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All original boarding house

I am looking into purchasing a home that is a 100 year old boarding house in what used to be an old railroad town. What are the deal breakers when looking at a historic home? I can easily see all the benefits. But what should I be cautious about. There is some water damage on the exterior, which resulted in a small hole under the eave. Yes, pigeons could probably nest there!! There is also some ceiling damage(water stains)upstairs but appears to be old, maybe before the roof was fixed. Don't know for sure. Unfortunately the windows are also original and there is no heating upstairs. BUT the house is straight and "feels" solid. Everything is original! Very little has ever been changed, all woodwork remains unpainted, only two rooms have been carpeted, 3 sets of working double pocket doors, and more doors and hardware than a lover of old homes could ever want. Even the three exterior doors, including the screen doors are original. It also has two staircases, 9 foot ceilings and the large wrap around porch. Is there anything that should keep me from purchasing this original beauty? I will try to be back with pics.

Re: All original boarding house

What are the deal breakers when looking at a historic home?

Foundation , structural , water infiltration and rot would definitely be deal breakers. Likely there will be mechanical , plumbing , electrical and insulating upgrades that will have to be done.

Consider hiring a qualified home inspector or contractor to evaluate the property... it's well worth the cost. Remember these people will be providing an unbiased view as to the condition of the property.

Hopefully this helps and good luck.:)

Re: All original boarding house

I agree. Having an old house that hasn't had anything done to it is both good and bad. Good because the chances of someone doing poor quality work is lower. But bad because the electric, and plumbing are old and will most likely need work. Are you planning on moving in right after closing or are you planning on getting all the upgrades done before you move in? Living in a house being remodeled is very trying to say the least. Get the inspection and get a timeline on any repairs that may need to be done.

Re: All original boarding house

Depending on where you are located a trip to the city or county permitting office may be helpful. I found notes in a file on our property that indicated a fire had been there. Only problem was it was supposed to have happened during the time we lived there and I didn't quite remember that happening. I may be getting old, but a house fire would have made a lasting impression on me. I turned out they had swapped around the street numbers which was easy to figure out and they got the info into the correct property file.

You could also check any exposed framing for evidence of a previous fire.

Re: All original boarding house

Thank you everyone. DwarfWytch-- the home is located in Northwest Indiana, about 60 miles outside of Chicago. I grew up in this small town and am very familiar with the homes recent history(past 50 years) but looking into it's history beyond that-- I will have to dig that up on my own. It has been located in the center of town since there was a center, but having the ground tested etc is a good idea. About ten years ago the home, along with the rest of the town was hooked up to the city water and sewage. Definitely have to look into the asbestos and lead. Your post very helpful.

Re: All original boarding house

tbgworldwide--If I purchase the home, I am in the fortunate situation of staying in my current home until I am finished, even if it takes years. I will be building a garage(a proper, architecturally compatible garage)at the home to house all of our tools etc., and thinking about putting in a small apt. above to rent out, to help finance the project, since this will be my second mortgage. Thanks for your input.

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