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Old 03-08-2008, 03:11 PM
5 posts, read 24,438 times
Reputation: 13


I have been looking for a house. I recent found two houses in the same area, Watchung. One of them was built in 1959 and remodeled recently, with a listing price of 499K. The other one was built in 1987 and has not been remodeled, listed at 599K. They are similar in other respects. For us, paying 599K is a little bit of a stretch. How long can a house stand? Can I live in the 50 year old house for the next 20 years without worrying too much about doing repair work all the time? How about resale value, after about 20 years? Thanks for your advice!
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Old 03-08-2008, 03:17 PM
Location: High Bridge
2,736 posts, read 8,722,670 times
Reputation: 665
My house is atleast 160yrs old. My gf's parents house is 103 years old.

Either house will require a degree of maintenance; the rest likely would not come up without a home inspection. Is there much of a difference between a 50yr old house and a 20 year old house? Not really, more design style than anything else. How the owners have maintained the homes matters far more than how old they are.

You may want to ask the owners of the 50yr old house about lead paint and asbestos though. It may not be an issue, but its worth asking about.
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Old 03-08-2008, 03:58 PM
Location: Toms River, NJ
1,106 posts, read 4,461,019 times
Reputation: 654
Well, if the 50 year old house has recently been remodeled and has new appliances, upgraded electrical, etc. then it may require less upkeep that a 20 year old house that hasn't had any updates.

Different things in a house have to be replaced. Depending on when things were replace will determine some of the upkeep. Furnace, hot water heater, roof, a/c, appliances, etc. I wouldn't worry so much about how old the house is as much as which one do you like and which one is currently in the best condition.
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Old 03-08-2008, 04:40 PM
Location: GA
2,754 posts, read 9,601,684 times
Reputation: 1126
My house is 50 yrs old and nearly everything has been replaced or upgraded. It's a solid, well built house. My sister's home, built in 1990, is well maintained, but I wouldn't trade. Even with her granite counters and SS appliances
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Old 03-08-2008, 06:04 PM
179 posts, read 644,013 times
Reputation: 80
My choice is the younger home. Why- no lead paint, more insulation and most likely in the walls, plumbing pipes are more modern (copper or PVC), electrical service and wiring (in walls) more modern as is propbably ther electrical panel. Houses are selling slowly; offer low. Good luck either way.
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Old 03-08-2008, 07:03 PM
Location: Jersey Shore
828 posts, read 2,895,216 times
Reputation: 241
Older house.

Newer homes have been built like crap.
Usually after 20 years everything starts to go.
The roof, the siding, the <fill-in-the-blank>.
I have not met one single person who has a new, or newer, home that has not had at least one issue with the builder.
Older homes structures are more sound.
Go with the old...
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Old 03-08-2008, 07:51 PM
1,308 posts, read 4,167,414 times
Reputation: 240
ahem...... I live in a home that is 2 years old has a warranty.. but who cares.....NOT the first time I had newer I had a brand new one in Pa and I can say my I am satisfied except minor things. Nothing comapred to the older homes. You just have to have a really good inspection done.
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Old 03-08-2008, 08:16 PM
2,784 posts, read 7,343,025 times
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I think a little more info would help. What are the upgrades to the 50 yr old house? Are they cosmetic or structural? How old are the mechanical systems? (Furnace, A/C, water heater?) What about the electrical system, roof etc.
A 20 yr old house, without any changes, is usually in need of both cosmetic and infrastructure upgrades while a 50 year old house may be ready for it's second round of exchanges or upgrades.
Everything being equal, age (particularly 20 years vs/ 50 years) has little to do with your decision to purchase. Buy the one you like/feel more comfortable with (financially).

ps.. We bought a 50 yr old home and could not be happier, get yourself a great home inspector.
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Old 03-27-2008, 11:52 PM
Location: High in the Rocky Mountains
29 posts, read 110,669 times
Reputation: 30
Go with the older home and tell your Realtor you want to buy a 1 year home warranty plan. They usually run about $400 and cover all the appliances, mechanicals, etc. for 1 year. If anything major is going to happen, it probably will in the first year. Cheap way to cover possible repair/replacement costs.

Most older homes are better built simply because of the craftsmanship vs new homes.

As for how long can a house stand? Ever been to Europe where buildings are hundreds of years old? It's all about maintainence. ALL houses need it, just like your car.

Best of luck!
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Old 03-28-2008, 06:46 AM
Location: Dallas TX
15,036 posts, read 21,772,182 times
Reputation: 22257
Go with the house you like better; don't worry about the age. Like others have been saying; our house is almost 100 years old and is in great condition.
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