How old is too old for a rental?

4 Replies

When starting out in looking for rental properties, most people recommend that you come up with specific criteria so that you can quickly identify properties that would be of interest. This process seems pretty easy to me EXCEPT for determining if the age of the home is an issue. So, I wanted to get input from the BP community, how old is too old for you? Or does the condition of the house mean more than the age? I live in an area where a lot of homes are older, and buying a home built in the early 1900's is a little scary to me. You never know what is behind the walls. Any input into your thinking about this would be of much help! Thanks in advance.

Back in 2005 we picked up an 1830's massive blue stone home with an additional newer 1960's addition (also a 2bed home). It was a motivated seller (divorce) so after an extensive inspection we went back to the seller with a list of 'disclosures' & cost of repairs. We got the price down from $67,500 to $46,800 cash close in 30.

After 5 years of continuous rental we had to do a complete tear off ($10,500) of both of the roofs replace a couple of rotted window frames/sills & then sold it when an an investor offered us $75,000. We hold the note & he has it rented constantly because he has it in great shape.

We then bought another 5 bedroom, 3 bath, 2 kitchens 1800's mansion (haunted) for $87,000 sold it lease to own for $137k. Contractor bought it & has done an amazing job restoring it. We didn't touch it & it did need work.

Then we took on an old 6300 sq ft farm house that had been divided up into 6 units. 3 had been vacant for 3-4 years. We completely rehabbed each unit over the last 3 years & it NOW pulls in a LOT of income & we have never had a vacancy other than to rehab. Most complete rehab was a 2bedroom back to the studs which we did in 26 days. Surprises behind the walls YOU BET.

We also designed & installed a complete fire sprinkler system throughout all units etc & have upgraded all units to code. 

@Patrick Zwierzynski

Even though I am not an experienced RE agent or a contractor, I can definitely tell you its all about the condition of the house than the age. Like @Courtney Jones said, if it has good bones, foundation, roof and HVAC, you got a good thing going. Some of those stone houses that @Pat L. talks about, can last another 100 years if good upkeep is done on it. They suck when it comes to insulation but the bones are awesome.

Yes insulation is none existent in many but we're also finding it the same for post war SFH & Cape Cods. We heard that one old guy on propane spending $600/month for heat in an old stone home. His SIL (contractor) went in & tore it back to the stone & sprayed insulation on the stone walls. BIG job but it was in the family for 120 years so he's happy now.

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