When I first started investing in homes, This Old House was popular, oil was going to run out, and Mother Earth News was all the rage. How I Made a Million Dollar Recycling Great Old Homes was my favorite book, so much so I actually took a trip the east coast to drive by most of the homes in the book ! I was going to find an old house “with charm”, rehab it, and make my fortune.
Since that time I’ve owned quite a few properties, built some, rehabbed some. I typically urge buyers to favor homes built after WWII – similarly I greatly urge couples NOT to build new…. this is another blog post.
In my “historic properties” I found 6 layers of roof on one, mice and skunks in the crawl space in another, flooding basements you wouldn’t believe – but lots of “charm”.
These older ( pre 1940 ish ) homes take an extra layer of investigating – if you want to call out an inspector, these are prime targets.
DIY’s ? Take a flashlight, foldup ladder, level, tape measure, outlet tester, binoculars, power screwdriver, camera ( for memory jog ), photograph the electical panel(s)/ furnace/ waterheater/ and any other mechanicals to forward to a specialist should you want a second opinion. I have checklists AND a few insights to offer.