What to ask/know before buying an Old House?
What sort of important questions should one ask before purchasing an Old House? (ca. 1850s)
We've been house shopping for a while now. Pretty much exhausted what had been our prime candidates. Recently saw a house well outside our search parameters, an updated 1850s Colonial. Great lot, great location.
Before considering the house, we need to address the fact that we don't know what we don't know.
What are the important things to ask, learn, discover when buying an old house? I'm sure everything and anything can go wrong. But what are the most important things to consider, those that would/should be deal breakers? Where's the line between fixable and tear-down or run-away?
Known: From what I see, it's got some important updates already done. Current owners have been there for 8 years. (from family of area builders/developers) Are moving on to their next project. Whole house is foamed. ~10yr old boiler/furnace, new tanks. New baths & kitchen. New windows from prev owners (maybe 80s/90s era vinyls) Barn converted to living space. 3-car gar & rec room added. Floors look okay. Orig plaster walls appear free of cracks.
Unknowns: wiring & plumbing in the walls, well/water quality/quantity, septic condition, field stone foundation, chimneys, ...
I'll also note that it's priced about 25% below the price range we'd been shopping in newer homes in the area, so we think we'd have an okay cushion to address a few things if needed.