oil burning steam boiler

I am looking at buying a house with a oil burning steam boiler. We like the house but have concerns about the age of the boiler. It looks original to the house (1957) and wonder what would be the alternative to this type of heat? If replacing the boiler with a natural gas more efficient model would be as effective as everything else or finding a way to make this boiler a water boiler. I am a plumber and am glad to find this group and would be happy for some input as I don't have much dealings with boilers. Their kinda hit and miss here in NC and I had been fortunate not to hit until now.
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