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Old 02-19-2010, 01:31 PM
 
166 posts, read 341,162 times
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I like new house but my husband want to live in a Sierra Oaks/Arden Oaks/Arden Park where majority of houses are 30-40 years old. There are some newer ones but seldom come on the market in that area.

Any experience on how long does a house normally last without a need of fixing anything up? With two young children and another one on the way, I really hope not to deal with any renovations or fixing things up. That's why I prefer a new home which normally comes with 30 years manufacture warranty. I know that I will be the one to deal with contractors and I won't have time or energy for that.
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Old 02-19-2010, 02:43 PM
 
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Houses require work no matter what the age. With new houses, you are going to have to do everything the builder didn't finish. That may mean more landscaping, putting in the sprinklers, often making livability improvements like installing a pool or spa, perhaps a patio and maybe putting in a shed and concrete on the side for a shed.

With established houses a lot of the livability issues have been addressed. Someone else put in the patio, the pool, the spa and planted the landscaping. The trees are grown in. But there is potentially more maintenance issues. When you make an offer on the house, you home inspection may say that roof may need to be replaced soon, the a/c unit maybe a bit long on the tooth.

But it also depends upon the home. Some previous homeowners are diligent about past maintenance. If they have redone the roof, a/c and the kitchen that is all stuff that you don't need to replace.

You can get a home warranty on both new and older homes. As for warranties, I would say its a wash. They aren't really a guarantee of a better quality home like you might assume. The are just insurance products put out by insurance companies that are bundled together with the house to get you to buy a home. I bought a new home thinking it would be less maintenance and figured the warranty would protect me. But stuff still fixing. But now I needed to get the insurer to sign off on the repairs. There was also the hassle of contractors being upset because they weren't being paid promptly by the insurer.

I wish there was a magic solution where buying old or new eliminated maintenance. But maintenance is part of home ownership. If you don't want to deal with maintenance rent.
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Old 02-19-2010, 02:47 PM
 
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Every house is different in how long everything will last. Obviously as things are older and well used they are exactly that and may need replacing. Obviously when buying a home you have a home inspection which will educate you on the things that are wrong and the ones that may potentially go wrong.

Things I can see maybe needing replacement: Roof, Wiring / electric Panel Box, Plumbing, Furnace / AC if it has one, checking the duct work, windows, insulation. Those are a few of them but as I said a home inspector will educate you on those. It can get very costly fixing / replacing those.

Then you have everything else you may want to upgrade like the kitchen appliances, countertops, etc etc.

It sounds like you and your husband have some things to discuss. You want a newer house for obvious reasons and he wants the more established closer to down town neighborhood. Both have their perks it is just which one matters most to you guys.
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Old 02-19-2010, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Northern California
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There are no 30 year manufacturer warrenties on a house. Builders are probably out of business by then.

Nothing lasts forever. Water heaters last about 10 - 12 years, a roof has to be replaced every 25 years or so, painting needs to be done about every 10 years or so, etc. There's no end to it.

Frankly, I find older houses (in established neighborhoods) to be better built than some of the newer ones that are thrown together. One thing I don't like on new houses is the use of too much plastic plumbing. But a 35 year old house with existing plumbing and electrical should be just fine.
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Old 02-19-2010, 05:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humboldtrat View Post
There are no 30 year manufacturer warrenties on a house. Builders are probably out of business by then.

Nothing lasts forever. Water heaters last about 10 - 12 years, a roof has to be replaced every 25 years or so, painting needs to be done about every 10 years or so, etc. There's no end to it.

Frankly, I find older houses (in established neighborhoods) to be better built than some of the newer ones that are thrown together. One thing I don't like on new houses is the use of too much plastic plumbing. But a 35 year old house with existing plumbing and electrical should be just fine.
I am concern of lead paint which was used in homes till 1978. That's another reason I am considering new homes.
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Old 02-19-2010, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Northern California
3,477 posts, read 9,052,825 times
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Originally Posted by moonsky View Post
I am concern of lead paint which was used in homes till 1978. That's another reason I am considering new homes.
I live in a house built in 1946 and under the latex paint are many coats of lead based paint. And I wouldn't be surprised if there's asbestos in the house somewhere. The copper plumbing also has lead based solder. After many years in the house, I'm still healthy - more or less.
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Old 02-19-2010, 05:32 PM
 
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Newer homes tend to have more problems with mold (the higher levels of insulation tend to keep the buildings from breathing as much which creates problems with toxic mold). The pvc pipes tend to have issues with leaching material into water lines. The plastics used in new homes also tend to out gas.

If you like new homes go, then by all means get a new home. But I am not sure the rationalization that it is somehow safer is factually true. I just think there are different risks associated with whatever type of housing you pick.
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Old 02-19-2010, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Bryte, CA
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There is no definite answer to your question. Some things can last a long time, like doors and windows. Unless, of course, people are slamming them shut. Other things like faucets and toilets have parts that wear, then leak. Usually the fixes are easy, cheap, and require only enough knowledge to use a screw driver and locate a nylon washer or valve. The length of time they last appears to depend on water quality more than use. Minerals that crystallize on these parts wear them out over time.

Roofing can last from 30 years to much longer, dependent upon composition and climate.

The newer homes are a different story. I've heard numerous complaints about the concrete walkways cracking after a few years and "made in China" hardware wearing out.

But in all cases, maintenance usually prevents problems in the future. This means you may have to get up on the roof and sweep the leaves off every fall, clear the rain gutters, and make sure the exterior paint is good enough and so on...
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Old 02-19-2010, 10:28 PM
 
166 posts, read 341,162 times
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Originally Posted by kim racer View Post
Newer homes tend to have more problems with mold (the higher levels of insulation tend to keep the buildings from breathing as much which creates problems with toxic mold). The pvc pipes tend to have issues with leaching material into water lines. The plastics used in new homes also tend to out gas.
What type of insulations are in older homes and what type of pipes they use? How can I find out about this info in both types of houses. Thanks.
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Old 02-20-2010, 01:01 AM
 
7,525 posts, read 8,313,234 times
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In both cases, by paying a home inspector to inspect the house before purchase, or by asking the real estate agent. Some very old homes don't have any insulation (maybe some old newspaper stuffed into the walls) but many have had fiberglass batts or other insulation installed over the years. Generally, older houses have less insulation and leak more air, both because they were designed to breathe and because they develop cracks and leaks. Older houses can have pipes of cast iron, or copper, or PVC, or even rolled-up tar paper (not much of that stuff left, though.) It depends on the house, you just have to look at them, ask a realtor, and pay a home inspector to look for potential problems before you buy.

Any house requires maintenance--brand-new houses can develop problems, a newly rehabbed house of any age still needs periodic maintenance or larger problems can develop later, and sometimes stuff just breaks.

moonsky, have you not owned a house before? Would this be a starter home for you? It seems like you don't have much experience with houses (perhaps used to condos or apartments?) Stuff breaks, and buying new doesn't mean stuff won't break. The security of home ownership means periodically having to fix it, or pay someone else to fix it.
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