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Old 08-05-2014, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Awkward Manor
2,576 posts, read 2,904,054 times
Reputation: 1682

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
That's hilarious. How did he go straight into new homeownership after leaving his parents' house?

I hope you pointed out the insanity of his statement if he was a renter!
It was a young lady; her parents house was new as she grew up, she went to school, met a guy, got engaged, and they were going to buy a brand new house.
I don't know how she managed the dorm.


Come to think of it, I don't remember if it was here or when I was in Seattle, maybe the dorm was new also. It was a while ago.

Last edited by doo dah; 08-05-2014 at 04:08 PM.. Reason: addition
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Brookline
3,061 posts, read 2,650,513 times
Reputation: 3690
I just refinished my 95 year old hardwoods, while my brother is replacing his 7 year old “hardwoods”

Outside of plumbing, electric, windows and the addition of insulation the bones of my 95 year old house is original down to the roof and gutters. Quality construction and 95 years of proper maintenance have paid off.
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Old 08-05-2014, 05:02 PM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
41,263 posts, read 53,668,412 times
Reputation: 55388
In many cases it's like Norm Abram says, "They don't build'em like they used and it's a good thing they don't".

I have a 100 year old house, my daughter's is a bit older, my son's is a bit younger. They are absolute pains in the ass to work on.

Yes, it's nice to have true dimension lumber. Until you have to replace it with today's smaller dimensions. Then your Math skills get a workout. Unless you want to special order from a sawmill.

Finding out that some of the pilings are actually tree trunks is exciting.

Then finding out that the way they made the fireplace fit was to cut some floor joists.

Then noticing the insulation was installed with the paper out instead of facing the warm side.
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:02 PM
 
1,075 posts, read 1,597,701 times
Reputation: 1131
Whenever this topic comes up, people act like the only options for new construction are Maronda, Ryan, and Heartland. I agree; all three are crap. However, that doesn't mean that all new home builders are crap.

On the other hand, just because a house is old, it does not necessarily mean that it was built with skill or without corners being cut. Sears Roebuck sold prefab homes, which the homeowner and whatever help he could rustle up would put together.

The fears I have of owning an older home are termites, old wiring, lack of central air, less efficiency (read: higher heating bills), and hidden problems. I know that the shows on HGTV pump up the drama, but sometimes they open up a wall and discover some pretty nasty or dangerous situations behind a wall that looked perfectly fine from the outside.

While I think that new construction is a better fit for me, I would not rule out an older home. In fact, whenever I check the market, I am usually attracted both ends of the spectrum, pre 1920 and post 2000.

My question for the folks who live in older homes; are window units sufficient to cool an entire home? Is the cost of running window units comparable to running a central air system? Can the electrical system of older homes handle the stress of several air conditioners?

Also, for the folks that live in older homes, are there any amenities commonly found in new construction that you wish you had in your older home?
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Brookline
3,061 posts, read 2,650,513 times
Reputation: 3690
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kippy View Post
Whenever this topic comes up, people act like the only options for new construction are Maronda, Ryan, and Heartland. I agree; all three are crap. However, that doesn't mean that all new home builders are crap.

On the other hand, just because a house is old, it does not necessarily mean that it was built with skill or without corners being cut. Sears Roebuck sold prefab homes, which the homeowner and whatever help he could rustle up would put together.

The fears I have of owning an older home are termites, old wiring, lack of central air, less efficiency (read: higher heating bills), and hidden problems. I know that the shows on HGTV pump up the drama, but sometimes they open up a wall and discover some pretty nasty or dangerous situations behind a wall that looked perfectly fine from the outside.

While I think that new construction is a better fit for me, I would not rule out an older home. In fact, whenever I check the market, I am usually attracted both ends of the spectrum, pre 1920 and post 2000.

My question for the folks who live in older homes; are window units sufficient to cool an entire home? Is the cost of running window units comparable to running a central air system? Can the electrical system of older homes handle the stress of several air conditioners?

Also, for the folks that live in older homes, are there any amenities commonly found in new construction that you wish you had in your older home?
Although my old house now has central air, it did not when I bought it. The way my house was designed the first floor stays relatively cool, since the windows are shaded and placed to get maximum cross breezes. Before the central air, I only used window units in the bedrooms, and ceiling fans in the rest of the house. Also, my electrical was updated, so it was not an issue.

The only thing I wish my house had that newer construction does is more closets, however you learn to make due and improvise. A walk up attic definitely helps with storage, and I have made due with furniture that doubles as storage. It also keeps down on the junk that accumulates when you have no where to stash it. Outside of that there is not a single thing I would want that is found only in newer construction. I am not big on open floor plans, low profile trim and woodwork, or having rooms just to have rooms. Also I have a modern kitchen and bathroom, so that helps.
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:32 PM
 
3,357 posts, read 2,896,648 times
Reputation: 2318
A well built house is a well built house. Ther are hacks now, and there where alot back in the day. I would put my current houses against any generation. Find a home you love regardless of age.
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:05 AM
 
Location: Crafton via San Francisco
3,463 posts, read 4,389,984 times
Reputation: 1595
Not all new homes are crap, and not all old homes were well-built. But modern tract homes built by the hundreds or thousands are often somewhat shoddy. A custom built new home or a home from a reputable developer who builds smaller quantities can often be as good or better than an old house.

Many older homes have been thoughtfully upgraded and have modern conveniences like central AC and updated kitchens and baths. My house was built in 1900 and had been fairly well maintained throughout its life. But as the former owners aged, they let some things go. They did install central heat & air and left the radiator system intact. Essentially they added the central system to all the rooms that didn't have radiators. The next owners replaced all the knob and tube wiring and put in dual pane windows. They ended up selling the house to me before finishing any other upgrades. I've remodeled the kitchen, added an upstairs laundry room, and insulated everything. Other than big closets, I think my house has the best of both worlds; the old school quality and craftsmanship and most of the modern conveniences you'd want in a newer home.

Not all old houses that need work are money pits, far from it. And just because a home is new or newer doesn't mean it will be problem free. You have to do your due diligence when buying any home.
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Old 08-06-2014, 07:49 AM
 
6,520 posts, read 8,270,062 times
Reputation: 4596
Older homes are sturdy and generally hold up better to settling, leaks, and wear and tear. New homes are built to modern standards, so it's easier to do things like rewire, replace windows, replace/repair plumbing fixtures, replace doors, etc.
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
13,990 posts, read 15,355,043 times
Reputation: 11931
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kippy View Post
Also, for the folks that live in older homes, are there any amenities commonly found in new construction that you wish you had in your older home?
As PghYinzer says, closets. A master bathroom would be nice too. Even older four-bedroom houses often have only one bath if they haven't been remodeled, and fitting further bathrooms into the floor plan almost always takes something away (e.g., either eliminates a bedroom entirely or makes it an unusable space.

Generally speaking, the really poorly-built older homes are gone already. It's less of a problem in Pittsburgh then elsewhere though, since so many of the historic homes are brick. Even if neglected for 50 years, a brick house should be structurally solid provided it's not in an undermined area and it has a decent foundation.
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Crafton, PA
1,173 posts, read 2,071,465 times
Reputation: 623
Biggest complaint in my 95 year old home is, as other have stated, closet space. Luckily someone along the way built out some closets which are adequate. We have two large bathrooms, so can't complain there (though both need to be replaced, along with the kitchen). Our first floor and third floor layouts are great but the bedrooms on the second tend to be a little small, save for one. Insulation is poor in places but you'll have that with an old house and our house, for the most part, holds heat pretty well.
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