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Old 10-03-2012, 11:04 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,791 times
Reputation: 10

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Hoping the good folks on this forum can help me navigate the complex process of home buying. We are a not so young couple(early to mid 30s) who are looking to buy a house. We have been renting for over 5 years, but now with an 18 month old, we are finding our 2BR apartment a bit cramped, so we would like to move to a bigger place. We have always dreamed of buying our own home, The housing market was a deterrent until this time. Given that we would like to move to a bigger place which would cost us approx 2K on rent, we figured we could get a place for ourselves.Obviously we still dont know if the market has bottomed out or has started recovering as some news reports seem to indicate, so its a gamble either way.

We currently stay in manchester and we were looking to move to an area that we could stay in for around 15-20 years (kid(s) go to good schools), unless of course we need to move due to unforeseen circumstances. We have mulled with the idea of a SFH/condo in one of the following towns - Avon, Simsbury,Farmington,Canton, Glastonbury or South windsor. Our target home price is between 300 to 350 K.

We have been looking at home the past month and a few questions that i would appreciate your inouts on -

1. Some of the houses that we liked have been built in 1975-78 with no central air(varying from 2200-2700 sqft). What are the pros/cons of buying a house built in the 1970s? Are there specific items we should be looking at ? Is central air essential in CT?

2. Is a home built in the 70s/80s too old?Are newer homes a better proposition ?

We liked the older homes better than the relatively newer ones we saw, but then thats just the "like" factor. maybe we are not considering the other aspects (maintenance, repairs). We would ideally like a house with minimum work that needs to be done (in short both hubby and i are not the DIY kind).

3. What kind of heating is most economical ?

any help would be greatly appreciated
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
34,648 posts, read 56,419,084 times
Reputation: 11151
There is nothing wrong with a home that was built in the 70's or 80's as long as it is in a good neighborhood and has been cared for. Central Ac is nice but not required. It is more personal preference. You could also have it installed later if you like. As for heat, natural gas appears to be the least expensive option. Use a realtor to help guide you through the process. Jay
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
13,324 posts, read 26,800,173 times
Reputation: 6920
Quote:
Originally Posted by mischevous View Post
1. Some of the houses that we liked have been built in 1975-78 with no central air(varying from 2200-2700 sqft). What are the pros/cons of buying a house built in the 1970s? Are there specific items we should be looking at ? Is central air essential in CT?
As summers seem to have become hotter, I would only buy a home with central air. In my experience, the window air-conditioners are too noisy to allow sleep.

If you like the 1970's house, look at whether it has ducting, such as with forced air heat. If it does, you could add a central AC unit. If it only has baseboard heating, your option is a ductless type of mini-split AC, or window or thru-the-wall AC's. In any case, the baseboard electric heat is the most expensive type of heat, and I would not buy a house with it.

Other people have discussed the relative costs of heating fuels, and you can search for those comments. My preference would be for natural gas heat, but that is not available in some areas. Here are some comments on oil heat: //www.city-data.com/forum/conne...-home-oil.html

Last edited by goldenage1; 10-03-2012 at 12:08 PM..
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:10 PM
 
Location: New England
242 posts, read 349,279 times
Reputation: 339
If I were you, I'd definitely take a look at South Windsor, as it's a very good area to buy a home and raise kids. I did a quick look online and saw a property in SW which seems to fit your pricerange with central air, although there are a number of other available nice homes that are less expensive. Google some of the more well known real estate professionals in CT and you should be able to find similar houses.

Like goldenage said, I wouldn't consider buying a house in Connecticut now without central air either.

Last edited by DaIceman; 10-03-2012 at 12:22 PM.. Reason: Removed advertisement
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:14 PM
 
5,989 posts, read 6,718,618 times
Reputation: 18480
You're too young to remember the Arab oil embargo of 1973, but at that time gasoline tripled in price and has quadrupled again since then. My point is that homes that were built before the mid 70's had far less insulation, because energy was so cheap. So, you may find that an early 70's house isn't very heat tight. That can be solved often with adding insulation up top, which is the most important location for decreasing heat loss. You should discuss this with your home inspector. Personally, I'm not a big fan of early 70's era houses, and I live in one currently. They seem to be shoddily built, when compared with earlier eras, and later eras. There have been a lot of advances in energy efficiency and keeping basements dry since the 70s. But I did not, and would not turn down a house just because it's early 70s vintage, if it suits your needs.

I concur on the central air issue. Summers here have definitely gotten much warmer. Central air is so much more pleasant than noisy room air conditioners, although there is a newer option: ductless single room air conditioners, that could be your best choice. I would not live in a house without A/C here.

I think you should definitely buy now. The housing market is picking up and interest rates are really, really low right now. I think we're past the bottom of the market, and that housing is going to rise from this point on. And you've realized that buying is cheaper than renting at this point.

Interesting that you're looking at towns on both sides of the river. If your family works on one side of the river, I'd stay on that side, for easier commuting.

Gas baseboard hot water is best form of heating when you consider cost and comfort. Avoid forced air if you have the choice - unpleasantly dry, stirs up dust. Jut say no to electric.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:51 PM
 
6 posts, read 6,192 times
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I sent you a DM with some information I hope you will find very helpful. Good luck in your search!
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:40 AM
 
3,432 posts, read 3,906,356 times
Reputation: 1747
Quote:
Originally Posted by mischevous View Post
Hoping the good folks on this forum can help me navigate the complex process of home buying. We are a not so young couple(early to mid 30s) who are looking to buy a house. We have been renting for over 5 years, but now with an 18 month old, we are finding our 2BR apartment a bit cramped, so we would like to move to a bigger place. We have always dreamed of buying our own home, The housing market was a deterrent until this time. Given that we would like to move to a bigger place which would cost us approx 2K on rent, we figured we could get a place for ourselves.Obviously we still dont know if the market has bottomed out or has started recovering as some news reports seem to indicate, so its a gamble either way.

We currently stay in manchester and we were looking to move to an area that we could stay in for around 15-20 years (kid(s) go to good schools), unless of course we need to move due to unforeseen circumstances. We have mulled with the idea of a SFH/condo in one of the following towns - Avon, Simsbury,Farmington,Canton, Glastonbury or South windsor. Our target home price is between 300 to 350 K.

We have been looking at home the past month and a few questions that i would appreciate your inouts on -

1. Some of the houses that we liked have been built in 1975-78 with no central air(varying from 2200-2700 sqft). What are the pros/cons of buying a house built in the 1970s? Are there specific items we should be looking at ? Is central air essential in CT?

2. Is a home built in the 70s/80s too old?Are newer homes a better proposition ?

We liked the older homes better than the relatively newer ones we saw, but then thats just the "like" factor. maybe we are not considering the other aspects (maintenance, repairs). We would ideally like a house with minimum work that needs to be done (in short both hubby and i are not the DIY kind).

3. What kind of heating is most economical ?

any help would be greatly appreciated
I live in a home that was built in 1970 and has been retrofitted with central air. The air handler goes in the attic, and they ran ducts through the closets upstairs to get to the down stairs. It works very well, and we've had no complaints. When we were house shopping, we did not consider a home without central air. To me its a must have. Also helps with resale.

In terms of quality of construction, its hard to judge as there have been several additions to our house since it was built. Overall we've been happy. In fact, one of the additions has caused us more problems (new roof and replacing electrical fixtures) than the older parts of the house. It all really depends. One thing I've learned is that all houses need constant attention, even those that don't need any work. Things break, get damaged, wear out etc.

We have oil fueled hotwater/baseboard heat. It works well, but oil prices have gone up, so its not the cheapest. Gas heat is the cheapest right now, but not everyone is hooked up to a gas line.
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