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Old 04-18-2008, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Central NC
400 posts, read 811,142 times
Reputation: 121
Question Renting older home...

As we prepare to move, we are considering renting for the first few months. We found an older home that we like, but it's 25+ years old. On the surface it appears to be in good shape. While it's not technically our responsibility, we have young children and wondered if we should have it inspected. Anyone ever done or heard of this? I know most people will say that it's a waste of money. Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 04-18-2008, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
2,308 posts, read 3,937,710 times
Reputation: 1886
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolina chick View Post
As we prepare to move, we are considering renting for the first few months. We found an older home that we like, but it's 25+ years old. On the surface it appears to be in good shape. While it's not technically our responsibility, we have young children and wondered if we should have it inspected. Anyone ever done or heard of this? I know most people will say that it's a waste of money. Thanks for the feedback!
I personally have never had an applicant ask for a home inspection. If they wanted one fine... but I'm not paying for the inspection - the landlord will probably say the same thing is my guess.
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Old 04-18-2008, 06:19 PM
 
Location: The Woods
14,333 posts, read 13,056,521 times
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25 years isn't old. I've lived in 150+ year old homes...

Basically, just be sure you have working smoke and CO detectors around, especially at bedrooms.
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Old 04-18-2008, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
2,408 posts, read 7,184,821 times
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Asbestos and lead paint were banned in homes built after 1978. They were pretty rare by 1978 though.
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Central NC
400 posts, read 811,142 times
Reputation: 121
Okee dokie. Thanks all!!!
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:02 PM
Status: "Lady-Bug got Spayed today! Now she is a sh-it LOL" (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: West Virginia
8,079 posts, read 16,246,626 times
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Most likey better built than todays homes!!
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Central NC
400 posts, read 811,142 times
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LOL Katie... yeah you are probably right! I'm just wondering about pest/termite inspection as well.
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Old 04-19-2008, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Long Beach, CA
2,074 posts, read 8,130,612 times
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If you find any pest control problems, plumbing, electrical, etc., that's the owners responsibility - not yours.
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Old 04-19-2008, 09:18 AM
 
8,424 posts, read 23,541,868 times
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Asbestos was still used in popcorn ceilings up into the 80's.(banned in 85)

If you are worried I would just have it inspected. Peace of mind is priceless.
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Old 04-19-2008, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Southwest Austin
4,889 posts, read 9,429,049 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolina chick View Post
As we prepare to move, we are considering renting for the first few months. We found an older home that we like, but it's 25+ years old. On the surface it appears to be in good shape. While it's not technically our responsibility, we have young children and wondered if we should have it inspected. Anyone ever done or heard of this? I know most people will say that it's a waste of money. Thanks for the feedback!
Hi CC

I think you need to decide one of 2 things:
1) Decide that your concern about older homes is legitimate and is such that you should rent only a newer home.
2) Decide that your concern is without merit and that you can stop worrying about it and rent the home and be a happy tenant willing to accept the minor deficiencies of a 25 year old house.

I've handed applicants back their application and deposit when, upon turning it in, they start asking a lot of questions like "are you going to have the chimney cleaned, we're concerned about a fire hazard" and "we want the air ducts cleaned because we're worried about allergies" and "we want the yard deflaed because we saw a neighbor's cat wandering around back there" and "has the house been tested for lead?" and ... it goes on.

What is the common thread in all of those types of questions?
The tenant has decided to make a concern about a future unknown into a present "fact" for discussion and into a perceived future problem they want the landlord to spend money to cure.

Instead of discussing all of that, I simply say "look, I run all my rental properties through a 4 page, 150 item maintenance makeready checklist before you move in. We want to make sure everything works and you'll be happy in the property. And when something breaks, we don't fuss over it, we fix it. But we don't try to cure your worries or fears about things for which no current known issue exists. Sorry".

In other words, all those questions send up a red flag that maybe the applicant would be happier living in a home that's not mine. I worry that they will pester me endlessly about non-factual things like "the A/C doesn't seem to be cooling as well as it was last week", after which we check it out and it's working absolutely perfect. In other words, some tenants are not credible reporters of property condition issues because they live in a constant state of heightened anxiety or worry. They often reveal themselves up front during the application process and that's when it's best to have a deeper discussion about their expectations and concerns in case the house isn't a good match for them.

Tenants who worry excessively are NOT bad people. Often they are great parents, wonderful employees, have perfect credit, etc. I have some best friends who are like this but whom I would never rent to. They worry about EVERYTHING in life, and they become a landlord's nightmare.

A bit of a long answer, sorry. And my generalizations are not meant to imply that the OP is one of those "nightmare tenants" waiting to happen. It's a perfectly normal question to ask "Is an old home right for me?"

Steve
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