Buy New, Vintage or Victorian Home?

Discussion in 'Your Vintage Home' started by PrettySquareGal, Feb 6, 2007.

  1. kampkatz

    kampkatz Practically Family

    Messages:
    715
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania
    May you have many comfortable years in your "New" house. I noticed the electric service is 100amp which is not necessarily a disadvantage if you don't have more than he usual home appliances.
     
  2. fashion frank

    fashion frank One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,175
    Location:
    Woonsocket Rhode Island
    The House

    Hello Kampkatz ,thanks for the kind words and yes I also noticed the 100 amp box .

    Perhaps I will jump it up to 200 amps after I get settled in.
    All the Best ,Fashion Frank
     
  3. buelligan

    buelligan One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    109
    Location:
    London, OH
    I've got a Victorian style house built in 1930 so as far as I have read up on that would put it right at the end of the Victoria style building era. A few bit's of advice I would give someone who is buying a old home are make sure you get a good home inspection, if you can and they will let you accompany the inspector while he or she is inspecting the house so you can ask any questions you may have. Keep a sharp eye out for repairs and "fixes" and the quality of the job done. For example since my house is 80+ years old it's had 80+ years of handymen "fixing" things, this could be good or bad since some so called handymen don't know which end of a hammer to use. If you live in an area with seasonal climate swings try to find one that is already well insulated, also since hopefully the HVAC system has been updated take a good look at that and how heat is run to each room, it can be quite a chore to get heat to the various areas of the house which can cause huge swings in temperature from room to room. If this is your first house try to get someone experienced in owning and maintaining a home to go with you, it's likely that they will spot things that you would never notice.
    My house had quite a few problems that I missed and or didnt even know to look for, nothing major but they still had to be taken care of and if your not "handy" it's going to cost money and that could add up quickly.
    Heres a picture of my house if anyone is curious it's a terrible pic off of a web site since I cant seem to find a good picture that I have taken of it:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Bugguy

    Bugguy A-List Customer

    Messages:
    415
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I'm sitting in a steam heated 1923 tudor style house now. I love steam heat vs. forced air. There are downsides like radiators, but its quiet, warm and doesn't blow dust. My complaint with older homes is zero to minimal insulation in the walls. Everyone blew popcorn or other insulation into the attic, but with plaster and lathe walls, they just didn't insulate. Blow-in insulation seems to be one fix, but you have holes to be patched between all the studs and it seems like it would be expensive to install.
     
  5. Gregg Axley

    Gregg Axley I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,125
    Location:
    Tennessee
    My grandfather did that to the house I'm in how.
    Each wall has little "brick" shapes across it.
    After sanding and patching several times, I've eliminated this in 3 rooms.
    I'm grateful for his actions, because when it's 10 degrees outside (like tonight will be), the furnace doesn't run all the time.
    Of course I wish he had done the washing machine wall, so I wouldn't have to disconnect the water lines and let them run in the sink.
    Oh well, hot water 24/7 without ever turning on the faucet. ;)
     
  6. kampkatz

    kampkatz Practically Family

    Messages:
    715
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania
    This "polar vortex" which has come around again can really present a challenge for keeping water pipes from freezing in vintage homes. Our 120 year old Victorian has solid brick walls, 3 courses deep. The rear wall has pipes going up to the 2nd floor bathroom. The pipes are plastered into the brick and there is no way to access them without making a major mess. They froze for a few days in early January and could very well repeat the
    procedure this week. Keeping a slight stream of water running may be the only preventive measure. If the sun is shining it does help keep the freeze from completely penetrating the 12" solid masonry. We keep our fingers crossed!
     
  7. Treetopflyer

    Treetopflyer Practically Family

    Messages:
    673
    Location:
    Patuxent River, MD
    If you are "handy" and have a lot of time on your hands or have a lot of money to hire someone, then buy an old house. I own a house built in 1918 and I am constantly working on it. More like fixing past owners bad repairs or work that past contractors cut corners on. When I looked at the house before I bought it, it looked nice because the owners had done a good job at hiding all of the flaws. For example, after a year of living in the house I discovered that one of the pedestal bases on my front porch was dry rotted away and it was made up almost entirely of wood putty filler that had been molded to match the others and painted over. That is one of just many other issues I have discovered over the last 7 years of owning this house.

    It is the same as Bugguy's house, zero insulation. It's all lathe and plaster, and that even has it headaches.

    I could go on forever about all of the problems with owning an old house, but if I had to do it over again, I would buy a brand new house that has a vintage look to it.
     
  8. Stearmen

    Stearmen I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,206
    It's not just previous owners, beware of House Flippers! I had the chance to buy a house to flip, it was $300,000, I figured I would have to put in at least $100,000 to fix it up. I just toured it today, they have it for sale at $545,000, and they sure didn't put any hundred Gs in it! They didn't even refinish the wood floors, and there are nicks on all the wood trim and they could have at least vacuumed up the plaster dust.
     
  9. kampkatz

    kampkatz Practically Family

    Messages:
    715
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania
    There is not a lot of house flipping in this rural part of the state. When we are ready to sell, given the state of the economy, we'll be happy to recoup what we paid plus what major expenses we put into our "painted lady" over the past 18 years. Our "retirement" house will be much newer and in move in condition.
     
  10. Bugguy

    Bugguy A-List Customer

    Messages:
    415
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Asbestos woes... I'm preparing my 1923 Cotswold Tudor-style home for sale. All the steam pipes through the basement are covered in a corrugated (presumed) asbestos paper wrap. Most are in good 90-year old shape, but some have wear around the edges. The question is remove? encapsulate? enclose? It's never been tested and was not disclosed when I bought the house 7 years ago. And no, I foolishly didn't get it inspected. If I test it now, I will need to disclose. If I don't and remove it, I had no knowledge. I can handle glove bags, bunny suits, negative ventilation, etc. We have a liberal landfill policy, so if its labeled, it can get dumped; from the earth to the earth.

    I've read hours of articles and blogs on it - almost all evenly split on how to handle. The asbestos guys all say its like radioactive fallout - you die if you mess with it. Every homeowner says $10-$15,000 is obscene - piracy.

    So... all you vintage homeowners, how have you dealt with it?
     
  11. kampkatz

    kampkatz Practically Family

    Messages:
    715
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania
    Bugguy,
    My i20 year old house also has asbestos wrapped around the furnace vents. As long as it is not falling off, it is best to leave it alone. It could be wrapped over with non-asbestos material if it makes you feel any better. Trying to remove it could end up being like opening Pandora's Box. When I worked in insurance claims 35 years ago we were advised to just do as I mentioned above. Good luck with your decision.
     
  12. Treetopflyer

    Treetopflyer Practically Family

    Messages:
    673
    Location:
    Patuxent River, MD
    Painted windows and sash cords! I have been working to restore all of the windows in my 1918 house for the last seven years. All of them have been painted shut and the sash cords have all been painted over, leaving them very fragile and they break. So, I have had to heat gun all of the paint off the windows just to get them open to operate them in order to take them apart to repair the sash cords and counter weights. If you are going to buy an old house, make sure to look at the windows and make sure they have not been painted shut. Just my 2 cents.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2014
  13. sheeplady

    sheeplady I'll Lock Up Bartender

    I am not a fan of covering it up. I've dealt for years with the crap that other people have left rather than deal with. Don the suits, get a respirator, seal the area off, and get rid of it. If it is damaged, it is leaking into the air. If it was entirely OK, I might say leave it.

    We've never had "for sure" asbestos. We've had things we strongly suspected that were asbestos. We sealed off the area (three layers of plastic sealed off with blue tape), put it under negative pressure, and my husband used the disposable tyvec suits from a home improvement gloves. A good respirator, gloves, booties, and I sealed off the openings (like the intersection between the gloves and sleeves) with blue tape. The asbestos was triple bagged. Suits were thrown away every work period. Respirator filter was changed every work period, while wearing a second respirator. All clothes were left in the room left under negative pressure, thrown out at the end of the project. Everything was vacuumed with a HEPA filter at the end of each work period and then the surfaces were wiped down with wet paper towels.

    Asbestos is nothing to mess with. That said, plenty of people who worked daily with asbestos didn't die of mesothelioma. But lots of people did.

    Actually, now since I read your post again, I see you are selling. If I was selling, I would leave it. You can expect, however, that the person who buys it will deduct the figure to have a professional remove it from the asking price. If I was going to live in the home for any period of time, I would remove it. But selling, I'd cut my losses and leave it.
     
  14. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    If you're thinking about a Vintage House with a remodeled cellar, step warily until you know for sure about the state of the sewer pipes. I've spent the past forty-eight hours dealing with an ancient clay drainpipe system that's gunked up with a century's worth of the stuff that accumulates in sewer pipes -- and the only way to get at the pipe has been to chip thru the concrete floor poured over it in the sixties.

    The result of the pluggage has not been pretty, and I'm without running water until at least Wednesday.

    Oh, and if you have old pipes don't ever believe what they tell you about "flushable" wipes.
     
  15. Stearmen

    Stearmen I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,206
    Sorry to hear that Lizzie! Wish there was something I could say to make it better, but words fail me.
     
  16. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Well, they finally got a snake thru this morning -- turns out as near as they can tell the main itself has shifted due to natural settling of the ground, frost heaves, and all that sort of thing, and it shifted just enough to allow the gunk to hang up and clog the outlet pipe from my house. It's apparently happened to everyone on my street, which is typical -- the city doesn't care about maintaining infrastructure in working-class neighborhoods, they're too busy building raised brick crosswalks for the tourists.

    It now looks like I don't get my toilet or my sink drains back until Thursday. I may sleep at the theatre for the next two nights.
     
  17. dh66

    dh66

    Messages:
    12,383
    Location:
    down south
    If you have brand new pipes you shouldn't believe it either.

    Sent from my XT1030 using Tapatalk
     
  18. kampkatz

    kampkatz Practically Family

    Messages:
    715
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania
    Lizzie,
    I have empathy for you. A few years ago tree roots had blocked our pipe leading under the sidewalk to the sewer. The sewer line from our 120 year old Queen Anne was original. It cost $1000 to repipe the 10 foot run to the street. During the few days it took for the plumber to get the job done my wife ran across the street to use the hotel bathroom. ( I was out of town). Last year the borough replaced all water/sewer/storm drain pipes under the street and took down the old shade trees, so we don't anticipate an further problems. The trees were replaced with slow growth trees with roots that are supposed to go straight down. May it all go well for you.
    Paul
     
  19. sheeplady

    sheeplady I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Urgh. We had a clogged main here and being without drains for a weekend was not ideal. The septic in the new house failed. Thankfully we are not living there. Paid the county $400 to plan us out a new one with a leech field.

    Growing up we went without a septic for three months when it failed one January. It was.... unpleasant.
     
  20. GreatWhiteHunter

    GreatWhiteHunter Familiar Face

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    POW in Chicago
    Seeing all of the problems you all are having with plumbing reminded me of a funny story. I worked with a gentleman who grew up in Arkansas in the 40's. He and his friend wanted to go fishing but his friend's dad wanted them to dig a new hole for the outhouse. They both decided that it would take all day and ruin the fishing idea. Down the road was a quarry. Over a period of time they had collected dynamite fragments from all of the quarry blasting while playing there. So they decide to "dig" a new hole with dynamite. They somehow managed to get their hands on a blasting cap and packed the dynamite they had collected into a small hole in the ground. They ran the wires into the chicken coop (big mistake) to use as a "shelter" when they set it off. Set it off they did! Obviously the chickens in the coop didn't like that idea too well. They emerged from the coop about the same time the dad did from the house. The two of them were covered in chicken feathers and chicken manure. When the smoke cleared, they had blown a hole in the yard about 12 feet in diameter and 8 feet deep. Needless to say dad was not too happy with the new "outhouse hole". It ruined their fishing for a long while too because his friend's dad made them refill the hole, one shovel full at a time!
     

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