Real Estate

What do I need to know when buying an almost 50 years house/townhouse?

  • Last Updated:
  • May 28th, 2021 1:39 pm
Deal Addict
Mar 7, 2010
2726 posts

What do I need to know when buying an almost 50 years house/townhouse?

Any major cost coming up?
I see lots of old houses on sale, but they are all almost 50 or 60 plus years old....
5 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 23, 2011
2044 posts
Do a home inspection. It'll give you an idea of what what is wrong with the house. If it hasn't been updated in 50 it would be alot. If work has been done over the years it'll be less cost.

"It's better to be dead and cool...than alive and uncool!"
Deal Fanatic
Jan 15, 2017
5234 posts
Depends on what has been updated.

Plumbing though rarely gets updated. With homes that age there may be issues with the plumbing coming from the street into the house. There is no way to check. Just understand that every system has an expected life expectancy. Have the home inspected and ask the inspector based on the plumbing in the house should you expect to have to dig up the yard to replace the plumbing into the house any time soon.
Deal Addict
Dec 4, 2016
1994 posts
Since you said "almost" 50 years, I assume it's younger than 50 years but older than 40 years. That means a house built in the 70s.

The first thing that comes to my mind is Asbestos. The second thing that comes to mind is aluminum wiring. Speak to your insurance broker about these two issues.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 10, 2008
5040 posts
Assuming no/minimal upgrades...

Asbestos plaster, mastic, tiles, etc
Lead paint
Cast iron plumbing stack
Copper water lines nearing the end of their life
Lack of a vapor barrier
Lack of Tyvek
Poor insulation
Rotten sill plate
Poor electrical (lacking GFCI/AFCI, limited number of outlets, etc.)
History of potentially shoddy DIY work
Windows, doors, roof, siding replacement should be considered, depending on the age
Stairs, railings, etc. may not meet code
Let's hug it out
Sr. Member
Sep 18, 2008
882 posts
just don't buy it


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