First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

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totallynotsure
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First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by totallynotsure »

first time home buyer. these were the issues that came up and i'm curious if these are negotiation points or something that should be expected and not worth arguing.

are any of these issues more glaring/concerning than others? the inspector did say to me multiple times how great of a house it was and that he would "tell his kids to buy it".

Roof
1. The roof shingles are in satisfactory condition. Shingles of this type and quality will have an expected life of 25 years or so.
2. The original cedar shingle roof installed over furring strips is still on the house. It will be necessary to remove this cedar roofing and install plywood roof sheathing when the roof is replaced in the future.
3. This is an expense that has been deferred by the past owners.
4. The flat roof of the den is covered with tar coated asphalt roofing material. This roof had been recently patched and painted. This aluminum paint is designed to deflect the sun and extend the life of the roof.
5. Flat roofs require frequent re-sealing to prevent leaks. No evidence of leaking was visible on the interior.[/list]

Electrical
1. The electrical service is provided by overhead wires. The electric meter is located in the basement.
2. The service entrance cable is properly secured to the exterior of the house.
3. This electric service is considered adequate/minimal by modern standards. There is no room for
expansion in the main panel.
4. The installation of a cover is required on a junction box in the ceiling of the rear crawl spaces. This is a
minor cost to correct but is unsafe in its present condition.
5. The junction box covered on the wall at the top of the basement staircase should be sealed to prevent
accidents.
6. The operation or testing of electromagnetic circuit breakers is recommended periodically to assure
serviceability. Our inspector is not permitted to field test circuit breakers during the inspection.
7. Some of the electrical receptacles are the original, two pronged, ungrounded type. It is required that all
outlets serving the kitchens, bathrooms, laundry/utility rooms, garages, workshops, and exterior
receptacles be provided with modern three prong grounded electrical receptacles.
8. Houses of this age do not have an adequate number of electrical receptacles in some rooms. It will be
necessary to use extension cords or run new electrical lines to rooms when electrical use increases.
9. A spot check of several selected electrical receptacles using an electrical polarity test meter indicates
satisfactory conditions.
10. The installation of GROUND FAULT CIRCUIT INTERRUPTERS (GFCI) should be considered for
all receptacles where water is used, i.e., kitchens, bathrooms, jacuzzi and hot tubs, laundry/utility
rooms, workshops, basements, crawl spaces, garages, swimming pools and exterior receptacles. It is
an inexpensive item to add this protection to the main panel or directly to the recommended
receptacles.
11. No evaluation is made of insulation on electric wires. Electrical coatings are made of many difference
compositions, each designed for specific use and location. Whenever alterations or remodeling work is
conducted, older wiring should be upgraded.

Heating
1. AGE OF BOILER: Approx. 24 years old (manufactured in 1996)
2. The expected life of a boiler/heating plant of this type is approximately 25 to 30 years or so.
3. The heating system is in working order. The system was operated by use of thermostatic controls.
4. A full evaluation as to the effectiveness of every control or radiator cannot be made within the time frame allocated for this inspection.

Front Entrance
1. The brick front entry (porch & steps) appears to be the original structure built with the house.
2. The top step is approximately 2 inches taller than the others. The uneven step heights creates a tripping hazard.

Basement
1. There are two sump pumps on the left side of the basement.
2. There was water in each sump system at the time of the inspection. This indicates that the pumps are required to control ground water conditions.

Plumbing
1. The service entrance pipe is made of brass. This appears to be original. The condition of life expectancy of a buried pipe cannot be determined. 2. Based on its age, replacement should be expected in the near future. This is costly as a six foot deep trench must be dug between the house and the street.

Garage
1. The asphalt shingle roofing is estimated to be 20 years old. The roof is in satisfactory condition. The moss growth on the left side is a cosmetic issue.
2. The original cedar shingle roof is still on the garage (visible from the interior). These old roof layers will have to be removed when the roof is replaced in the future.
3. GROUND FAULT CIRCUIT INTERRUPTER protection is the recommended in the garage electrical receptacle. This is a required safety device.
Goal33
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by Goal33 »

Wow. Sounds in pretty good condition.

Either way, you should probably negotiate for a concession.
bloom2708
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by bloom2708 »

When you buy a 100 year old house, this is what you get.

Nothing seems terrible. The boiler is probably the nearest issue.

It is a lifestyle, so if you go forward, embrace it. Expect issues and repairs and maintenance. Higher than a newer house.
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TallBoy29er
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by TallBoy29er »

We are in the midst of selling our 112 yr old house. A lot of these things are par for course. We had no spare change when we bought. If we did, I would have had all the electrical redone before we moved in. I would have thought your inspector would have taken the cover off the panel to look for things like cloth covered electrical wire. It's not terrible (we had it), but I would like to know about it. The GFCI's are not expensive to have installed, and should be done.

The roof....definitely a negotiation point. You'll have to deal with it at some point.

It was a fun 15 year ride for us. That said, it is definitely work, as a prior poster mentioned. There will likely always be something you could work on. I have no regrets, but I'm ready to be done. :beer

All the best!
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cchrissyy
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by cchrissyy »

"wow" from me too! that's impressively little to find on a house that age and in my area you wouldn't ask for concessions unless something far more serious was found.
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totallynotsure
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by totallynotsure »

cchrissyy wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:17 pm "wow" from me too! that's impressively little to find on a house that age and in my area you wouldn't ask for concessions unless something far more serious was found.
roof isn't concerning? esp. this part "The original cedar shingle roof installed over furring strips is still on the house. It will be necessary to remove this cedar roofing and install plywood roof sheathing when the roof is replaced in the future."
Bigvern777
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by Bigvern777 »

That’s a good inspection on any house 30+ years old. Let alone 100+. You’re probably gonna need a new roof and boiler on not too long so worthwhile considering in your negotiations but pretty clean overall.
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lthenderson
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by lthenderson »

Definitely par for the course for a house of that age.

How can anyone here say if a concession is warranted or not? In order to know that, one would need to know if the house was priced accordingly to other houses in the area with similar issues and the OP didn't state one way or the other.
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totallynotsure
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by totallynotsure »

lthenderson wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:27 pm Definitely par for the course for a house of that age.

How can anyone here say if a concession is warranted or not? In order to know that, one would need to know if the house was priced accordingly to other houses in the area with similar issues and the OP didn't state one way or the other.
it's priced on the higher end for houses in the area but unsure whether or not houses in the area have more or less issues.
HomeStretch
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by HomeStretch »

You just have to be comfortable that the price you are paying takes into account that you will have to address the roof and boiler likely sooner rather than later. If you close on the house, be sure to put some money aside to address these items. The roof may be the higher priority - you don’t say how old it is but you might want to have an experienced roofer take a look at it after move in given it has two layers of roofing materials and patches on a flat roof (which may not have an underlayment membrane) especially if you are in a snowy locale.

On a 100 year old house, I’d consider having someone (not the inspector you used) inspect the water/sewer lines with a camera. Same for any chimneys.
Last edited by HomeStretch on Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Bernard
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by Bernard »

Looks like you scored! Congratulations!

Whether or not you can negotiate depends on your location/market. When we bought our house in summer of 2017, we were the first to visit it from 5:00 to 5:15. At 5:10 the next party was already waiting in front of the door. Asking price was $555,000 and we formally offered $550,000 at 5:32. The only reason we did not offer full asking was that we did not want the seller's agent to tell interested parties that they already had a full price offer, thus driving the price even higher.

Our inspector overlooked a sagging ceiling in the living room, and many other less important things. Had we offered much less, they would have kicked us out of the house and sold it to the next in line.

Since 2017, our house has appreciated about $100K. We just refinanced to a 2.75% 30-year mortgage.
I'd LOVE to own a 100 year-old house with so little issues as "your" one!
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totallynotsure
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by totallynotsure »

HomeStretch wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:29 pm You just have to be comfortable that the price you are paying takes into account that you will have to address the roof and boiler likely sooner rather than later. If you close on the house, be sure to put some money aside to address these items. The roof may be the higher priority - you don’t say how old it is but you might want to have an experienced roofer take a look at it after move in given it has two layers of roofing materials and patches on a flat roof (which may not have an underlayment membrane) especially if you are in a snowy locale.

On a 100 year old house, I’d consider having someone (not the inspector you used) inspect the service pipes into the house with a camera. Same for any chimneys.
that's just it. asking was $748 (reduced from $758) we offered $700 and they countered at $738. we verbally accepted (prior to inspection), but now the roof and boiler have me reconsidering.

edit: can i ask why to your second point? we certainly won't be given the time to do that prior to a contract.
bikesandbeers
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by bikesandbeers »

Yes, all sounds typicall on an old house.
My 90 year old house still had live knob and tube wiring.

Most inspectors wont touch the electrical stuff, but ours recommended an electrican come and look and give an estimate on making all the repairs.
We had the seller knock off some $ and we needed up replacing all the wiring after purchase.

We also had shingles over shakes.
My parents house built in the 1960s also had shingles over shakes. It does make a mess in the attic when they have to strip everything to put down plywood.
Sprucebark
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by Sprucebark »

How many amps on the electric panel? My house is 40 years old and only has 100 amps. A house that is 100 years old probably started at 20 and was upgraded once or twice since then. Everything is electric these days so you will want to get it upgraded to 200 amps of possible.

Dryer- 30 amp circuit
Oven- 50 amp circuit
Furnace- 20 amp circuit

Add in a couple sump pumps, humidifier, and garage freezer and you can see it gets pretty close if all things run at once.
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MP123
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by MP123 »

It sounds like you'll need to replace the roof and boiler soon, factor that into your budget.

How hot is the housing market where you are? The sellers may well have other offers (maybe better than yours). Trying to get more concessions might lose the deal.
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totallynotsure
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by totallynotsure »

MP123 wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:48 pm It sounds like you'll need to replace the roof and boiler soon, factor that into your budget.

How hot is the housing market where you are? The sellers may well have other offers (maybe better than yours). Trying to get more concessions might lose the deal.
market was very hot...has slightly cooled. we're about 30 mins north of NYC.
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totallynotsure
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by totallynotsure »

Sprucebark wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:37 pm How many amps on the electric panel? My house is 40 years old and only has 100 amps. A house that is 100 years old probably started at 20 and was upgraded once or twice since then. Everything is electric these days so you will want to get it upgraded to 200 amps of possible.

Dryer- 30 amp circuit
Oven- 50 amp circuit
Furnace- 20 amp circuit

Add in a couple sump pumps, humidifier, and garage freezer and you can see it gets pretty close if all things run at once.
100
HomeStretch
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by HomeStretch »

totallynotsure wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:31 pm
HomeStretch wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:29 pm You just have to be comfortable that the price you are paying takes into account that you will have to address the roof and boiler likely sooner rather than later. If you close on the house, be sure to put some money aside to address these items. The roof may be the higher priority - you don’t say how old it is but you might want to have an experienced roofer take a look at it after move in given it has two layers of roofing materials and patches on a flat roof (which may not have an underlayment membrane) especially if you are in a snowy locale.

On a 100 year old house, I’d consider having someone (not the inspector you used) inspect the service pipes into the house with a camera. Same for any chimneys.
that's just it. asking was $748 (reduced from $758) we offered $700 and they countered at $738. we verbally accepted (prior to inspection), but now the roof and boiler have me reconsidering.

edit: can i ask why to your second point? we certainly won't be given the time to do that prior to a contract.
The house is a 100 years old. Chimneys and service lines can be expensive to repair/replace if there are any issues. A general house inspector isn’t able to do a thorough evaluation unless he used a camera to inspect them. A couple hundred dollars to have them inspected would be worth it (to me) but If you won’t be allowed time to do further inspection then my comment is moot.

Earmark $20k to address the roof and boiler as needed, and maybe another $10k for anything else that comes up in the first year or so like upgrading to 200 amp service/new panel.

Best of luck with your decision!
123
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by 123 »

Yes it's an 100 year old house that has the normal electrical issues.

That said the thing you will notice the most is likely the absence of adequate electrical outlets where you want them. It was common then for there to be often only one electrical two plug outlet in many rooms (bedrooms etc). They had electrical lights but radio was barely around in many places and TV wasn't invented yet.

Appliances you have that may have issues when you use them include irons, microwaves, washers, dryers, computer printers. Some of these appliances have electric motors or a heating element that may strain a particular circuit if there is a high drain at the same time.

We did a gut remodel on an old home that had knob-and-tube wiring. Of course we replaced all wiring and plumbing. It was actually scary to see how the old knob-and-tube wiring had been extended to add outlets for newly invented appliances like a refrigerator over the history of the house.

I see some electrical rehabilitation in your future if you buy the house.
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quantAndHold
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by quantAndHold »

What does your realtor say?

I don’t see anyplace to negotiate. Either it’s in pretty good shape or you got a poor inspection. You can ask them to fix the couple of safety issues, which are cheap fixes, so they should be willing to do that. There are several expensive items that are reaching the end of their life in the next few years, so you should start budgeting for them.

I don’t see anything about the foundation. In older houses, foundations are a important source of expensiveness. It’s unclear whether the foundation was fine, or just not mentioned.

Also sewer pipe. Did you get it scoped? That can be an issue with older houses.

What kind of windows does it have and what condition are they in. Window replacement is expensive, but not always necessary.

Also insulation. Is there any? How much? In the big scheme of things, insulation isn’t that expensive, but you may want to add more.

There’s not really much you can negotiate here, but you probably want to figure out how much you’re going to be spending on inspection items and general renovation in the next 5-10 years, come up with a budget, and decide if you can afford it and still want it for that price.

And yes, budget in a new electric service panel. You may not need it this year, but you will eventually.
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adestefan
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by adestefan »

You’re buying a 100 year old house. Unless it’s a safety issue I wouldn’t expect any concessions.
stan1
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by stan1 »

I'd talk to your realtor. In my VHCOL/hot market area it absolutely would be typical to negotiate down a little for these issues even in an older house. Buyer has some leverage over seller when it comes time to lift contingencies. Do you have a financing contingency also and has it cleared? In our last house we got $33K back at closing by renegotiating. There were threats of a second offer but it was not good offer; seller was bluffing. Seller's realtor was lazy and told my realtor what the other offer was as they were negotiating a final deal. Seller's realtor just wanted sale to close fast. He was a part time agent and the listing was outside his primary work area.

But markets are a little different in each location. What's normal in my area may not work well where you are. That's why talking to the realtor is useful, and hopefully you have a realtor who gets a rush out of negotiating a deal not one who likes to arrange furniture and decorate houses.
adamthesmythe
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by adamthesmythe »

Having owned houses of this period- I concur with the others, this is a very good inspection.

Nothing absolutely needs to be repaired right now. You should expect ongoing maintenance expenses.

As to whether you should ask for modest concessions-usually there's no downside because usually the contract is written so if the seller refuses you can just go with the original deal. Although this risks using up good will you might need later.
Last edited by adamthesmythe on Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
wilked
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by wilked »

Is boiler oil or gas?
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by andypanda »

Earlier this year I sold a 1916 house I'd lived in since 1980. Old houses have character, not problems. :) Lots of character. There were probably 5k or so houses with character in my old neighborhood. The ones in the Fan District were even older. I was in the Museum District.

I hate flat roofs, even if it's just over a porch. Keep your eye on it. Hate them. Your inspector probably would have told me my slate roof needed to have plywood put under it when we rehung the slates for the heck of it so I could get rid of the ones that had paint and tar splattered on them. We took them all off, replaced the dirty ones with Buckingham slate to match, and rehung every last one of them on copper nails. Why does a roof that has functioned for 100 years need plywood?

I don't know much about modern boilers like yours, but the Burnham natural gas boiler I had installed in 1980 to heat the water for the radiators is still running like new. It's not fancy and there isn't much on it to break. The original 20-pound 1.5 hp circulator started making ticking noises 10 years ago or so and I had a tiny Taco pump put on it for $300 including labor and a cleaning. Every 10 or 15 years the thermocouple needed replacing for $20 and I promised myself I'd do it every year or two as preventative maintenance. I never did, I just kept a spare hanging close by.

Good luck, have fun. Two prong outlets are fine. Replace any of the old knob and tube you find.
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cchrissyy
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by cchrissyy »

totallynotsure wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:20 pm
cchrissyy wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:17 pm "wow" from me too! that's impressively little to find on a house that age and in my area you wouldn't ask for concessions unless something far more serious was found.
roof isn't concerning? esp. this part "The original cedar shingle roof installed over furring strips is still on the house. It will be necessary to remove this cedar roofing and install plywood roof sheathing when the roof is replaced in the future."
no my reaction wouldn't be at all concerned. it would be pretty neutral like "ah, thanks for letting me know". same for the age of the broiler.

if your inspector did a good job then this house has been incredibly well-maintained. of course you will have to do some maintenance on it too, and this report is alerting you to what the next topics could be. yes, you could scare me off a house with widespread issues or anything about a foundation. but the roof thing just sounds like this report is saying hey, next time you replace the roof it might be a bigger job because of this one factor, and to that i say, ok fine thanks for letting me know so someday when the roofers come for estimates i'll be expecting them to mention this.
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totallynotsure
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by totallynotsure »

the other fear is that the 738 asking price and 20% down leaves us only ~$20k or so in savings right off the bat. so it's definitely a bit dauting being a first time homeowner and not having a HUGE cushion to support us in case something hits the fan immediately.
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totallynotsure
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by totallynotsure »

stan1 wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:04 pm I'd talk to your realtor. In my VHCOL/hot market area it absolutely would be typical to negotiate down a little for these issues even in an older house. Buyer has some leverage over seller when it comes time to lift contingencies. Do you have a financing contingency also and has it cleared? In our last house we got $33K back at closing by renegotiating. There were threats of a second offer but it was not good offer; seller was bluffing. Seller's realtor was lazy and told my realtor what the other offer was as they were negotiating a final deal. Seller's realtor just wanted sale to close fast. He was a part time agent and the listing was outside his primary work area.

But markets are a little different in each location. What's normal in my area may not work well where you are. That's why talking to the realtor is useful, and hopefully you have a realtor who gets a rush out of negotiating a deal not one who likes to arrange furniture and decorate houses.
thanks. i'm just outside of NYC so it was very hot. slightly cooler now. at any rate, we aren't even in contract yet. contracts aren't signed until AFTER inspection here. the only money i'm out right now is the inspection cost.
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totallynotsure
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by totallynotsure »

wilked wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:11 pm Is boiler oil or gas?
natural gas boiler. smith brand.
Big Dog
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by Big Dog »

totallynotsure wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:20 pm
cchrissyy wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:17 pm "wow" from me too! that's impressively little to find on a house that age and in my area you wouldn't ask for concessions unless something far more serious was found.
roof isn't concerning? esp. this part "The original cedar shingle roof installed over furring strips is still on the house. It will be necessary to remove this cedar roofing and install plywood roof sheathing when the roof is replaced in the future."
Thats how many cedar shingle roofs are put up. It's normal.

If you replace with typical asphalt shingles, you'll have to put down an underlayment 4'x8' sheets of plywood, and roof paper, but any roofer can do this job. A few extra bucks for labor and wood supplies.

Electrical: if you want to go solar you'll have to upgrade your electrical panel. You might even have to upgrade your panel if you want to charge an EV. That too is simple -- any licensed electrician can do it. Cost about $3k in SoCal.

re: water in basement...I'd ask the realtor if that is common in that area.
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MP123
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by MP123 »

totallynotsure wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:16 pm the other fear is that the 738 asking price and 20% down leaves us only ~$20k or so in savings right off the bat. so it's definitely a bit dauting being a first time homeowner and not having a HUGE cushion to support us in case something hits the fan immediately.
So we're clear: after closing you expect to have $20k in savings?

If so I think you're right to be concerned.
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Watty
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by Watty »

It was not clear but it sounds like it has a wood roof. If so then be sure to check to find out how much that will affect your house insurance cost, or if some insurance companies will not insurance the house because of the wood roof.

It has been almost 20 years since I owned a house with a wood roof but one of the issues that I remember is that even back then, at least as I recall, good cedar is very hard and expensive to get now and they are generally using a much lower grade of cedar now that will not have nearly the life expectancy of older cedar roofs. Somewhere in your plans you may want to consider changing to some other sort of roofing material and that can add to the cost.

Unless I missed it I did not see any mention of lead paint or asbestos but it very likely has both. That does not need to be a showstopper but they are something that you should be aware of.
totallynotsure wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 8:44 pm Basement
1. There are two sump pumps on the left side of the basement.
2. There was water in each sump system at the time of the inspection. This indicates that the pumps are required to control ground water conditions.
Do these have a battery backup or does the house have generator? If not will these be a problem if there is a long power outage after big storm with lots of rain?
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by totallynotsure »

MP123 wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:27 pm
totallynotsure wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:16 pm the other fear is that the 738 asking price and 20% down leaves us only ~$20k or so in savings right off the bat. so it's definitely a bit dauting being a first time homeowner and not having a HUGE cushion to support us in case something hits the fan immediately.
So we're clear: after closing you expect to have $20k in savings?

If so I think you're right to be concerned.
probably closer to $30K not including taxable account with about $16k in it.
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totallynotsure
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by totallynotsure »

Watty wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:31 pm It was not clear but it sounds like it has a wood roof. If so then be sure to check to find out how much that will affect your house insurance cost, or if some insurance companies will not insurance the house because of the wood roof.

It has been almost 20 years since I owned a house with a wood roof but one of the issues that I remember is that even back then, at least as I recall, good cedar is very hard and expensive to get now and they are generally using a much lower grade of cedar now that will not have nearly the life expectancy of older cedar roofs. Somewhere in your plans you may want to consider changing to some other sort of roofing material and that can add to the cost.

Unless I missed it I did not see any mention of lead paint or asbestos but it very likely has both. That does not need to be a showstopper but they are something that you should be aware of.
totallynotsure wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 8:44 pm Basement
1. There are two sump pumps on the left side of the basement.
2. There was water in each sump system at the time of the inspection. This indicates that the pumps are required to control ground water conditions.
Do these have a battery backup or does the house have generator? If not will these be a problem if there is a long power outage after big storm with lots of rain?
yes, whole house Generac generator
WS1
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by WS1 »

totallynotsure wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:16 pm the other fear is that the 738 asking price and 20% down leaves us only ~$20k or so in savings right off the bat. so it's definitely a bit dauting being a first time homeowner and not having a HUGE cushion to support us in case something hits the fan immediately.
Switch to 10% down. An extra $73,000 is a hell of a security blanket/improvement fund.
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totallynotsure
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by totallynotsure »

WS1 wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:38 pm
totallynotsure wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:16 pm the other fear is that the 738 asking price and 20% down leaves us only ~$20k or so in savings right off the bat. so it's definitely a bit dauting being a first time homeowner and not having a HUGE cushion to support us in case something hits the fan immediately.
Switch to 10% down. An extra $73,000 is a hell of a security blanket/improvement fund.
yep, even 15% would be nice but i'd like to avoid PMI as much as possible.
RetiredAL
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by RetiredAL »

totallynotsure wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:20 pm
cchrissyy wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:17 pm "wow" from me too! that's impressively little to find on a house that age and in my area you wouldn't ask for concessions unless something far more serious was found.
roof isn't concerning? esp. this part "The original cedar shingle roof installed over furring strips is still on the house. It will be necessary to remove this cedar roofing and install plywood roof sheathing when the roof is replaced in the future."
Two roof layers quite common. Due to weight concerns, you can't do a third layer, thus its a strip off then new decking. It adds to the cost, but not grossly.

Nothing else stands out. Electrical code has changed over the years, hence there will be things are not to current code, but he found no safety/fire concerns other than a couple of missing cover plates on junction boxes.

Red flags to you as a buyer would have been structure or foundation issues or major electrical defects.
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totallynotsure
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by totallynotsure »

RetiredAL wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:53 pm
totallynotsure wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:20 pm
cchrissyy wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:17 pm "wow" from me too! that's impressively little to find on a house that age and in my area you wouldn't ask for concessions unless something far more serious was found.
roof isn't concerning? esp. this part "The original cedar shingle roof installed over furring strips is still on the house. It will be necessary to remove this cedar roofing and install plywood roof sheathing when the roof is replaced in the future."
Two roof layers quite common. Due to weight concerns, you can't do a third layer, thus its a strip off then new decking. It adds to the cost, but not grossly.

Nothing else stands out. Electrical code has changed over the years, hence there will be things are not to current code, but he found no safety/fire concerns other than a couple of missing cover plates on junction boxes.

Red flags to you as a buyer would have been structure or foundation issues or major electrical defects.
yes, no structural issues.
WS1
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by WS1 »

totallynotsure wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:41 pm
WS1 wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:38 pm
totallynotsure wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:16 pm the other fear is that the 738 asking price and 20% down leaves us only ~$20k or so in savings right off the bat. so it's definitely a bit dauting being a first time homeowner and not having a HUGE cushion to support us in case something hits the fan immediately.
Switch to 10% down. An extra $73,000 is a hell of a security blanket/improvement fund.
yep, even 15% would be nice but i'd like to avoid PMI as much as possible.
Did you get a quote for 5,10,15%? You might be surprised.
Saving$
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by Saving$ »

totallynotsure wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:32 pm
MP123 wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:27 pm
totallynotsure wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:16 pm the other fear is that the 738 asking price and 20% down leaves us only ~$20k or so in savings right off the bat. so it's definitely a bit dauting being a first time homeowner and not having a HUGE cushion to support us in case something hits the fan immediately.
So we're clear: after closing you expect to have $20k in savings?

If so I think you're right to be concerned.
probably closer to $30K not including taxable account with about $16k in it.
So you will also have moving costs, and stuff you will need to buy when you move it to make the house work for your family. So the $30k is now down to $25k. I certainly understand wanting to avoid PMI, but consider a few things:
1. How fast can you save given the new mortgage & property taxes? If you will save $10k month, this might not be a big deal. If you will save $1k month, keep reading.
2. What is your plan if the heat goes out the first month you are living there? Does not sound like the house has sufficient power to get through a winter on space heaters, and that is not so safe anyway. So how much is a new boiler? YOU NEED TO FIND THIS OUT both for your own planning and to negotiate this deal. I've read they can be upwards of $30k because it is not just the boiler replacement, it is getting everything it touches up to code.
3. If the roof leaks, you can get a temporary repair, so it is not such a pressing issue. How old is the existing roof? How much is a new roof? Guessing removing the asphalt shingles plus the shakes plus a new roof will be well over $20k but that totally depends upon the size of the house - could be much more.

Based on the report you posted, the boiler could need to be replaced anytime. Figure a sure replacement within 5 years.
If the roof is similar, make sure you will have the funds. If the existing asphalt shingles were only applied 10 years ago, you have another 15 years on the roof so don't worry about that.
Figure you will get a power upgrade within 5-10 years also. If the house has a 100 amp panel, you may need to also replace the drop from the power company before installing a larger panel.

Use the report to negotiate. Especially on the boiler.
cogito
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by cogito »

totallynotsure wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:41 pm
WS1 wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:38 pm
totallynotsure wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:16 pm the other fear is that the 738 asking price and 20% down leaves us only ~$20k or so in savings right off the bat. so it's definitely a bit dauting being a first time homeowner and not having a HUGE cushion to support us in case something hits the fan immediately.
Switch to 10% down. An extra $73,000 is a hell of a security blanket/improvement fund.
yep, even 15% would be nice but i'd like to avoid PMI as much as possible.
You can always live in the house for a year, pay cheap PMI, and throw the 73k on to principal to remove PMI once you feel comfortable. Money is pretty fungible even when it comes to housing.
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totallynotsure
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by totallynotsure »

WS1 wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:59 pm
totallynotsure wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:41 pm
WS1 wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:38 pm
totallynotsure wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:16 pm the other fear is that the 738 asking price and 20% down leaves us only ~$20k or so in savings right off the bat. so it's definitely a bit dauting being a first time homeowner and not having a HUGE cushion to support us in case something hits the fan immediately.
Switch to 10% down. An extra $73,000 is a hell of a security blanket/improvement fund.
yep, even 15% would be nice but i'd like to avoid PMI as much as possible.
Did you get a quote for 5,10,15%? You might be surprised.
not really b/c it's been so hammered into my head to focus on putting down 20%.
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by F150HD »

was a similar thread on old houses like this within the past year. It asked similar questions.

the comment on the brass service (sewer) pipe is a big deal to me.

Do not see any comments on galvanized water pipe which is probably in the home (unless its been replaced). That would be an issue to me.

some insurers will not insure if home has knob and tube.
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by phxjcc »

Find member /sand trap and ask him
dgnative
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by dgnative »

I agree with all of responders plus just in case of future not detected issues...

WATCH THIS OLD HOUSE ON TV and or Read the Magazine for help in understanding old standards.
onourway
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by onourway »

We are in the process of buying a similar home.

I agree that none of the issues are show stoppers for a house of this age - pretty par for the course. That said, if you have any room to negotiate, (your realtor should help you feel this out) - I would use the safety issues on the electrical as a reason to have an electrician come in and do a more thorough inspection.

What is the age of the roof on the main house? “Satisfactory condition” could mean 25 years on a 30 year roof - and paired with the age of the garage roof could mean a significant expense in the not too distant future.

The boiler could go for many years, or could need replacement at any time. In our current house when we replaced the boiler 10 years ago, we removed the original boiler from 1946...

What kind of siding, and what is the condition? Any notes on the foundation?

I agree with other comments that $20-30k cash left after closing is going to be pretty tight. We would not personally be purchasing our house if we could not also have a significant cash buffer in reserve to make me sleep well at night. A 100 year old house can suck up $20k in repairs in no time. You will likely spend a good portion of that on moving costs, new furniture, carpets, drapes, and minor updates to make the house comfortable to your family. I would get quotes on just how much PMI you’d be paying with a lower down payment.

Good luck!
wilked
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by wilked »

We have a 100 year old home.

Between the roof and the boiler I would expect to spend $10-20k in the next 5 years. It might not need it but I’d earmark that money. Then again that’s no different than any typical he-fund

The rest of it, no problem. People love to be scared of old homes, most of it is complete noise. Asbestos / lead paint - realistically not the issue they are made out to be. Asbestos is found typically in the form of insulation on those steam / hot water pipes in the basement. They are not a threat, just don’t rip it off on your own. Lead paint, likely buried under other layers of paint at this point. Keep it in mind if you ever remodel (demolish), you’ll need to take extra care.

I like to say that there is a flip side to 100 years old. A house that old has staying power. It had already seen hurricane winds, it has experienced the worst blizzards, etc etc. when they say they don’t build them like they used to - it’s true. It’s got full dimension, old growth lumber throughout, so tough it can be hard to drive nails into. It’s likely got beautiful hardwood throughout and if like my house amazing woodwork with wood you can’t find anymore. It’s got nice high ceilings. It’s got warm radiators to warm the house comfortably. And on and on.

Maintaining an older house costs money. In your case I’d expect to spend $250-400/ month annualized over a 5-10 yr period (ie it will come in chunks). This is similar to the 1% number typically used. We have lived in our home 6 years and have not spent much on repairs (spent plenty on upgrades / renovations), but I have no doubt it will come at some point. But then that would be expected for newer homes too.

Buy with confidence, but get that e-fund replenished as a priority afterward
egrets
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by egrets »

I haven't had time to red all the replies.

I really envy you buying an old house like this.

This all sounds like normal old house stuff.

The things that caught my eye were:

The flat roof over the den. I would keep an eye on that and perhaps at some point replace it with a better roof.

The boiler. Start saving up to have that replaced.

The front entrance steps are possibly tripping hazard and may need to be corrected. Note: With old house brickwork it is important that corrections use the appropriate type of mortar. I wonder what happened to cause that height difference.

It is normal to have layers of roofs that need to be removed totally at some future reroofing.

Yes, a trench may need to be dug to correct the plumbing situation but maybe not. Brass is pretty impressive. I had to have a trench done to replace terracotta sewage piping. It's a pile of dirt type mess but straightforward. Still, brass is not terracotta.

There's a bunch of other minor stuff in there that you can just go ahead and have done without clobbering your pocketbook.
shunkman
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by shunkman »

totallynotsure wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 8:44 pm
Plumbing
1. The service entrance pipe is made of brass. This appears to be original. The condition of life expectancy of a buried pipe cannot be determined. 2. Based on its age, replacement should be expected in the near future. This is costly as a six foot deep trench must be dug between the house and the street.
Often you can add a clause to your homeowners insurance policy so it covers buried pipes.
egrets
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by egrets »

Okay, now I've read the replies.

I would not sweat needing to at some point bring in more electrical capacity. That is straightforward and they can set up an auxiliary panel. I can't remember what this cost in my previous house years ago, also I had this done 1-2 years ago as part of a significant project at the current house and the price isn't broken out in that contract. I would vaguely guess $1000-$3000. That's the total for the electric provider company bringing it in from the street and the electrician doing the work from there.

As to the comment that buying stuff for the inside of the house will cost money now, well do you really need stuff now? Be thrifty until you have your emergency fund bulked up.

Wow, a Generac, lucky you. An auto on off generator is a life changer.

As to insurance, and wood roofs knob and tube have a chat with a good company. I like Amica. My current house has neither of those, but my previous house had both and insurance companies didn't turn a hair.

I am not recommending this, but in terms of an emergency fund, I scraped down to the bottom of my cookie jar when I bought my first house, leaving hardly anything visible for emergencies. I did have credit cards I could resort to if necessary, but I spent the first year riding my bike to avoid car repairs and I bought an on sale any color you like as long as its avocado refrigerator the one kitchen appliance I needed.
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