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Old 07-26-2019, 04:23 AM
 
12,131 posts, read 5,208,895 times
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I have decided to pursue this and get as much information about the house as possible and see where that takes me. I have a realtor who will be representing me as a buyers agent. He's a retired police officer who grew up in this town and has an excellent reputation. His office is just down the street from the house, maybe a couple of blocks away. I had already picked him out as my realtor before this house became available.
He agrees that it's an excellent location. The house is older than I thought, built prior to the civil war. It's also larger than I thought as it's deeper and also has a partially finished basement. He stopped by the house yesterday and took several close up pictures of the outside and emailed them to me. The next step for him is to get the keys and take good pictures of the interior for me. I'm going to take this one step at a time and have the house inspected for structural integrity along with everything else and check into the houses history with building permits and so forth if I decide to take it to the next level. I don't want to bite off more than I can chew. There's a local historical society and I'm told one woman especially that is an active member knows a great deal about the house, so I'm gong to attempt to contact her as well and see what I can learn.

That said, I love the history, location and architecture of the house, but that won't pay the bills if it turns out the house has significant internal issues due to it's age. The house has been around almost 200 years. I'm proceeding cautiously with an open mind.

Last edited by marino760; 07-26-2019 at 04:56 AM..
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Old 07-26-2019, 07:22 AM
 
Location: The sleepy part of New York City
2,018 posts, read 1,231,363 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marino760 View Post
I have decided to pursue this and get as much information about the house as possible and see where that takes me. I have a realtor who will be representing me as a buyers agent. He's a retired police officer who grew up in this town and has an excellent reputation. His office is just down the street from the house, maybe a couple of blocks away. I had already picked him out as my realtor before this house became available.
He agrees that it's an excellent location. The house is older than I thought, built prior to the civil war. It's also larger than I thought as it's deeper and also has a partially finished basement. He stopped by the house yesterday and took several close up pictures of the outside and emailed them to me. The next step for him is to get the keys and take good pictures of the interior for me. I'm going to take this one step at a time and have the house inspected for structural integrity along with everything else and check into the houses history with building permits and so forth if I decide to take it to the next level. I don't want to bite off more than I can chew. There's a local historical society and I'm told one woman especially that is an active member knows a great deal about the house, so I'm gong to attempt to contact her as well and see what I can learn.

That said, I love the history, location and architecture of the house, but that won't pay the bills if it turns out the house has significant internal issues due to it's age. The house has been around almost 200 years. I'm proceeding cautiously with an open mind.
It's nice to meet another old house enthusiast!

Is there any way you can get down there to see the house before you buy it? It's hard to judge room size, or feel sloping floors from a photo.

Have you ever owned a house that old? Aside from the basics, foundation, electrical, plumbing, windows, and the dreaded asbestos etc.. you've also got to check into home insurance. Some insurance co's won't even insure a home that old, or if they do the premiums may come as a total shock to you (as in sitting in a corner blubbering incoherently SHOCK) because they base the premiums on replacement value, and if the house has all those charming features found in older homes.. they're expensive to duplicate or replace if something were to happen to the house.


Good luck to you! and I'd love to see photo's if you don't mind sharing. There's a lot of 'old house forums' on FB too that will help answer any questions you may have on restoration.

I don't know how your state works, but sometimes if you can get the house listed on the National Register of Historic Places if it qualifies.. you can get some tax breaks and perks.

Last edited by elliedeee; 07-26-2019 at 07:32 AM..
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Old 07-26-2019, 07:52 AM
 
12,131 posts, read 5,208,895 times
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I'm going to see how this progresses and then if I want to seriously buy the house, of course I'll fly out there and look at it first hand.
I do love old houses, but as a retired person I don't want to put my time and money into restoring it other than a few cosmetics things, so it will depend on a home inspection. I don't expect the house to be perfect or even near perfect. It has to be functional for me though. I'm more interested in the location at this point and if the house is practical financially.
The house is rather plain, nothing like a Victorian. They really didn't build houses back then to be very fancy unless it was built by a wealthy person or person of prominence. They were built more for practicality but built well to last. The house is in the Federal style but does have some interesting features and architecture.
Thanks for the heads up on the insurance issue. I did think of that. That's another issue that will require some research.

Last edited by marino760; 07-26-2019 at 08:27 AM..
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Old 07-26-2019, 09:52 AM
 
362 posts, read 263,211 times
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We bought a condo in 2009 for our future retirement and rented it to snow birds in the winter and took vacations there when empty. One of the best things we did! Retired now, bought a home in the area and still rent out the condo. Cash flow is wonderful!

OP I think this is a great idea. The ONLY thing that would be a deal breaker for me is that the house is 200 years old. Too much problems and maintenance for me.

Good luck!
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Old 07-26-2019, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Mammoth Lakes, CA
3,188 posts, read 6,968,819 times
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I've often read that the optimum time to buy a retirement home is 2-5 years before you actually retire. I bought a second home in 2013 and retired in 2017 and it was a wise decision. When you retire, you've already moved and you can start your new life with everything already in place.
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Old 07-26-2019, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Upstate, NY
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OP, You may want to check into the historical requirements, if they are any. I believe there may be restrictions or conditions. Good luck!
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Old 07-26-2019, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,311 posts, read 45,064,652 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohio_peasant View Post
The only potential downsides are (1) undiscovered catastrophic flaws in the house, and (2) a declining market. The first, one hopes, would be either so rare as to be negligible risk. The second, one supposes, can be discerned by looking at the history of the local market. I don't mean oscillations, of the sort that occur say in Houston or Los Angeles, but persistent stagnation/decline, of the sort that occurs in the Rust Belt.

Good points. Both these can be checked out before any real money is spent, I do think a good home inspector is worth hiring. I have bought 4 houses in my 61 years of life, maybe helped people check out a few more, but way less than a dozen. A professional inspector will probably do more than a dozen a month.



I guess a declining market is only a theoretical problem for a single guy buying a retirement home. Resale is moot. That said, I have had to sell a few houses that I originally planned to grow old in.


Edited to add, that only in America do people think a 200 year old house is "old" - in most of Europe this is pretty common. Insurance people can be weird, though.

Last edited by M3 Mitch; 07-26-2019 at 03:20 PM..
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Old 07-27-2019, 03:33 PM
 
Location: NC Piedmont
3,962 posts, read 2,902,156 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulysses61 View Post
I've often read that the optimum time to buy a retirement home is 2-5 years before you actually retire. I bought a second home in 2013 and retired in 2017 and it was a wise decision. When you retire, you've already moved and you can start your new life with everything already in place.
I am going to Google for some info on that, but if you can point me at an article I would appreciate it. This issue is very likely to come up within the next year or so for me. I am already in that range. Anyway, I expect some pushback and I would really like to have some more reasons than just me being impatient. In my current work situation, I could be easily be remote for a month or two at a time. Having the residence would make that much simpler to do.

I could actually go about 98% remote but official residence is an issue for my employer as I am W2. They dealt with a former co-worker being out of state for a couple of years but it tuned out to be more of a pain than expected and they don't want to do it again. I think the issue is that for permanent W2 employees it matters where they physically do the majority of their work. Maybe it varies by state and won't be an issue. The company is in NC, where I reside. My former co-worker is in SC. He moved there while working with my employer and was being billed hourly. Because of the state the project was in, they were not able to replace people when they left so they were happy to work something out to keep billing his time. He worked remotely almost exclusively. He only came by the office when in town for other reasons. SC considered that to be a business presence and made the company jump through some hoops and pay some fees and I think that was quarterly.

EDIT - found one article
https://www.huettnercapital.com/3-re...ement-home-to/

still searching for more...

Last edited by ReachTheBeach; 07-27-2019 at 03:45 PM..
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Old 07-27-2019, 04:25 PM
 
12,131 posts, read 5,208,895 times
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Thanks for sharing that article. I thought about some of those advantages of buying now as opposed to later, mostly about the interest rates increasing enough to make a significant difference in your mortgage payment if you're going to carry a mortgage, and it will be easier to qualify while I'm still working.
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Old 07-27-2019, 04:37 PM
 
Location: NC Piedmont
3,962 posts, read 2,902,156 times
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It's hard to find the articles; all the terms I come up with get way more hits on buying houses to get rich and retire early. At least I found the one.

The 1.5% interest bump and 5% appreciation over 5 years doesn't seem all that unlikely. You are building equity, especially if it appreciates, and at today's interest rate even in the first few years it starts adding up. It's not likely you are throwing money away paying a mortgage on a part time residence like you would be if the rate was a lot higher.
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