Houses older than 1950

3 Replies

Hi Everyone,

                      I live in the DC metro area where the price of houses are a bit steep. I have been looking at some properties in a college town over a 100 miles away from my home. The properties that I am looking at can be rented out to students. One in particular is a 2099sqft, four bedroom with two kitchens and two baths built in 1940. It is priced at $89,500 with a advertised rental income of $12000 a year. 

1.What the big ticket items in houses as old as these that I should look if for? 

2. How do you know if a house has "good bones"? 

3. Has anyone of our biggerpockets members ever owned college rentals? What are the rewards/risks.

Alot of questions but I would like to know what I ask a contractor about going in.

Thanks in advance for your response.

It all depends on the house , You look at all the items , big and little , the small things add up real fast .  

A 1940's house ...........   original electric  maybe 60 to 100 amp , not enough for today , old steam boiler  ,  galvanized plumbing ,  terra cotta sewer pipe clogged with roots , 3 layers of shingles on a 12/12 pitch roof ,  termites , Lead paint , no fire escapes ,  the list goes on .     

The last 2 houses I bought were 1950 and a 1940 ,  I looked at them for 15 minutes , my  offer was based on what the houses needed , in that short 15 minutes it was easy to figure they needed everything , plumbing , electric , etc , complete gut jobs . If I was wrong and something was good ,that was a bonus . 

Also, keep an eye out for an oil tank... in my neck of the woods they are one of the biggest issues with old houses and can cost thousands of dollars if they have leaked and the soil needs remediation.

Wow! Thanks for your quick responses. The roof is shingle. Plan to make a visit soon. 

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.