Experience Living in an Old House?

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Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:23 am
Location: Clifton, NJ

Experience Living in an Old House?

Post by Mmbenyar »

Does anyone live in a very old or historic house? Any advice to those thinking of purchasing one? My wife and I are considering making an offer on a house built in the 1840s that is on the historic register in our township.

It's gotten a few small additions and face lifts over the years, but the foundation and primary structure are ~170 yrs old. Within the past year the house has gotten a new roof, gutters, heat pump and air handler (ductwork is ~1950s), septic system, electrical system, 2 new bathrooms, and windows. I'm more concerned with unknowns. I have no idea how well insulated the house is. There's a full 3rd floor, so no ability to put in attic insulation. It's got those really narrow and steep staircases with the 90 degree turn in them. I have no idea if I'll be able to fit any furniture up into the 2nd floor. The couple of times we've been to see it there has been water in the basement, but the owner says it's getting taken care of (we'll see how that turns out). In the not-too-distant future we would want to put on a modern addition where the existing deck is, but that's hurdle #2.

I'm certain I'm not thinking clearly about this house. We've been on and off looking at houses for maybe 2 years and this house meets almost all of our criteria. So my wife wants to jump at the opportunity, but I'm trying to better understand what we're getting into. What are we getting into?

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