1930's Colonial.... advice
I am looking at buying my first house, sounds exciting doesn't it.... I thought so too. I have been doing a lot of research about home buying, especially old houses, because I love their craftsmanship and details. I am looking at a box colonial built in 1930, a very nice home that has newer baseboard heat throughout, new electrical wiring and replacement windows. I am a do it yourself kind of person so when I do buy a house I'm looking forward to replacing light fixtures, painting rooms, changing the bathroom vanity, stripping wallpaper, ect... So my question is this... I have been reading some "bad press" about 1930's wall plaster and asbestos issues. There are no textured surfaces in this house, just smooth plaster walls and ceilings, but none the less I have read horror stories about high concentrations of asbestos in plaster of this vintage and abatement costs of up to $40,000 to have it all removed. One article I read talked about the state condemning a house because of plaster walls. Now here in Portland, ME there are 1000's of historic homes with plaster walls and so I have to ask, how much of this is just exaggerated anxiety and how much is truth? Should I avoid homes with plaster walls altogether? Is patching a crack in the wall or ceiling taking my life in my hands? What are your thoughts?