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What are some of the things to look out for in older properties?

I tend to shy away from buildings that are built before 1950 because I just automatically assume that these buildings have structural problems.  Yet I have seen properties built in the 1920s that looked great and properties built in 1970s that looked horrible.  What are some of the common problems in older buildings?  I don't want to wait until I have to spend several hundred dollars on inspection to find out.
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March 24 2010 - Pasadena
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Regardless of the age of the property (unless new construction with a warranty), you should have a property inspection completed. A few hundred dollars now can save you thousands or tens of thousands down the road. You may go into a property that looks great cosmetically and later find out it has major issues.
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March 30 2010

Lead pipes or rusted piping, run the faucets

Electrical wiring can't source all the appliance that we need to use nowadays, check the fusebox.

Lead paint buried beneath layers of "new" paint.

Possible asbestos degradation.

Large Oak trees.

Not braced for earthquake (ask if it has been reinforced).

Cracked foundation.

...

The older the home is, the more question I will ask the seller, and the stronger the wording needs to be in the offer to protect yourself. It might even be worthwhile to get an experienced handyman to do a cheap pre-lim walkthrough before writing your offer to see if they can catch anything major that is not obvious.

-David

-David

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March 30 2010
In areas that are damp, look for subterainian beetles, (wood destroying beetles) they eat a home from the ground up. If the home has a basement, look for water stains on the walls of the basement, that would indicate flooding in rainy season.

In the bathrooms, look for dryrot under the shower area.

beware of electric components not being upgraded
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March 24 2010
 
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