My wife and I are looking at a derelict house as our second home, and a
We are going to view the property in a couple of days, and although I have
bought my current house and followed due diligence in purchasing it. I am
unfamiliar with what to look for in an older house.
The house is roughly one hundred years old, a red brick built by an english
company. It certainly looks like a middle class dwelling built to a high
The vendor also purcahsed the house for renovation, but does not appear to
have proceeded with the project (he appears to be filithy rich) but he has
said that it will need a new heating system, new water system and new
One last thing, this house is not currently for sale, I contacted the vendor
after looking up the property on the land registry database, so any advice
on how to proceed with any sale would be good too.
Chris aka BoobBoo
Since you are not in a position to accurately estimate the cost of all
this, nor to evaluate the property, I suggest you do two things. First have
a home inspector check out the house to get a list of what will be needed.
They may not get it all, but likely more than you will see yourself. Next
get a professional appraisal of the property so you have some starting point
for determining if the price is fair. Then you will have a much better idea
of what you are getting into and can decide if you really want this.
I agree about the inspection, sort of. Most home inspectors are clueless to
a lot of real issues with older homes. I would suggest an contractor that
does renovations in your area. He would know better what it will cost. You
had better be prepared for figures close to, if not exceeding what it could
cost to build new. After you buy the property.
If this guy is not offering the property then go slowly and be ready to move
on at the slightest hint of pricing that you feel is out of line. Do not
get attached to something that you do not currently own.
besides the home inspection in the other post, I would also get a camera
inspection of the sewer lateral.
This is often not part of a general home inspection. A property that's been
vacate for some time is likely
to have root damage and possibly a collapse of the lateral (this alone can
get into 5 figures).
I'll take a somewhat contrarian position.
I hope I do not come across as being too harsh, its not my intent.
If you need to ask what to look for then I would say you are probably not
equipped to undertake, or even manage, such a project. I would recommend
that you back away unless you have a trusted advisor, consultant, project
manager, general contractor or whatever to handle the project start to
finish (AND you have deep pockets).
If you have deep pockets and you want an adventure, don't have, or need, a
job then go for it. Heating, water and electrics. That tells me this will
be, quite possibly, a gut job. Pull all wallboard, lathe & plaster, fix the
structure, put in all new mechanicals, etc. All this is, of course, done
once the outside is weather tight. Also, while the walls are open you will
probably be refurbishing or replacing the windows.
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