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reply to iLearn

Re: What to expect on a 50 year old house

ok thank you guys.

Yes, I have recommended a home inspection for sure but the buyer wanted to narrow down on the house first, make an offer and then get an inspection done. She just wanted to find out if there is too many variables, then she will go with a newer house.

It seems like there could be problems down the road because as far as I know a home inspection is just a visual inspection.

Follow up questions:

Does anyone know if a house built in 50s was insulated? - exterior walls. Is there a way to find that out or not?

I am thinking if nothing changed then the attic will not have enough insulation as per current standards.

So lead piping is a no-no, right? I mean she will have to then upgrade to copper or PEX sometime soon?

I dont think the house is old enough for Knob and Tube, right?

LazMan - what you have mentioned about reno work/support etc - can a home inspector look into that. If its a visual inspection then it might not work right?

I believe the house has asphalt shingles, and considering that it is 50 years old, I would assume roof has been replaced at least once - how many layers, I have no idea. Can a home inspector confirm this?

Giggity Giggity
Sout Joisy

1 recommendation

Home inspection should be able to tell how many layers the roof is, not sure about the age, maybe a guess or homeowners know. My house is 50+ years old and when I bought it it had 2 layers, with second layer only a few years old. Not sure what the code is there but here its no more than 2 layers.

As for buying old or newer. You could buy a brand new house and have lots of problems and have a 100+ house be perfectly fine, it all depends on how it was constructed and how it was taken care of I think. A good through home inspection is a must in either case.
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."
-Jimi Hendrix

Leander, TX

1 recommendation

reply to iLearn
A house of that age does not have lead pipes. Personally I believe that many houses of that age were better constructed than a lot of the newer ones I have seen.

Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Tulsa, OK
I'd tend to agree. My house is built in the mid 60's and it seems more well constructed then modern light weight construction. It's a brick over wood frame structure. I like brick due to the maintenance and strength benefits, but the color of brick chosen does period date the home. Many people in the neighborhood have repainted the bricks to modernize the exterior, but that seems to defeat one of the main reasons for having brick--- ease of maintenance.

The most obvious thing about this home was the terrible original windows and sliding doors. I replaced those. The home is surprisingly energy efficient. The outer walls have fiberglass batt insulation, the attic has blown in cellulose insulation with a thermal cover lying over the tops of the joists. Due to some settling part of the home had to be piered by the original owners about 20 years ago and you can see where the bricks and drywall had some cracks as a result and were repaired (although not that well IMHO.)

An interesting thing about my house is that the drywall was hung with nails instead of screws and some of them have clearly "popped" up some over the years as the house settled. I'd definitely recommend screws over nails based on this experience but I believe drywall nailing is still common today. Other issues I feel are related to the time period of the house I have found... IMHO the attic ventilation isn't up to modern standards, with just three of the spinning vents and some soffet vents that were pretty obstructed when I bought the home... also, both the bathroom fans exhaust directly into the attic, not outside. That's something that still needs to be fixed and as a result I rarely if ever use them. The ceilings are popcorn ceilings and I don't like that, would prefer flat smooth ceilings... they may or may not contain asbestos, they have been painted over so economical removal isn't really an option, so they stay.
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini