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House from 1960 and it shows! How much to remodel

My husband and I are looking at buying a house from 1960.  It has every original part. It needs new electrical and plumbing.  It has a 1200 square foot unfinished basement. I also would like to refinish the upstairs hardwood and make the kitchen more modern for the cheapest amount possible (it has a 1960's cook top in the island).  I don't want anything fancy.  I just need safe for my kids and updated to an extent for cheap.  How far could possibly $20,000 get me?  What about $15,000?  It may still have an orangeburg pipe as well.  Will I need to replace that right off the bat?  I need to know if it's worth the fight for this house and how long roughly will it take me to make it all livable.  
  • August 20 2013 - Brigham
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Answers (2)

I would say that you could complete a fairly decent "cosmetic remodel" on 1200sqft for 15-20k but some of the items you mentioned are far more reaching than your basic remodel, and most likely beyond the capability of any Real Estate Agent or Home Inspector to identify and diagnose.

Your best option would be to get a few estimates from General Contractors who know the permitting and Coding Rules (you can find a state certified contractor in your area here.

As previous posters have mentioned there is a discernible difference in working vs. living order for example aluminum wiring may not need to be replied if it is within code and no new permit is pulled to adjust or change the current set up. (this is an example and may not be true in your municipality)   

If you are Purchasing a home from this area it is important to do your due diligence, most contractors are willing to give you a free estimate if it means they might earn your business, orangeburg pipe can be identified by a video inspection. The more you know the better you will be able to  mitigate your risk and plan your budget.

Happy House Hunting
 
  • December 09 2013
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
"how long will it take to make it liveable?".     What you mentioned was dated items, but you didn't mention functionality (i..e may be perfectly liveable just as it is).   If something is not function, that is where I'd start.  If things such as the kitchen need updating, then I'd budget those in and deal with those over the years.


  • August 20 2013
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