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

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

Post by BradJ »

bloom2708 wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:02 pm It is a lifestyle, so if you go forward, embrace it. Expect issues and repairs and maintenance. Higher than a newer house.
I’m not sure why this point isn’t being hammered more to the buyer. I grew up in a +100 year old home and remember my parents working on it 24/7, but they were busy bodies and loved having projects. Before buying an old home, please do a “lifestyle” check and make sure you are ok with disposable income and time going toward that home. Everyone loves an old house, but not everyone loves what comes with it. We are a young family that bought and older home and we struggled balancing the needs of the home with the needs of being young parents, but we managed (as will you).
winterfan
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by winterfan »

wilked wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 6:18 am 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
We have a 100+ year old house and I agree with all of this. We've lived in in for almost 20 years and honestly, haven't spent that much. We've kept the original windows in good condition and mostly DIY when we can. Our boiler is from the 1960s and we haven't had any issues with it yet. We've replaced the roof and put in a split A/C system. The the next big project is redashing the stucco exterior. This is just a cosmetic thing though, not necessary yet. It won't be too expensive if we do it ourselves. I haven't decided if I want to yet though.
gd
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by gd »

I've got an 80 year old house. If I was selling that and you asked for "concessions" based on condition, I'd suggest you buy new construction and move on to the next prospect.
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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 »

incredibly helpful thread. thanks so much to all that have responded and added their $0.02.

if i may, can i ask a more finance-related question? currently, assuming 20% and after closing costs we'll have ~$30k liquid. given the age of the home does it make sense to investigate what types of rates i can get at 10-15% down in order to have a bit more of a buffer to update old items or fix anything that might break with the long-term strategy of paying back up to the 20% ASAP to get rid of any PMI (if there is any)?

thanks again all!
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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 »

onourway wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 5:24 am 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!
thanks. to answer all of the questions:

1. the inspector estimated the roof to be around 20 years old on both the house and garage.
2. agreed on boiler
3. house is mainly brick, siding = aluminum. great condition.
4. foundation is "perfect" per the inspector
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 11:39 pm
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%.
Based on about 6 week old quotes on a similar purchase price, at 10% down PMI will be around $110..and obviously the mortgage itself will be more.
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 »

totallynotsure wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 8:00 am incredibly helpful thread. thanks so much to all that have responded and added their $0.02.

if i may, can i ask a more finance-related question? currently, assuming 20% and after closing costs we'll have ~$30k liquid. given the age of the home does it make sense to investigate what types of rates i can get at 10-15% down in order to have a bit more of a buffer to update old items or fix anything that might break with the long-term strategy of paying back up to the 20% ASAP to get rid of any PMI (if there is any)?

thanks again all!
It doesn't hurt to ask. Ask your loan officer to quote 10, 15, and 20% down.
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 »

totallynotsure wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 8:00 am incredibly helpful thread. thanks so much to all that have responded and added their $0.02.

if i may, can i ask a more finance-related question? currently, assuming 20% and after closing costs we'll have ~$30k liquid. given the age of the home does it make sense to investigate what types of rates i can get at 10-15% down in order to have a bit more of a buffer to update old items or fix anything that might break with the long-term strategy of paying back up to the 20% ASAP to get rid of any PMI (if there is any)?

thanks again all!
I would get the quotes. However looking back at your original thread, while your list of expenses isn't complete - and will be higher owning a home and having a kid (although I believe you have family committed to helping with child care? sorry if that isn't you) - taking your net incomes, and subtracting out expenses, including $3200 for the new house (not sure the exact number - this is from your February estimate) - you should still have a surplus of $4k/month or so. Is that accurate? Based on your expenses in that thread and $1900 in rent, you should have had an excess of over $5k/month since February. Have you saved an additional $40k since then or anywhere near that? If not, do you know where the money has gone?

Basically what I'm getting at is that while I personally sleep better with a bigger EF than that with an old home, if you still have excess cash flow of several thousand dollars per month after paying for all expenses, it's not that big of a deal. You can simply pay for most repairs as they occur.
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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 »

onourway wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 8:23 am
totallynotsure wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 8:00 am incredibly helpful thread. thanks so much to all that have responded and added their $0.02.

if i may, can i ask a more finance-related question? currently, assuming 20% and after closing costs we'll have ~$30k liquid. given the age of the home does it make sense to investigate what types of rates i can get at 10-15% down in order to have a bit more of a buffer to update old items or fix anything that might break with the long-term strategy of paying back up to the 20% ASAP to get rid of any PMI (if there is any)?

thanks again all!
I would get the quotes. However looking back at your original thread, while your list of expenses isn't complete - and will be higher owning a home and having a kid (although I believe you have family committed to helping with child care? sorry if that isn't you) - taking your net incomes, and subtracting out expenses, including $3200 for the new house (not sure the exact number - this is from your February estimate) - you should still have a surplus of $4k/month or so. Is that accurate? Based on your expenses in that thread and $1900 in rent, you should have had an excess of over $5k/month since February. Have you saved an additional $40k since then or anywhere near that? If not, do you know where the money has gone?

Basically what I'm getting at is that while I personally sleep better with a bigger EF than that with an old home, if you still have excess cash flow of several thousand dollars per month after paying for all expenses, it's not that big of a deal. You can simply pay for most repairs as they occur.
hi there, thanks for the insight. appreciate you looking back at our details. our rent is now $2900 as we moved into a short term rental as we search for a home. we have been saving more aggressive than normal but wife has taken her full maternity leave which was not paid. she goes back to work on 12/1.

i estimate PITI on the house to be ~$3700/mo. total expenses ~$7400/mo. leaving us a net of $3500 or so/mo. this includes $900 in car payments (doh!) and other expenses (utilities, groceries, life insurance, a bit of dining out/entertainment money, etc.).
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Harry Livermore
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by Harry Livermore »

I agree with the majority here; that is a very clean report for a 100-year old house. It's obviously been well maintained. Nothing seems atypical to me, and the inspector did not suggest that the wiring was unsafe or that the plumbing was at the end of its useful life. Yes, some minor fix-it items that you can request the seller do, or even DIY after you buy.
I am also north of NYC, and there is a ton of housing stock that is 50-, 75-, 100-years old (or more) The house I'm currently in is a 1959 Garrison Colonial. It's very well-built, well-maintained, but dated. If I did not have college bills, we would do a gut remodel. My first house was 90+ years old and poorly built, before we renovated in 2001. Be prepared. There will be many minor annoyances with a house of that age that no inspection can predict. But it's par for the course around here, and you will hopefully rise to the challenge and fix up as you go. Perhaps you will become a skilled DIY-er.
I agree with the poster that mused (paraphrasing) "if I were the seller, and you came back after this inspection asking for concessions on a functioning roof and boiler, I would suggest you start looking for new builds" When we bought our current house in 2011, it seemed to me that the roof was approaching the end of its life, and the inspector noted a bit of cupping on some shingles, so I have been prepared to spend $$$. But 9 years later, it is holding up fine. There are a few penetrations and a skylight that I re-caulk with roofing cement as needed, and we do have a flat roof over my office that we replaced a year or two after buying the house. Otherwise, all good. The only concession we asked for (and split the cost of) was a radon remediation system for the finished basement (I figured, correctly, that my kids would spend a lot of time there) We had the original 100-amp service panel replaced, but there was nothing to indicate that the old one was unsafe, so would not have appropriate to request a concession. I'm just a "cover your ass" type of guy.
That gas boiler from the 1990s? It might last another 20 years, although it may not be as efficient as a newer one. They can also be repaired. We are oil-fired around here, and the wear and tear/ corrosion factor is MUCH higher on an oil burner than a nat gas burner.
In short, unless the seller's agent, or a handout or selling document, boasted "new roof! new boiler!" I think it's unreasonable to ask for a concession on a well-maintained NOT new house.
I also would suggest that $20K-$30K in savings seems VERY light. So maybe, as others have suggested, a lower down payment. But fortune favors the bold (sometimes)...
Cheers
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Harry Livermore
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by Harry Livermore »

totallynotsure wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 8:43 am
i estimate PITI on the house to be ~$3700/mo. total expenses ~$7400/mo. leaving us a net of $3500 or so/mo. this includes $900 in car payments (doh!) and other expenses (utilities, groceries, life insurance, a bit of dining out/entertainment money, etc.).
Not to be glib, but I would suggest that you skip any "dining out/ entertainment" until you get that bank account back up. Not forever. But be very careful.
Cheers
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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 »

thanks again all. talked to current homeowners this morning. we're having a local plumber and electrician to stop by to give us a few more insights into the "problem" areas. they were fine with that. hopefully it gives us peace-of-mind or at least a better idea of what to expect.
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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 »

totallynotsure wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 8:00 am incredibly helpful thread. thanks so much to all that have responded and added their $0.02.

if i may, can i ask a more finance-related question? currently, assuming 20% and after closing costs we'll have ~$30k liquid. given the age of the home does it make sense to investigate what types of rates i can get at 10-15% down in order to have a bit more of a buffer to update old items or fix anything that might break with the long-term strategy of paying back up to the 20% ASAP to get rid of any PMI (if there is any)?

thanks again all!
Just for brainstorming here are some other alternatives.

You may be able to get a home equity loan or line of credit up to 90%(or more?) of the value of the house after you buy the house.

If you have paid off cars then after the house sale is final then you could also get car loans at a low interest rate to free up more cash.

Most unexpected expenses could be handled with a low interest rate credit card if you had to so I would not be too concerned about those, the real emergency would be if something happen like you lost your job in a layoff.

None of these is ideal but they might be better than PMI. You would need to set these up before something like a layoff happens so that you could qualify for them.
fireman
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by fireman »

There has been much great advice given already on purchasing an old house. I will add the following:

Finding contractors to properly do the work needed on an old house can be challenging. Sometimes, local taxpayer funded entities exist to assist with this and/or provide very low interest home improvement loans. Likewise, finding parts for an old house can be challenging. For example, if you need to replace a 2x4, you have to have it milled from larger lumber b/c its nominal dimensions are actually 2 inches by 4 inches. If you need a new door handle, the one at Home Depot (even the most expensive one) is probably not going to work or fit in w/ the other old house hardware. It is usually best to be willing to do at least some DIY to reduce frustration and cost.

In exchange for old house perks (high ceilings, great woodwork, charm, etc.), there are many minor imperfections that are not easily fixable that one has to be willing to live with. This can include out-of-square door frames, older looking hardware (door hinges, handles, locksets, window hardware), sloping floors, etc. Of course, all of this can be replaced but doing so is often prohibitively expensive.

IMO, there is definitely more maintenance work and costs involved with owning an old house. This could include, for example, seasonally changing storms/screens, painting exterior, masonry upkeep, etc. Budget accordingly.

Despite such challenges, we live in a nearly 150 year old house and have have for 10+ years. It has been a great house and I expect it will be here in another 150 years. As someone said above, they don't build them like this anymore. We too were somewhat apprehensive about what future expenses might be incurred but it all worked out just fine. Those we know with newer houses seem to have the same or more issues over the years.

Also, it seems like you had a much better "old house" home inspection than we did. As one example, our inspector suggested we replace all our exterior windows (around 50 total) because they were old and not in working order. Most are very tall (6ft or more) and arched with original glass. The cost would have been astronomical and a certain charm would have been lost. We instead elected to have them rehabilitated (e.g, getting them unstuck and moving again, sash cords replaced, missing weights replaced) and now they are back to full working order. Like the house, they too will be around if maintained for another 150 years. Compare that to any replacement window. Keep this in mind if you buy the house and be skeptical of non-old house advice you receive.
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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 »

fireman wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:05 am There has been much great advice given already on purchasing an old house. I will add the following:

Finding contractors to properly do the work needed on an old house can be challenging. Sometimes, local taxpayer funded entities exist to assist with this and/or provide very low interest home improvement loans. Likewise, finding parts for an old house can be challenging. For example, if you need to replace a 2x4, you have to have it milled from larger lumber b/c its nominal dimensions are actually 2 inches by 4 inches. If you need a new door handle, the one at Home Depot (even the most expensive one) is probably not going to work or fit in w/ the other old house hardware. It is usually best to be willing to do at least some DIY to reduce frustration and cost.

In exchange for old house perks (high ceilings, great woodwork, charm, etc.), there are many minor imperfections that are not easily fixable that one has to be willing to live with. This can include out-of-square door frames, older looking hardware (door hinges, handles, locksets, window hardware), sloping floors, etc. Of course, all of this can be replaced but doing so is often prohibitively expensive.

IMO, there is definitely more maintenance work and costs involved with owning an old house. This could include, for example, seasonally changing storms/screens, painting exterior, masonry upkeep, etc. Budget accordingly.

Despite such challenges, we live in a nearly 150 year old house and have have for 10+ years. It has been a great house and I expect it will be here in another 150 years. As someone said above, they don't build them like this anymore. We too were somewhat apprehensive about what future expenses might be incurred but it all worked out just fine. Those we know with newer houses seem to have the same or more issues over the years.

Also, it seems like you had a much better "old house" home inspection than we did. As one example, our inspector suggested we replace all our exterior windows (around 50 total) because they were old and not in working order. Most are very tall (6ft or more) and arched with original glass. The cost would have been astronomical and a certain charm would have been lost. We instead elected to have them rehabilitated (e.g, getting them unstuck and moving again, sash cords replaced, missing weights replaced) and now they are back to full working order. Like the house, they too will be around if maintained for another 150 years. Compare that to any replacement window. Keep this in mind if you buy the house and be skeptical of non-old house advice you receive.
thanks. the inspector kept saying he was amazed at how plumb and square everything was. he said the foundation was perfect, whomever built it and maintained it took a lot of pride in their work. windows are all new and open super smoothly. all doors open/close fine, etc.
blackangus
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by blackangus »

I'm an owner of a 125 year old house and agree with lots of good advice given above.

I would also recommend video inspection of the main drain line from house to street. It's likely you have clay tiles and possibility of tree roots, cracked tiles, etc.. is a good possibility.
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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 »

thanks all. i keep coming back to the roof. it's likely going to cost $25k and is also closer to the end of its life than the middle of it. need to think hard on this.
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by Misenplace »

When we bought an older house, we got (or maybe the seller got it- I can't remember) a one year home warranty policy. It wasn't that expensive and was rolled into the escrow. It came in handy since we were short of funds the first year, and our gas heater cracked and absolutely had to be replaced.
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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: Tue Nov 03, 2020 12:54 pm thanks all. i keep coming back to the roof. it's likely going to cost $25k and is also closer to the end of its life than the middle of it. need to think hard on this.
The boiler sounds like another major expense that will come up soon.

Paying PMI for a while isn't the end of the world. I think you'd be better off with enough cash reserves to replace the roof and boiler easily. There's all sorts of other expenses moving into a new 100-year old house too.

20% down to avoid PMI is a great idea, but not if it leaves you too strapped to fix the big ticket items you know will need to be done soon.
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 »

totallynotsure wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 12:54 pm thanks all. i keep coming back to the roof. it's likely going to cost $25k and is also closer to the end of its life than the middle of it. need to think hard on this.
username checks out :D
CPA without a cause
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by CPA without a cause »

I used to own a house about this age, and the house i live in currently is this age.

The roof thing doesn't concern me, I would second guess whether you really need to replace whats underneath with plywood, my guess is whatever is there was built really well even if not done to today's standards. these old houses were built really well. the thing about roofs is they are standard repairs, not a lot of surprises.

nothing in the electrical concerns me. if there is no knob and tube wiring, you are good in my opinion.

the sump pump thing would concern me, i hate basement water. but maybe this is common in the area. is there a way you could regrade the exterior of the house to stop water from seeping in, or does it come in through the floor?

the biggest concern for me is the brass pipe, forget about cost that would be an absolute nightmare to fix. plumbing is by far the worst type of repair as plumbers on average are jackasses and very expensive. you could be without water for weeks when that repair comes due. same goes for the main sewer pipe, that is probably original as well and would be a nightmare. what about the cold/hot water lines in the house, are those pipes newer?

the 25 year old boiler could give you another 10 years easily if maintained, its probably an old style solid cast-iron type, those last forever. whatever you get as a replacement will disappoint you.
megabad
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by megabad »

As long as your comps are good and the price is appropriately based on those, I don’t see a major problem. Your comps should all be for similarly aged houses in the same neighborhood. Obviously, this house will likely be pricier to maintain than some newer ones, but I assume you know that. The inspector notes did not cover my primary areas of concern very deeply so I would assume the plumbing and electrical systems may require complete rework if you want something safe and long lasting and that there are various forms of latent hazmats in the house but these are normal. I typically just add in 10k for new romex and maybe 20k for new plumbing sewer for some of my older rental purchases. If it needs remediation though, sometimes that can make other reno way more expensive. No reason for that to scare you as long as you have it budgeted though. Just be ready for problems, part of the old house “charm”.
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 »

Our house turned 91 in August. Welcome to the club. It sounds like this house is a peach.

One thing I noticed with inspection reports is that the inspector will report that “xx years is the normal life” for some such thing, and that thing is “nearing the end of its life.” They’re basing things on averages, and with some TLC, something that’s nearing the end of its life can last another decade or more. The roof we got in “nearing the end of its life” condition lasted another decade. Our furnace lasted 70 years. Our current hot water heater is at the end of its life, but it keeps pumping out hot water just like it’s supposed to. We eventually needed a new electric panel, but it took 20 years. The main thing is to know that at some point in the future, you’ll have some expensive maintenance items to take care of, and that you need to have a budget to save for those things.

It helps to make a plan. Put everything you want or need to do in the next five years on a list. Prioritize the list, make a five year plan, and come up with a budget. One thing you want to look out for is the order of things. A lot of the work on the internals of the house, foundation, paint, wiring, plumbing, windows, etc, will cause cosmetic damage. Don’t paint or do cosmetic work on something that you’re going to rip out later. Do stuff over time. Don’t try to get it all done this year. One thing we noticed with each house is that we had things on the list that we ended up not needing to do after we’d lived in the house for awhile.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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 »

DO NOT REPLACE THE WINDOWS. Restored old windows will last another 80-100 years and look appropriate. Modern replacement windows will be crap in comparison, start leaking in twenty years, and never look right.

If you are worried about heat transmission through the windows, there are nicely made storm windows. It used to be possible in some states or maybe it was via the feds or both to get tax credits for stuff like that. I dunno if that still exists.
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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 »

Photos of roof if anyone cares to take a look

https://imgur.com/a/j5Fg0PC
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by detroitbabu »

Was the inspector an independent ASHI certified or was it recommended by your Real Estate Agent? We decided to go with an ASHI certified inspector vs who our agent was pushing for and he found many things that I don't think would have been found by the other inspector. I was glad we spent the money for an ASHI certified inspector.

How much will it cost to replace the roof and boiler? You should be able to get quotes to replace them and justify the reduction you are asking for.
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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 »

detroitbabu wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 3:30 pm Was the inspector an independent ASHI certified or was it recommended by your Real Estate Agent? We decided to go with an ASHI certified inspector vs who our agent was pushing for and he found many things that I don't think would have been found by the other inspector. I was glad we spent the money for an ASHI certified inspector.

How much will it cost to replace the roof and boiler? You should be able to get quotes to replace them and justify the reduction you are asking for.
ASHI certified
katrid11
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by katrid11 »

Don't skip a great home in great shape b/c of the roof. Not that I would advocate for it, but large roof projects can be financed if in dire need.

You found a good one that will need some roofing and HVAC work in the future. That is not a surprise on an older home and luckily are 2 things easily done with money.

If it were me, I would put 19% down on the house and keep $7300 specifically for the furnace. It's 24 yrs old and likely needs to be replaced in the next 24 mths to prevent a mid-winter cold snap breakdown. That leaves your savings plus monthly maintenance savings to handle the roof in a 3-4 years. Based on your photos, I would plan out the roof for 2023 or 2024 in the early Fall or late spring.
MishkaWorries
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by MishkaWorries »

If OP is unsure about this house, then I think it is not good idea for him to buy an older home. Probably best to go with new construction and not worry about repairs or maintenance for the foreseeable future.
We plan. G-d laughs.
Nearly A Moose
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by Nearly A Moose »

Responding not having been able to read all the posts, so hopefully this is still relevant. First, that looks fine to me. Typical old house stuff, and not bad at all in my limited experience. We’ve bought two old houses. First house built around 1930 but flipped before we bought it. Second built at least as of 1870 (that’s the first we could find it in city archives), sold by the live-in owner, not a flipper. The flip gave us much more problems because of the shoddy work and shortcuts. Old houses will always have issues, and home inspectors have to point them out. Our home inspection report was worse than yours and we thought we’d lucked out. So if you’re reasonably handy and think that occasional creaks in the floor add character, then I think you have a good report. But beware of those things and budget for them to happen over time.

For other loan products, so lenders in your area do 80/10/10 loans? That’s how we bought our first house - 80% primary mortgage, 10% Heloc, 10% down. We focused on getting rid of the heloc, and it worked out alright. Had nice salary growth that helped, but it also made sure we still had some liquid assets available. We bought our current house with an 85% loan. No PMI under either situation. So you might check those out and/or try a mortgage broker that works your area.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.
Nearly A Moose
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by Nearly A Moose »

Responding not having been able to read all the posts, so hopefully this is still relevant. First, that looks fine to me. Typical old house stuff, and not bad at all in my limited experience. We’ve bought two old houses. First house built around 1930 but flipped before we bought it. Second built at least as of 1870 (that’s the first we could find it in city archives), sold by the live-in owner, not a flipper. The flip gave us much more problems because of the shoddy work and shortcuts. Old houses will always have issues, and home inspectors have to point them out. Our home inspection report was worse than yours and we thought we’d lucked out. So if you’re reasonably handy and think that occasional creaks in the floor add character, then I think you have a good report. But beware of those things and budget for them to happen over time.

For other loan products, so lenders in your area do 80/10/10 loans? That’s how we bought our first house - 80% primary mortgage, 10% Heloc, 10% down. We focused on getting rid of the heloc, and it worked out alright. Had nice salary growth that helped, but it also made sure we still had some liquid assets available. We bought our current house with an 85% loan. No PMI under either situation. So you might check those out and/or try a mortgage broker that works your area.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.
Ted17
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by Ted17 »

Inspection looks reassuring but devil is in the details of other issues - sewer, electrical, plumbing, chimney. We have a comparable in cost 100 year old house and have updated almost all major aspects for a lot of $$$. Not all of it was mandatory work but once we decided to stay, we wanted it done right so could safely enjoy the house. We removed all knob and tube for 16k, are in the middle of having to re-line clay sewer for 12k, two new HVAC systems 24k, water mitigation with two sump pumps and interior French drains for 30k, new walkways 7k (done twice because took shortcuts with low bid/low quality first time), house painting exterior 12k and interior 14k. Agree with not replacing windows - find someone to repair as old growth wood is incredibly durable. Most of this we knew going into it as we got specialists to evaluate sewer, electrical, etc but it’s still not fun. It’s been a lot of learning and not necessarily welcome learning. I’ve watched too much of This Old House to understand what is involved with these major projects. Also, it’s taken a few years to find reliable tradespeople to handle the issues.

The character of the house is great but the stress can be heavy even if one is financially able to afford these issues. My significant other gets tired of having people around working on the house. I absolutely would not buy an old house on a stretch budget and would have plenty of cushion to handle the contingencies that eventually will pop up. Finally, these costs are just for the non-cosmetic work. Make sure you are factoring in the budget to furnish, decorate, etc. Good luck!
Kagord
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by Kagord »

I'll offer some advice, are you a handy, DIY type? To me, I wouldn't buy an older home if not a DIYer, or, alternatively, have a large budget for contractors. Decades ago, Realtors used to ask this question to figure out what kind of house, old or new was a match for you, but I think those days have come and gone.

Curious, is the wiring knob and tube (there's a reason this is brought up a lot)? Hopefully, that was upgraded.
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gasman
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by gasman »

You might want to ask to see the utility bills for the last twelve months. I lived in an old home for awhile. They were twice what a newer home would cost.
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 »

fireman wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:05 am ... If you need a new door handle, the one at Home Depot (even the most expensive one) is probably not going to work or fit in w/ the other old house hardware. It is usually best to be willing to do at least some DIY to reduce frustration and cost.

In exchange for old house perks (high ceilings, great woodwork, charm, etc.), there are many minor imperfections that are not easily fixable that one has to be willing to live with. This can include out-of-square door frames, older looking hardware (door hinges, handles, locksets, window hardware), sloping floors, etc. Of course, all of this can be replaced but doing so is often prohibitively expensive.
...
A lot of old house people find old door etc hardware attractive. You can buy this stuff from specialty places, ebay, reproduction places if you need to replace something. Or some stuff can be repaired, often by the homeowner.

My Dad used to say that sloping floors were charming. You need to go with the flow in an old house.

I lived with knob and tube wiring for 2-3 decades without the house burning down.
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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 »

No knob and tube. Had electrician confirm yesterday. Basement has 2 sump pumps but no evidence of water issue.
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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 »

update on finances:

2.75% on either 20% down or 10% down. 10% down includes $89/mo. PMI for the first 6 years. no prepayment penalty and PMI falls off after i hit 80% LTV.
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 »

totallynotsure wrote: Wed Nov 04, 2020 12:39 pm update on finances:

2.75% on either 20% down or 10% down. 10% down includes $89/mo. PMI for the first 6 years. no prepayment penalty and PMI falls off after i hit 80% LTV.
I would do 20% given your savings rate. You will replenish quickly. Avoid the PMI
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 »

egrets wrote: Wed Nov 04, 2020 8:30 am
A lot of old house people find old door etc hardware attractive. You can buy this stuff from specialty places, ebay, reproduction places if you need to replace something. Or some stuff can be repaired, often by the homeowner.
Most areas that have a good supply of older homes will have a store that specializes in reclamation of items like doors, knobs, fixtures, windows, etc. Their prices are usually pretty cheap, too. It’s a great way to find replacements for the items you’re talking about.
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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 »

totallynotsure wrote: Tue Nov 03, 2020 12:54 pm thanks all. i keep coming back to the roof. it's likely going to cost $25k and is also closer to the end of its life than the middle of it. need to think hard on this.
That is only about 3% of the value of the house. As long as it will likely last 5+ years that is a minor factor that you can budget for.

That is still a good chunk of money though and if that would be a stretch that could be more of a consideration about if you can afford a house like that than if it is a red flag that the house has a problem that would cause you not to buy the house.

It is just my impression but when a people give a informal rough price estimate they tend to be on the high side. I think that in intentional since people will not complain if they can do the work for less but if it costs more they might give the inspector a bad review or complain.
BIGal
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by BIGal »

Regarding the boiler, do you have steam or how water? I have lived in a home with a boiler and steam for the radiators. My guess is that since you have a boiler you don't have ductwork meaning that you also don't have central air OR the ability to install it unless you install ductwork and that will cost a fortune. From my experience in living in a home that was built in 1916, even as a DIY'er I would not recommend it. I have lived in old and we finally built a new home in 1997 and I can tell you, living in a new home is BY FAR much better. Good luck on whatever you decide to do, but be aware that there will be never-ending expenses ahead in the 100-year-old house.
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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 »

BIGal wrote: Wed Nov 04, 2020 6:22 pm Regarding the boiler, do you have steam or how water? I have lived in a home with a boiler and steam for the radiators. My guess is that since you have a boiler you don't have ductwork meaning that you also don't have central air OR the ability to install it unless you install ductwork and that will cost a fortune. From my experience in living in a home that was built in 1916, even as a DIY'er I would not recommend it. I have lived in old and we finally built a new home in 1997 and I can tell you, living in a new home is BY FAR much better. Good luck on whatever you decide to do, but be aware that there will be never-ending expenses ahead in the 100-year-old house.
hot water.

no AC. but i'm fine with that. we'll likely add a ductless split system at some point.
eddot98
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by eddot98 »

One quick reply: utilities in some states, I know that Massachusetts does, offer free energy assessments which then lead to low to zero percent loans to replace old, inefficient heating systems. We received rebates on replacing our oil fired boiler and hot water storage tank and a $5000 zero percent loan for five years. Our out of pocket cost was about $2000. Additionally, we got substantial rebates on blown in insulation through the same program. Worth checking if NY has similar programs.
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 »

BIGal wrote: Wed Nov 04, 2020 6:22 pm I have lived in old and we finally built a new home in 1997 and I can tell you, living in a new home is BY FAR much better. Good luck on whatever you decide to do, but be aware that there will be never-ending expenses ahead in the 100-year-old house.
I lived in an old home for decades and now due to the vagaries of life I live in a relatively new home. There is happiness from living in an old home, beautiful, well built, with history, that is missing from a new home.
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 »

egrets wrote: Wed Nov 04, 2020 7:42 pm
BIGal wrote: Wed Nov 04, 2020 6:22 pm I have lived in old and we finally built a new home in 1997 and I can tell you, living in a new home is BY FAR much better. Good luck on whatever you decide to do, but be aware that there will be never-ending expenses ahead in the 100-year-old house.
I lived in an old home for decades and now due to the vagaries of life I live in a relatively new home. There is happiness from living in an old home, beautiful, well built, with history, that is missing from a new home.
So true. The occasional thing is more expensive in my old home than it would be in a newer home. Most costs are similar, though. The value of spending my time in a beautiful, unique place is worth the occasional bother.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
barnaclebob
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by barnaclebob »

I wouldnt ask for anything as a buyer and as a seller I wouldnt give anything. Keep some good will in case the appraisal comes back low.

Id budget 10k a year to throw into the house maintenance fund until youve got enough to remedy the big stuff as it fails.

Ive got an old home and love it. Its had most of the systems upgraded to modern standards though.
Tattarrattat
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by Tattarrattat »

Lived in an old home for 20 years. There is always, always, always something else to fix. If you have a video inspection of your sewer, they will undoubtedly find cracks (10k). If you have a video inspection of your chimney, they will undoubtedly find cracks (10k). Home repair jobs: smaller projects are priced in increments of 1k, larger jobs in increments of 10k. Also, did you check Radon levels in the basement? Sump pumps and French drains lead to more Radon emission.
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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 »

Tattarrattat wrote: Wed Nov 04, 2020 11:02 pm Lived in an old home for 20 years. There is always, always, always something else to fix. If you have a video inspection of your sewer, they will undoubtedly find cracks (10k). If you have a video inspection of your chimney, they will undoubtedly find cracks (10k). Home repair jobs: smaller projects are priced in increments of 1k, larger jobs in increments of 10k. Also, did you check Radon levels in the basement? Sump pumps and French drains lead to more Radon emission.
seller told me he had the chimney lined with metal recently but such is life where i am. all of the homes are in the 50-100 year old range.

radon tested fine.
CurlyDave
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by CurlyDave »

totallynotsure wrote: Wed Nov 04, 2020 12:39 pm update on finances:

2.75% on either 20% down or 10% down. 10% down includes $89/mo. PMI for the first 6 years. no prepayment penalty and PMI falls off after i hit 80% LTV.
With the same interest rate on both loans, only 10% down would provide a substantial EF at a cost less than $1100/year. Of course there is also the interest on the extra loan, which is another $2000/year at 2.75% on $74k.

Bottom line is that for $3k/year you get to have assurance that your house will be good no matter what happens.

I would ask the question if the price went to $741k vs. $738k would that be a show stopper? I don't think so. Personally, I would put on my big boy pants, go in and tell the mortgage company "I want the 10% down option".

Do you want to get the PMI removed? Of course. But $89/month boosts your EF to the $100k range which is pretty decent for a house of this age. It is a financial choice, not the first step on the road to perdition.
Dudley
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Re: First time homebuyer. Just got the inspection report on a 100-year-old house. Advice requested...

Post by Dudley »

This list is essentially trivial/fluff. Most inspectors are not skilled or experienced and just go through a superficial check list to appear to do a useful job. There will likely be far more major problems you may discover once owning it : Air leakage, poor insulation, rotting interior door/window framing, insect/rodent infestation damage, failing plumbing, etc. That stuff you will just have to live and deal with.
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