and say you most likely will be money ahead to save the structure. Half the flooring is good. Probably all the structural framing with the exception of the porch is good and probably better than what you can buy today. Many of the old houses I have worked on have exceptional framing material free of knots and with straight grain versus curved grain so the wood remains straight and doesn't twist and warp like modern dimensional lumber. There are some windows and I'm sure lots of trim, built-ins, etc that just need to be refinished. Just price out solid doors often found in old houses and you will be amazed at what it would cost to do that in a new house. All this would cost you many tens of thousands of dollars to replace if you were to build new. Just guessing but you can probably completely gut the house, redo the mechanicals completely and refinish it completely inside and out for maybe half the cost of building brand new. It all depends on the details of which we can't see but a general contractor would be able to.

I would get a quote from a general contractor to fix it to exactly the way you want and then compare that price to building a new home.

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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by fru-gal » Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:25 am

How about some photos?

Jags4186
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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:26 am

lthenderson wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:20 am
Just price out solid doors often found in old houses and you will be amazed at what it would cost to do that in a new house. All this would cost you many tens of thousands of dollars to replace if you were to build new.
Very true...a solid wood exterior door with an antique feel can easily cost $5000. That said, OP may be able to salvage a lot of the charm of the old house and have it installed in a new house.

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lthenderson
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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by lthenderson » Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:31 am

Jags4186 wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:26 am
lthenderson wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:20 am
Just price out solid doors often found in old houses and you will be amazed at what it would cost to do that in a new house. All this would cost you many tens of thousands of dollars to replace if you were to build new.
Very true...a solid wood exterior door with an antique feel can easily cost $5000. That said, OP may be able to salvage a lot of the charm of the old house and have it installed in a new house.
Most definitely. Salvaging things from these old houses is BIG business these days. I salvaged an entire house of baseboard trim out of a house that was an inch thick, 12+ inches wide and over twenty feet long with out a single knot made out of solid walnut. It was worth a small fortune on the salvage market.

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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by Rus In Urbe » Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:33 am

Mr. Rumples
My preference would be to save a house of this age, but given your description, its a tear down.
+1
We live in a 1925 house and it was a fixer-upper. BUT it had great bones, great flow to the rooms, was the size we wanted in the location we desired. It had wonderful historic details that were important to us. Yes, it needed a new roof, new heating system, AC, a finished and water-proofed basement, etc. etc. etc. But it was plumb, it had solidity. It was built with superior materials AT THAT TIME. For us, restoring it was a labor of love and not, decidedly not, an "investment"---but that was not our expectation when we bought it. I adore historic homes and we are delighted to live in ours.

That said, not all old houses are of good quality. Some were thrown up quickly by poor craftsmen, without solid foundations, without careful construction. Those are not worth saving. You can do all the cosmetic work in the world and still end up with a rickety house.

So----do what others have recommended and get some professional advice.

From your description, this house sounds like a tear-down to me.

Good luck! Rus :beer
I'd like to live as a poor man with lots of money. ~Pablo Picasso

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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by Valuethinker » Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:04 am

lthenderson wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:20 am
Kennedy wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:17 pm
My spouse took one look and said it should be demolished, but I'm wondering if it's worth salvaging. Any thoughts as to what to look for or would it be best to pay to have an inspector or possibly a general contractor go out and take a look? Any other information I can add?
I'll be the contrarian and say you most likely will be money ahead to save the structure. Half the flooring is good. Probably all the structural framing with the exception of the porch is good and probably better than what you can buy today. Many of the old houses I have worked on have exceptional framing material free of knots and with straight grain versus curved grain so the wood remains straight and doesn't twist and warp like modern dimensional lumber. There are some windows and I'm sure lots of trim, built-ins, etc that just need to be refinished. Just price out solid doors often found in old houses and you will be amazed at what it would cost to do that in a new house. All this would cost you many tens of thousands of dollars to replace if you were to build new. Just guessing but you can probably completely gut the house, redo the mechanicals completely and refinish it completely inside and out for maybe half the cost of building brand new. It all depends on the details of which we can't see but a general contractor would be able to.

I would get a quote from a general contractor to fix it to exactly the way you want and then compare that price to building a new home.
60 years old. 1958? Were houses so well built, then?

Most contractors will tell you it is far easier to start from scratch.

The sort of skilled trades that can do restorative work are hard to come by especially in a relatively strong economy with unemployment close to 50 year lows.

And reliable contractors to do that work? Very hard to find?

The good ones will quite a premium price to cover for the inevitable problems that emerge in renovation work. Or they may decline to bid at all.

The main reason to repair not replace is a non conforming use that you would not get zoning for now.

It is unfortunate that we have moved to the world of mcmansions but I would suggest a 1400 square foot detached dwelling no longer has much of a market now. The replacement should probably be c 2000 to 2500 square feet w open plan kitchen-dining and 4 good size bedrooms at least 1 w ensuite and walk in closet.

Assuming OP does not live in a part of the country where that is just ridiculous.

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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by pqwerty » Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:29 am

People are good at hiding ugly, so there are probably tons of other hidden problems you will find later.

If you like working on houses and are good at fixing stuff it can rebuilt it from the bottom up. Its just hard work.

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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by fru-gal » Thu Oct 24, 2019 12:33 pm

pqwerty wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:29 am
People are good at hiding ugly, so there are probably tons of other hidden problems you will find later.

If you like working on houses and are good at fixing stuff it can rebuilt it from the bottom up. Its just hard work.
It doesn't sound like anyone went to the trouble of hiding anything.

I'd still really like to see photos. It's really impossible to tell from the description what to do.

OP, is there a listing on the web with photos? I don't think a link to it would compromise your identity, since no way to know if you are the person who buys it.

Mr. Rumples
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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by Mr. Rumples » Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:18 pm

Ah, yet another expense. The breaker box. Check to see if the service panel can accept today's breakers...that is if it still isn't using fuses. Circuit breaker which work on one manufacturer's panel may not fit another; they are not universal. You might find what I found last March, the main breaker blew and the manufacturer went out of business. Also the loads when this house was built was a lot less than today's. Does the house even have GFCI's and can it take three prong appliances?

Miakis
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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by Miakis » Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:24 pm

I recently purchased two homes in this type of condition. I assumed one was a tear down and one was a renovation.

It turns out the one I thought would be a simple reno had more problems than the one I thought was a tear down.

On the tear down, I brought in two contractors and two foundation people - three of the four agreed that it was better to fix it than tear it down. The fourth was on the fence, but then took a look at the set backs and noted we'd never be able to build a house that size in that area, so probably best not to tear it down. Both foundation people gave us actual quotes for foundation work to help us make an educated decision. I didn't bother to have every aspect of the reno quoted, since I already generally knew what a new roof, new porch, and lead-based paint removal was going to cost.

On the reno, the same four people went in. No one advocated tearing it down, but they all pointed out problems that my untrained eye didn't necessarily focus on.

I brought them all in before closing. I suggest you go beyond an inspector. All an inspector is going to do is point out problems and then tell you to get a licensed contractor/foundation expert/roofer, etc in to assess the problem.

In all, the grandfathered set backs were a very valuable aspect of each property. Don't be afraid to have actual professionals look at the house and give their opinions.

Also, keep in mind there's a lot of difference between "fully restored" and "legal to rent." How you plan to use the property long term will impact what you bother to fix. All of the professionals I took through the two houses agreed that we could get the houses legal to rent for a relatively modest amount. But that's a lot different from turning them into nice homes that aren't frightening to look upon.

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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by barnaclebob » Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:47 pm

The call on whether to save it or not probably comes down to personal preference. By the tone of your message it didn't sound like the house has any features worthy of being on "This Old House". If there's nothing particularly special about it and you wouldn't particularly like living in it after being renovated then I say tear it down.

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by FrugalInvestor » Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:55 pm

I don't know if this has been mentioned but keep in mind that you may have remediation as well as construction issues. Two possibilities that come to mind are asbestos (old boiler) and lead (old paint).

I would demolish it unless there was some unique historical value.
Last edited by FrugalInvestor on Thu Oct 24, 2019 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by dbr » Thu Oct 24, 2019 3:34 pm

barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:47 pm
The call on whether to save it or not probably comes down to personal preference. By the tone of your message it didn't sound like the house has any features worthy of being on "This Old House". If there's nothing particularly special about it and you wouldn't particularly like living in it after being renovated then I say tear it down.
I agree. This would have to be driven by good reasons to want to keep the old house. Is this lot so desirable it is even worth considering under such circumstances. Buying a property is not usually about how to obtain a certain property but about now to deploy certain resources to obtain a property, of which there are many.

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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Oct 24, 2019 4:40 pm

OP: some responses to the responses would be helpful.

Also, more information as requested by some.

j :happy
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Kennedy
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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by Kennedy » Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:30 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 4:40 pm
OP: some responses to the responses would be helpful.

Also, more information as requested by some.

j :happy
Sorry about the delay. I very much appreciate everyone's insight.

Just to answer some questions... We are essentially interested in the property for the land that has appropriate zoning or is un-zoned upon which we can build a business. If we rehabbed the home, we would not live in it personally. We would keep it as a rental as the lot is big enough for sufficient separation between the house and where the business structure would be located.

There are no issues with regard to set-backs as the current house is sufficiently far from the street/sides of the lot. No non-conforming use issues either.

We have no building/repair skills personally and nor do we have friends/family that could help us with this project. We would have to hire out everything.

Someone asked about the water. I found out today, it is on a well. I have no idea of the water quality, the depth, or the age/condition of the pump. There is also a septic tank that appears to be the original. Oh, and I also found out today that the hot water tank does not work. Not a biggie, but just something else added to the pile.

As far as why the house was built on pilings, I found out today that the back corner of the property is in a floodplain. Definitely another strike. There is a noticeable gain in elevation from the floodplain section to the house, so I don't know if the proximity to the nearby river is why the pilings were used or if there was some other reason.

I will take some pictures to post should I go back out to the property.

Thanks, everyone, for all the input.

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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by SimonJester » Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:00 am

Kennedy wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:30 pm
Sandtrap wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 4:40 pm
OP: some responses to the responses would be helpful.

Also, more information as requested by some.

j :happy
Sorry about the delay. I very much appreciate everyone's insight.

Just to answer some questions... We are essentially interested in the property for the land that has appropriate zoning or is un-zoned upon which we can build a business. If we rehabbed the home, we would not live in it personally. We would keep it as a rental as the lot is big enough for sufficient separation between the house and where the business structure would be located.

There are no issues with regard to set-backs as the current house is sufficiently far from the street/sides of the lot. No non-conforming use issues either.

We have no building/repair skills personally and nor do we have friends/family that could help us with this project. We would have to hire out everything.

Someone asked about the water. I found out today, it is on a well. I have no idea of the water quality, the depth, or the age/condition of the pump. There is also a septic tank that appears to be the original. Oh, and I also found out today that the hot water tank does not work. Not a biggie, but just something else added to the pile.

As far as why the house was built on pilings, I found out today that the back corner of the property is in a floodplain. Definitely another strike. There is a noticeable gain in elevation from the floodplain section to the house, so I don't know if the proximity to the nearby river is why the pilings were used or if there was some other reason.

I will take some pictures to post should I go back out to the property.

Thanks, everyone, for all the input.

I say pass, flood plain may mean high priced flood insurance, not to mention the possibility of flooding. This may impact your plans to build the business building. Its looking more and more like a tear down and given you have no construction experience you are going to have to hire everything out including a general contractor. I suspect you are looking at serious dollars here...
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

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lthenderson
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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by lthenderson » Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:01 am

barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:47 pm
The call on whether to save it or not probably comes down to personal preference. By the tone of your message it didn't sound like the house has any features worthy of being on "This Old House". If there's nothing particularly special about it and you wouldn't particularly like living in it after being renovated then I say tear it down.
As a fan of the show, I think you missed the season where This Old House helped renovate a shotgun house in New Orleans that had holes in the roof and extensive water damage from being abandoned for so long. They essentially gutted that house down to just the framing.

barnaclebob
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Re: How to Know if an Old House is Reasonably Beyond Repair

Post by barnaclebob » Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:12 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:01 am
barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:47 pm
The call on whether to save it or not probably comes down to personal preference. By the tone of your message it didn't sound like the house has any features worthy of being on "This Old House". If there's nothing particularly special about it and you wouldn't particularly like living in it after being renovated then I say tear it down.
As a fan of the show, I think you missed the season where This Old House helped renovate a shotgun house in New Orleans that had holes in the roof and extensive water damage from being abandoned for so long. They essentially gutted that house down to just the framing.
A few recent seasons have had some really nasty "teardowns" turned into beautiful homes, Charleston and Detroit come to mind. Like I said, its all personal preference in many cases. To me it sounds like OP's house would only be worth restoring if it wasn't a business decision and they really loved the house. The house was built in the 50s or 60's so its likely not that special anyway.

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