06:41PM | 12/25/04
Member Since: 12/24/04
2 lifetime posts

My family and I are considering purchasing a home that was built in the 1890's. It is a beautiful old home but needs a lot of work. Most of the work my husband feels he can do himself, but I do have one major concern before we place an offer on this house. When we were looking in the attic and in some of the storage cabinets, it looked like there might be asbestos in the grout in the brickwork on the chimney.

We will be limited in the types of repairs that we can make to the property because it has been designated a historical home. I just don't want to move my family into a house that could be dangerous, or that could have an extremely expensive repairs that we might or might not be allowed to get done. What is your basic opinion?


08:16AM | 12/26/04
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Greetings and Happy Holidays Ainglis,

Here are my opinions. Please keep in mind that I am NOT a real estate pro; just someone who's been 'around the block' in home ownership. So here goes--in random order--except for #1!

1. Consider the 3 most important factors in real estate: LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! I know our regulars probably get tired of hearing me talk about this, but I feel really strongly that LOCATION should be at the top (or very close to it!) of your priorities list. Will this be a great neighborhood to raise your family? If not, consider other homes in other neighborhoods. If so, read on...

2. Historical home: Beautiful, but watch out. Additional costs and difficulties. But wow, can be very beautiful and worth the effort too! Assuming your neighbors are in similar homes--ask them how it's been for them. These homes are a labor of love!

3. DIY. Have you lived through major remodels before? It can be a strain on your marriage and family. You'll need an action plan on how to proceed and how to keep the place livable (if you intend to live there during remodel). It's likely that you'll want professional help for at least some of it.

4. Expense: Remodeling--yes, even DIY--can be more expensive than you might think. Be sure that you're getting a considerable discount (relative to the neighborhood) on purchase price to make up for this. But then, don't forget that DIY work is time consuming--and your/his time needs to be factored in (to some degree) as well. It could be a multi-committment. Your time is worth something--even if you enjoy the remodeing.

5. Dangerous materials. OK, I'm no expert on this--but it is probably worth a pro opinion if you're worried about your family's safety. Asbestos (you often hear) is at its most dangerous when it is loose such that fibers get into the air. But if "encapsulated" (or left alone) is usually OK. Of course there are lots of potential things to worry about...lead pipe, radon, mold, asbestos, etc. Some of these might even drive up the cost of your home insurance (or might make it uninsurable). But a lot of these issues have also been blown out of proportion, too--so it might be worth a call to a pro when you're doing your home inspections. Just to find what you're REALLY up against.

6. Other considerations in older homes include insulation, older plumbing, heating, electrical, etc. Have these been upgraded to deal with your family's needs--or will these need to be tacked onto your priority list?

Good luck, please post a response with your current thought processes, etc.


-k2 in CO

Moderator, Miscellaneous Forum


03:18PM | 12/26/04
Member Since: 12/24/04
2 lifetime posts
Thank you, I appreciate the advice. If we go ahead and purchase this house, we will definitely gain our sweat equity quickly. Once the house is renovated it will be worth at least $200K more than what it is now. We will make it a condition of our offer that the property pass safety inspections, that way we will be better able to weigh what we are getting ourselves into. Thanks, Again!

AInglis in MA


04:34PM | 12/26/04
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Hi Ainglis in MA,

You're welcome!

I like the idea of it having good equity potential. Also that of having a safety inspection. You might be able to drive a better bargain with something like this under your belt.

I also should mention that even NEW homes aren't without their problems.

Have you talked with any of the neighbors regarding how their projects went?

We look forward to your posts on this forum--I am sure you'll have them! :)

Good luck on your home!


-k2 in CO

Moderator, Miscellaneous Forum


12:15AM | 04/20/12
Member Since: 04/19/12
1 lifetime posts
We bought a house built in 1896. Its a full red brick and mortar foundation with a cement crouch basement. There are tree logs holding the majority of the basement up and almost all the house's wood has been eaten by termites and beetles some-many decades ago.

Even my house inspector said regardless of what people will try to sell you, when all these other houses are long gone, this house will still be standing here. The basement was reinforced in the 1950's and a full reno was done around then, asbestos shingles all around the house. Cracked and poor condition Asbestos insulation on the steam pipes in the basement. Seepy Foundation walls.

If you love the house, it will love you. Clean the heck out of it and enjoy it.

If that's what you want.


06:34AM | 05/03/13
Member Since: 05/03/13
2 lifetime posts

see, if you have got the opportunity to buy such a historical home then I will advice go ahead, about repairs? then keep the repairing work at slow and consistent pace.Always remember, NO PAIN NO GAIN,,,Asbestos thing-Depending on how and where asbestos was applied, it might not pose any risk to most users of the building. If the fibers cannot become dislodged, they cannot be inhaled, and thus the asbestos poses no risk.

If you are afraid of it, I understand then first do its removal work first,...

If removal is to be performed when users are still present in the building, it is usually necessary to relocate some users temporarily. Typically, the part of the building from which asbestos is being removed has to be sealed off in order to prevent contamination of the other areas.

Gud LUck...


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