In this post, I thought it might be helpful to highlight a few things to keep in mind when purchasing an older home, including some of the “big ticket” replacement and repair costs that you may incur during the restoration of an older home.
- Not all old houses are created equal. Generally speaking, houses built in the area before 1900 were more poorly constructed than those built after 1900. The exception to that rule would be what we call "lumber baron" homes - turn of the century mansions that were built with sounder engineering practices and higher quality materials than more modest cottages built at the same time. These grander homes have stood the test of time well. The worker cottages, less so. Smaller Victorian (pre-1900) homes were often built on posts and piers or loose rock/brick and mortar foundations. In some cases, these original foundations were later replaced or supplemented with poured or block concrete foundations. Settling issues are common but not necessarily a deal breaker. Newer technologies are available for the levelling older foundations, technologies that won’t necessarily break the bank.