On Oct 17, 9:21 am, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
in the eys of some who have the money to not worry about costs. <<<<
good point...the "boutique effect".
Young couples (with $$'s) tired of the SoCal track home & wanting
something "unique" buy into my neighborhood at over priced levels.
Often into homes where half-assed superfical work was done and find
themsleves confronted with $1k's of plumbing or electrical work.
On Oct 17, 12:21 pm, email@example.com wrote:
You're not addressing the point I was addressing. Everyone knows
there are people who will buy stuff if it is simply the most expensive
thing out there, figuring it just _has_ to be better or why would the
people be asking that price. That's not the point Blueman brought up
that I took issue with.
He said, "One great advantage of vintage houses vs. new ones is that
my house only gets better and more valuable with age". You've agreed
about the not getting better, now we're just down to the more
There are the usual fluctuations in desirability of any house as it
ages and that goes to price. An old house will not be on an ever-
increasing upward trend, leaving the newer houses' value in the dust.
It does not work that way.
In my neck of the woods they knocked down a house from 1693. Knocked
it down! They couldn't give it away, and believe me, they tried.
People didn't w
Read Blueman's first line in the quote above. He said it got better
_and_ more valuable.
People didn't want to pay the cost of moving the house. A relatively
local historic village recreation that has been bringing houses to
their site for years, didn't want it. The house was in fine condition
for an old house. By Blueman's theory, that house should have been in
the many, many millions of dollars - and they couldn't give it away.
It pissed me off that it was knocked down, but the market had spoken.
On Sat, 17 Oct 2009 11:07:52 -0700 (PDT), RicodJour
They may become "comparatively" better as newer homes are "cheapened"
with the price relating more to "features" than "quality"
A house with lime plaster walls and solid wood framing, t&G subfloor,
etc will ALWAYS be a "better built" home than a house built with tin
studs, aspenite subfloor and roof decking, drywall walls, and paper
And in our neighbourhood there have been several (smaller) homes (on
1/2 acre lots) built in the 1960s, sold for very close to half a
million, and bulldozed to put in a new "McMansion".
On Oct 17, 4:41 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
And what about the things that are so far behind the times that they
become a problem, and things that become dangerous? Electrical wiring
doesn't last forever, and neither does plumbing. Just because you
have that really stout looking STEEL pipe, it doesn't mean it isn't
rotted to shit inside, right? The insulation on the wiring can just
dry up and die, and then the first time it's disturbed it cracks and
you have a potential for a short or fire. Insulation, wasteful
boilers, etc., etc.
It might be that an old IS better than a particular house, but an
older house doesn't accelerate and become even more better unless you
do something to it, which makes it less old (at least for the work
Not sure if you're purposefully misunderstanding what I'm saying, or
what, but that's all I have to say on that.
I'll offer a big AMEN to that. I love old houses as much as the next
guy, and all the Real Wood instead of ply or OSB, etc. I especially love
the hardwood floors and interior cabinetry, casings and built-ins.
Having said that, however, I prefer modern plumbing and HVAC, modern
insulation/windows, modern 200 amp electrical, and so on. And unlike on
TOH, most people can't cost-justify retrofitting all that to an older
house, much less even finding somebody to do the retrofit. Even a
semi-modern like this 1960 I am sitting in gives me fits at times.
Assuming I can afford to retire on schedule, I'm gonna look for a 1970
or newer for the next one.
I spent some time working for a high end window company a few years
back - you'd crap your drawers if you saw the bills for some of the
window replacement jobs. One old mansion the bill was in the mid-high
5 figures (pretty close to $60,000 canadian year 1995 bucks)- and
when done, you would not have known, looking at the house, that the
windows were not "period correct" - Yet they were state of the art
high efficiency units.
On Sat, 17 Oct 2009 14:41:19 -0700 (PDT), RicodJour
Nobody ever said the old houses were untouched. The steel pipe and K&T
wiring. The old boilers are GONE. Many are "restored" and upgraded to
at least current specs electrically and mechanically, at significant
cost - yet the owners virtually ALWAYS recoup their investment at
Well, not everybody can get the 'This Old House' crew to come do it for
I've seen several old houses in my lifetime that I would love to own,
from a layout and ambiance standpoint. However, the upgrades would cost
more than building a new house of similar layout and features, with
modern materials. Sadly, the fine quarter-sawn hardwoods on many of the
interiors now fall into the 'if you have to ask' category on price.
Something about 95% of all the old-growth hardwood within 2000 miles
being cut down already, I think...
One thing seldom mentioned about older fancy houses- in most towns, the
neighborhoods where the rich people lived 1890-1940 or so, have had a
demographic shift. Not much point in having a fine old restored house if
you have to have window bars, motion-activated lights, and wear a
sidearm to walk around the block. Blue collar houses from that era are
mostly gone, in this part of the country, at least. ( But some of them
have some keen interior features as well.) No colonial-era houses around
here- I think the oldest standing house in town is from 1860s or so.
Not what I meant. I meant that the ever-increasing-in-value old house
that clare was talking about, is also increasing in value because it's
being updated, which makes it That Not So Old Anymore House.
I took out a piece of blocking the other day from a house built in
1928. Just a tubafor. The growth rings were so close I could hardly
count them and I was wearing my reading glasses. Had to be about 30
per inch. The cy-boards you get nowadays. you're lucky if there are
more than five or six rings per inch.
Yep, what were stately houses on stately streets, serviced by
streetcars, are now inner city housing serviced by buses. Life
You are right in the short term.
But how much will today's new McMansion be worth in 50 or 100 years?
Is it likely to even last 100 years or will it need to be torn down?
It always amazes me on home improvement shows to see them having to
replace windows and doors after 20 years while my windows are 150
years old and going strong. Similarly, houses built only a couple of
decades ago often have more rot than my old timbers -- even though my
house undoubtedly went through many periods of neglect. They just
don't make wood or houses like they used to. But maybe I'm just a
biased old house snob...
So....it's only your old house that gets better and more valuable?
Hmmm. That seems a might convenient - for you!
One of the common pitfalls of personal observation is that people make
automatic and often erroneous assumptions. There are countless old
houses that have been torn down or remodeled to the point where they
are not an old house anymore. The ones that are still around are the
ones that people valued more, for one reason or another, or had no
lapse in maintenance and didn't deteriorate.
Please don't get me wrong. I'm a retro-grouch in many things. I
definitely do believe that the old ways were in many instances just as
good if not better. One of my pet peeves is that there are no
incentives to induce people to value the old things more. Most people
will run up against the cost/benefit thing when dealing with their
house, or buying a new (to them) one, and will have to let something
go. When the something turns out to be old windows, or any other old
building or part of one, well, we lose that. We are in essence
letting market value erase our history.
That's what happened with the 1693 house I mentioned, and also with
another 18th century house just a few blocks away. Scumbag lawyer
convinced a bankruptcy judge that he was going to keep the house, and
as soon as the closing ink is dry, he knocks the house down. The only
thing they could charge him with was demolition without a permit, and
he got a slap on the wrist fine. Make's me want to puke.
On Sun, 18 Oct 2009 10:05:35 -0700 (PDT), RicodJour
Lots of cities are implementing "heritage districts" and rules that
give a lot more than a slap of the rist to those destroying buildings
in those heritage districts.
The big surprise?? Home values in those heritage districts, where you
are severely limited in what you can change on the visible exterior of
the buildings, almost invariably goes UP.
On Oct 19, 2:30 pm, email@example.com wrote:
Well, hell. You've hit on the magic formula. Just buy an old house
and you'll never lose money on it, no matter what you do. You should
fire this information off to The Motley Fool as a foolproof investment
You have a point, but it is not the only one out there. Don't belabor
An increase in property value in a historic district is often offset by
how much you're forced to spend to keep up with the district's demands.
This phenomenon extends to operating expenses exacerbated by the
inefficiency of the authentic yet drafty windows.
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