Does it matter how old a house is if its completely rehabbed?

7 Replies

As the title says... Does it matter how old a house is if it has been completely rehabbed? 

For example, lets say we have 2 houses:

House #1: Built in 1950 but has all major items rehabbed like roof, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, flooring, kitchen/bathrooms, etc...

House #2: Built in 1990 but has not been updated since.

Would the older house still be more prone to more maintenance and repair even though it has been rehabbed and updated?

The older house is likely to have more "surprises". Foundation would be a large concern as is sewer. On an older house a lot of things may get covered under a rehab vs properly handled. 

Ryan Dossey, Real Estate Agent in IN (#RB15001099)
800-347-9296

Let's put it like this, a 1950 mustang all new repainted and update it or a 1990 mustang with no updates , what is more likely to brake down sooner?

If electrical, AC and plumbing are new or replace on the remo I'll go for the old one. At the end the old mustang will have more value because (time matters).

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I've lived in 3 different homes in the last 25 years, all dating before 1950. I've never had any structural issues, and find the older homes to be very solid, i.e. They have good bones. So I am all for older homes and think that when rehabbed properly they are just as sound, or more sound than homes built in the 90's.

YES.  Even will all the major "systems" and parts replaced and repaired the older home is going to suck up more time and money over the long run.  Depending on the date and location of the house (as long as it was constructed after some semblance of building code existed in the area) you may not as dramatic difference between a 1950's house and house built in the early 90's in terms of long term maintenance.   However, start taking that back to the 40's, 30's, 20's, etc. and you'll find that fixing/repairing anything, no matter how recently it was replaced is more expensive and time consuming than a more modern counterpart.

>>Speaking from 7 years of experience living in and owning a house built in 1912<<

It may or may not. I love old houses. Watch some episodes of "This Old House" for some insight. My experience is that many things begin to fail in a house at about 30 years, so you would only have about 5 more years on the 1990s house before you would be doing some significant maintenance/repair/upgrade. Sooner for floor coverings and cosmetics.

Be aware of lead-based paint renovation laws regarding buildings built prior to 1978. If you need to update other features, they may come into play. For example....windows. The 1950s building with original windows will most likely require window restoration or window replacement. The classic wood sash windows can not be painted shut and must be able to open easily for egress. For energy efficiency, a second pane window can be added, but also must be able to open for emergency purposes.

I love the solid workmanship in many historic homes. Treated well, they can stand the test of time. If all new major systems were updated to current codes, you may be better off with that house.  (We own older rental houses: 1925, 1941, 1950, 1950)

Thanks to all of you sharing your experiences. It seems like everyone has their own varying opinions on this issue. Some of you are saying that older houses may actually have been built better than the newer model homes, and some say that older homes usually are more costly to repair. I guess, it just depends on the house and the area.