Need help avoiding the "Biggest Mistakes" list on BP

11 Replies

I have a triplex under contract in Omaha, NE (an out of state deal) that seems to pencil out fairly well. Problem is I just found there was an error in the original information and the property was built in 1884 making it almost 140 years old. I don't own anything this aged and never thought I would, it is not consistent with my investing strategy but the numbers really would be pretty good (not great). Many people have told me that "this is not an issue if the property has been taken care of". I have to say I am really stressing out about it, especially when it is well known that inspections don't always uncover all of the issues in a property. Any words of wisdom (or warning) from the BP group on this? 

You can't go wrong in Omaha right now, and historically this city has been amazingly stable. In '08, we hardly saw the housing market move while many cities faced enormous crises. Prices here have rocketed in the past twelve months, which is rare, but there are plenty of underlying factors that suggest our market is still less reactive than some major markets.

A lot of the houses built in the 1800s here are in strong, vibrant parts of town where renewal and growth is active. Without knowing exactly where you purchased, I'm guessing your location will be prime for renters. If you need good help finding contractors you can trust, check out the Omaha Real Estate Meetup on Facebook. So many great folks there.

And of course, I'm open to swinging by the property and letting you know what I see if that would be helpful. I've invested in the city and am closing on a 1910 property at the moment, so I'm not afraid of old properties and have some experience with them. Congrats and the bold move, and best of luck as you encounter the unknown!

@Char Tovar age does not scare me.  I grew up in a house built in 1894 (or there abouts) and my parents did not have any major repair issues.  I have always viewed old homes as proven.  They have sustained over 100 yrs of life, and haven't fallen over.  You can find stories of new construction that the same can't be said.  

Electrical, plumbing, roof, HVAC and foundation are going to be your major items.  As Mike mentioned, you get some quirks in older properties, but many people also call that character and like it.  

And, in my experience, the common items, roof and HVAC are going to go out on new construction as well.  Which really leaves looking for signs of foundation shift, knob and tube or aluminum wiring, and plumbing.  Paying for a sewer line scope is probably worth the cost to make sure the sewer line (a costly fix) is still in good condition and free of tree roots.

All my properties are over 100 years old. Just make sure the major items have been updated like electric and plumbing. And if not budget for eventual replacement. If everything checks out structurally then you should be ok. If the house has been there 140 years and is in good shape it should last a while longer with proper care :)

Originally posted by @Char Tovar :

I have a triplex under contract in Omaha, NE (an out of state deal) that seems to pencil out fairly well. Problem is I just found there was an error in the original information and the property was built in 1884 making it almost 140 years old. I don't own anything this aged and never thought I would, it is not consistent with my investing strategy but the numbers really would be pretty good (not great). Many people have told me that "this is not an issue if the property has been taken care of". I have to say I am really stressing out about it, especially when it is well known that inspections don't always uncover all of the issues in a property. Any words of wisdom (or warning) from the BP group on this? 

 Hi Char, most of my properties here in Columbus, OH are over 90-100 years old. I would agree that if the property has been well maintained, you're likely in good condition. Just make sure to do your due diligence and really study the report. Ask the seller if they have had/know of any issues. Best of luck! 

@Zeke Liston I actually just got my report from the home inspector so am going to go through with at least a counter offer on the issues. Trying to be open minded. It is good to know that so many other investors have found these types of properties to be just fine. Thanks for your input!