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Old 09-01-2014, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Troy Hill, The Pitt
1,178 posts, read 1,512,652 times
Reputation: 1080

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Quote:
Originally Posted by erieguy View Post
It's all in what you have done. When you cheap out up front you pay later. You have quality materials built into a new home and they will last a very long time. Most old houses are well built, but are still a lot of work. In many cases, works in progress.
Absolutely true about the long term commitment when owning an older home. It is a war of attrition in every sense that should not be undertaken lightly.

Its hard to find new construction that is of high quality that isn't outside of the price range of all but the extremely affluent. Even then the materials and craftsmanship isn't what it used to be.

One thing I've never understood about a lot of these housing plans (Ryan, Eddy, etc) is why they all look like they were built on a golf course or pasture. I've seen a few places like Poplar Forest Drive up in Slippery Rock where the houses are in close proximity, but the neighborhood is in an entirely wooded area allowing for some seclusion. Seems like a much nicer set up.
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
1,399 posts, read 1,264,484 times
Reputation: 1003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Q-tip motha View Post
Absolutely true about the long term commitment when owning an older home. It is a war of attrition in every sense that should not be undertaken lightly.

Its hard to find new construction that is of high quality that isn't outside of the price range of all but the extremely affluent. Even then the materials and craftsmanship isn't what it used to be.

One thing I've never understood about a lot of these housing plans (Ryan, Eddy, etc) is why they all look like they were built on a golf course or pasture. I've seen a few places like Poplar Forest Drive up in Slippery Rock where the houses are in close proximity, but the neighborhood is in an entirely wooded area allowing for some seclusion. Seems like a much nicer set up.
Its quicker and easier to clear the entire area for infrastructure than it is to work around the topography and trees. Its more cost effective/profitable and they can keep the homes cheaper by doing so. unfortunately consumers are most often driven by price more than anything so to keep the homes as low priced as possible, the developers must do whatever they can to reduce costs.
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Old 09-01-2014, 11:19 AM
 
Location: About 10 miles north of Pittsburgh International
2,461 posts, read 3,971,771 times
Reputation: 2370
Quote:

Its quicker and easier to clear the entire area for infrastructure than it is
to work around the topography and trees.
Yep, but it's not just infrastructure, it's also the placement of the houses on the lots themselves. Even small changes in the topography are incompatible with the survival of existing trees.
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:35 AM
 
1,714 posts, read 2,221,864 times
Reputation: 1259
Quote:
Originally Posted by jea6321 View Post
Its quicker and easier to clear the entire area for infrastructure than it is to work around the topography and trees. Its more cost effective/profitable and they can keep the homes cheaper by doing so.
And the best part, it's more selfish and wasteful that way!

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Old 09-02-2014, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Downtown Cranberry Twp.
34,410 posts, read 13,402,302 times
Reputation: 7041
Quote:
Originally Posted by SammyKhalifa View Post
And the best part, it's more selfish and wasteful that way!

Where's it selfish and wasteful? Unused areas that get logged out, wood used for building, mulch, etc... Soil that gets sold, used on site and in other areas. The house gets built and other trees are planted. Most everything gets used/recycled.

Most of these areas are properties people no longer want, able to maintain, want to maintain, pay taxes on, farm, etc...
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Old 09-02-2014, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Stanton Heights
778 posts, read 783,754 times
Reputation: 868
I grew up in older homes (Edgewood and Wilkinsburg) and always saw myself living in one of the Pittsburgh's pre-1920s classics, but now that I've been in a post-war home for 7 years, I have to say... I'm a little bit daunted by the prospect of buying a really old home. We just don't have the disposable income to constantly throw money at our house and we're not handy enough to do most things ourselves. I still hate the bland McMansion aesthetic but mid-century is starting to look more and more attractive to me, just on a practical level.
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Old 09-02-2014, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Crafton via San Francisco
3,463 posts, read 4,375,316 times
Reputation: 1595
Don't assume that every old house is a money pit. Any home, no matter the age, that hasn't been properly maintained will need work. A well built, well maintained older home should be no more problematic than a newer home, especially if it has had thoughtful updates over the years. I spent a lot of money putting in my dream kitchen in my old house, but I bought at a price that gave me room in my budget to do it. I have had no other problems that could be remotely considered money pit type of problems. My house was built in 1900.
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:19 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
1,519 posts, read 2,536,865 times
Reputation: 1166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodjules View Post
Don't assume that every old house is a money pit. Any home, no matter the age, that hasn't been properly maintained will need work. A well built, well maintained older home should be no more problematic than a newer home, especially if it has had thoughtful updates over the years. I spent a lot of money putting in my dream kitchen in my old house, but I bought at a price that gave me room in my budget to do it. I have had no other problems that could be remotely considered money pit type of problems. My house was built in 1900.
I agree with this. I have a 1920s cottage, and it was well maintained by the former owners. I've lived here for 8 years and have had no surprises. I knew when I bought it that it would need a new roof within a few years, so I had to do that, and I've replaced the retaining walls in the yard, but that's really it. I'd like to redo the kitchen at some point, but that's a want, not a need. If I had bought a "newer" house built in the 1990s, I may have had to do the same things to it.
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Old 09-03-2014, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Crafton via San Francisco
3,463 posts, read 4,375,316 times
Reputation: 1595
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinare View Post
I agree with this. I have a 1920s cottage, and it was well maintained by the former owners. I've lived here for 8 years and have had no surprises. I knew when I bought it that it would need a new roof within a few years, so I had to do that, and I've replaced the retaining walls in the yard's really it. I'd like to redo the kitchen at some point, but that's a want, not a need. If I had bought a "newer" house built in the 1990s, I may have had to do the same things to it.
The roof was six years old when I bought my house. It should last another 15 years. The previous owners had removed all the knob and tube wiring and updated the electrical system and they installed dual pane windows everywhere except the attic. The heating and cooling system is middle aged and will probably need to be replaced in 5-10 years. I installed dual pane windows and a heating and cooling unit in the attic because I use it as an office and guest room. There is a full bathroom in the attic that must have been added in the past 20 years. It was not done well. I plan to remodel it sometime in the future. Like Tinare's home, most of these issues are things that could happen if you were buying a house built 20 years ago. Buying a new home isn't without problems. There are always kinks to be worked out, especially if it is in one of those massive subdivisions that were built quickly using builder grade products. I almost forgot to mention that I insulated using injection foam. Modern codes require homes to be insulated, but unless it's a custom or very high end new home, builders rarely use spray foam insulation because of the cost. So even if I had bought a newer house, I still might have upgraded the insulation.
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Old 09-03-2014, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
618 posts, read 645,754 times
Reputation: 842
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodjules View Post
The roof was six years old when I bought my house. It should last another 15 years. The previous owners had removed all the knob and tube wiring and updated the electrical system and they installed dual pane windows everywhere except the attic. The heating and cooling system is middle aged and will probably need to be replaced in 5-10 years. I installed dual pane windows and a heating and cooling unit in the attic because I use it as an office and guest room. There is a full bathroom in the attic that must have been added in the past 20 years. It was not done well. I plan to remodel it sometime in the future. Like Tinare's home, most of these issues are things that could happen if you were buying a house built 20 years ago. Buying a new home isn't without problems. There are always kinks to be worked out, especially if it is in one of those massive subdivisions that were built quickly using builder grade products. I almost forgot to mention that I insulated using injection foam. Modern codes require homes to be insulated, but unless it's a custom or very high end new home, builders rarely use spray foam insulation because of the cost. So even if I had bought a newer house, I still might have upgraded the insulation.
What was your experience with the spray in foam insulation? Is it possible to insulate just a small part of the house? I have a relatively recent powder room addition built onto the back of the house that leaks like you wouldn't believe. I'm trying to figure out how I can tighten it up.
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