Would You Buy This House?

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At the very least, bring in 2-3 friends whose opinions you trust. They're not emotionally involved with the house. By the way, did you lift any of the dropped ceiling tiles and peek inside with a serious flashlight, to see why there are dropped ceilings? Aside from commercial installations, or finished basements, there's almost always a nasty reason why dropped ceilings are installed. Aside from bad taste, that is.
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Doug Kanter wrote:

Yeah, I'm sure the fact that the 3 friends are not emotionally involved will mean they can give good opinions as to the state of the foundation, the roof and the furnace! LOL
By the way, did you lift any of the

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You're right. Nobody could possibly have anything of value to say, regardless of their background or experience.
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I'd be quite cautious about whether the house fits what is common and customary in the market. If there are no others like it, then you might have a terrible time selling it later on. It also sounds like a lot of the house was "homemade" by some owner and I'd be quite worried about what was hidden behind the walls. That includes not only construction defects, but also mold.
Mark

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Mark and Gloria Hagwood wrote:

Very interesting that you should say this. I called the seller, got his voicemail, and left a lengthy explanation of why I wouldn't be pursuing the purchase. I said "If I can't trot the horse, I can' t risk him on the harness." I also said that if he lowered the asking price 20K, to keep my number. I enumerated *all* of the reasons folks on this thread have discussed; and I certainly never expected to hear from him again.
Well, lo and behold, I got an immediate response, saying Why Worry About Plumbing (when there's so little of it)? Yeah, the wiring is 35 years old... (And then nothing about having 35 year old wiring even examined.) You Can Always Take Off a Block of Soffit If You Ever Have to See Into the Attic. Those were his exact words.
Apparently this guy is either much more inept or much more practiced at flipping homes than I thought, and had no reaction whatever to my calling to his attention the fact that the inability to examine even *ONE* of the home's money-swallowing systems would most likely impact other potential buyers negatively.
I am so glad I made this post. Yeah, I suppose I knew what I was going to do all along, but I needed help articulating it. Thanks lots, a.h.r. folks. Happy St. Patrick's Day!
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As you look at other houses, don't obsess about the age of the wiring. It's not the age that counts - its how it was done. My house was built in 1956 and has original wiring. The wiring's in gorgeous shape, and except for the garage, it's all original. The way it's bundled and stapled in place, it's obvious the electrician was obsessive about details. By way of comparison, I recently added a new circuit in the basement of a friend's 10 year old house. I found that someone had run 3 wires in one side of a heating duct and out the other.Sharp metal edges, in other words. Idiots.
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Doug Kanter wrote:

Heck, I suppose I'd buy something with knob-and-tube if at least a good solid run of it could be examined. A realtor I admire recently took me through another of these bungalows, much more new than the one I posted about. The owner had passed away just that week, and there were still dishes in the sink.
Despite this, I fell in love with the construction and well-maintained place. Then we went down into the huge cellar, and the realtor took a look at the breaker box, and said, "Nope, I want you to pass on this one." The box was Federal Pacific.
All I know is that when I sold my Concrete-Is-Us money pit, I just stood back and let realtors and potential buyers prod, poke, and peel back whatever they wanted (within reason). I don't think it matters what your income or socioeconomic group, but to have major elements of vital systems totally concealed from view-- Well, it's a risk I won't post about here again. Next time I'll remind myself of the caution flags on this thread.
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If people would just be honest about this stuff, the results would amaze them. When I bought my first house, the owners said there had been water problems in the basement, and they hadn't been there long enough to figure out why. OK. That satisfied me. The rest of the house was fine. I made sure no water sensitive items were on the basement floor. I knew what to expect. until a spring thaw had occurred and we saw the problem. Took us two years to fix the problem, but we did it.
When I sold my 1992 Ford Taurus, I advertised it as "$1500.00 selling price. Real cost $2500.000 - needs this & that". I had a dozen calls in two days and it was sold on the third. People don't like surprises.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

More level headed thinking. On the advice of your attorney, don't hire a home inspector. And then, on the advice of a realtor, walk on a house because of the brand of breaker box. If I were you, I'd give up on buying anything, because you are clueless.

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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

I've been reading this thread, but still maybe I missed it. But my question is - why are you looking at this house (I don't mean that in a snarky way.) Is it to live in? Do you like the style and layout, as unconventional as it may be? Do you plan to live in it for a long time? (If you like the layout and will be there for a very long time, forget about the next buyer - someone like *you* will come along..)
Because there is no perfect house (and, yes, I've buried more than ten thousand for a foundation fix for my house). If you're looking at older construction, which clearly you are, do you know what you really want, don't want to deal with, are OK to deal with? And how much to worry, or not worry, about getting it sold in the future?
Because some of these things seem a bit odd. For example, how often do you think electric would be totally updated? It's not very often unless there's a total remod or the system has become totally outmoded to the point of concerns about safety (like Al wiring). If 35 year old electric scares you, you'd have to walk away from every house built since 1970 unless it's been totally remodelled. Which not many houses built in 1970 are. Because frankly that's not really so old.
Do you have a good handle on what you want, what you are confortable dealing with, etc? I think you may be outsmarting yourself here trying to get everything 'right'.
Banty
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Doug Kanter wrote:

So she should buy a house with knob and tube wiring, because as long as it was done correctly, it's still good? Geesh!
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What's knob & tube wiring?
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--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
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Sheesh....I thought that of anyone here, you'd be sure to know what it was. There goes my faith in humanity.
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I included an overview of know and tube below. While we've done quite a lot of electrical work at our house, we still have a bit of active knob and tube wiring. We made certain to have our electrician inspect all visible portions. Speaking from experience, it can be hard to insure a home with knob and tube wiring.
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conduit
Knob and Tube The earliest standardized method of wiring in buildings, from about 1880 to the 1940s, was single cloth-insulated copper conductors run across interior walls or within ceiling cavities, passing through joist and stud drill-holes via protective porcelain insulating tubes, and supported along their length on nailed-down porcelain "knob" insulators. This system is known as "knob-and-tube" from the insulators used. Where conductors entered a wiring device such as a lamp or switch, they were protected by flexible cloth insulating sleeving. Wire splices in such installations were twisted for good mechanical strength, then soldered and wrapped with "friction" tape (asphalt saturated cloth), or made inside metal junction boxes.
Historically, the standards for installing electrical wiring were less stringent in the age of knob-and-tube wiring than they are today. Compared to modern electrical wiring standards, the main shortcomings of knob-and-tube era wiring are: knob-and-tube wiring never included a safety ground conductor; knob-and-tube wiring did not confine switching to the hot conductor; knob-and-tube wiring permitted the use of in-line-splices in walls without using an accessible junction box to contain the splice.
Older homes may have knob-and-tube wiring for all or part of their electrical system. Such wiring systems require replacement and modernization, as it is inadequate for modern levels of power use. Wiring may have been damaged by renovations done in the building, and insulation covering the wires may be brittle due to age or may be damaged by rodents or carelessness (for example, hanging objects off wiring running in accessible areas like basements).
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Me, too! This thread has been an interesting read!
U.R. Hosed
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By the way, how did you determine that the outlets were properly grounded? Hopefully not just by seeing that they had the 3rd prong opening. Home supply stores sell cheap little devices you can plug in, and a series of LEDs light up, telling you what's what.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

In Fl all county property tax records are a matter of public record via the county's property appraisers website.
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On 16 Mar 2006 04:49:14 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

It sounds as if the seller is looking for a sucker. HE knows what he thinks he can move the house for, do you know something he doesn't? Didn't think to.
Figure each thing that you can't look at has got something wrong with it that's going to cost you about $5,000 to fix if you do it yourself, or $10,000 if you hire it done. Is it still a good deal on that basis?
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sounds like he is a pittsburger, county tax records on the net, hillside homes and depressed prices. in some areas 50 grand can get you a decent home.
sounds like a good deal the buyer bought it to flip, buy low fix up selll and make a profit.
some like me would enjoy the project just dont get in over your head!!
and have fun fixing up houses can be rewarding both $ and more important for self satisfaction..........:)
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