When investing in real estate, a home’s age can tell you a lot about its condition and what to look for in possible repairs or upgrades. Use this guide to help you determine what repair costs to look for based on the age of your potential investment.
Green Lumber. Green lumber is wood that was never kiln dried. As a result, the lumber shrank, twisted and turned, resulting in slanted walls and floors.
Knob and Tube Wiring. Knob & Tube Wiring was strung alongside wooden framing on ceramic knobs and run through lumber via ceramic tubes. If you spot this in your home, make it a priority to replace—it is unsafe.
Steel Plumbing Pipes. Steel plumbing pipes worked well for the first 20 years or so, then they began to rust shut, much like a clogged artery.
Balloon Framed Walls. Old homes were commonly built with studs that were two stories, known as balloon framing. This is a safety hazard as fire can rush up through two stories in no time.
Uninsulated Walls. Before 1940, insulated exterior walls and attics were a rarity. Today, blown-in insulation is a good option.
Plaster. The problem with these walls today is that they are weak and usually badly cracked.
Asbestos Heating Duct and Pipe Insulation. Unfortunately, asbestos was the insulation of choice for heating systems up until the 1940s. Contact a pro to get it removed.
Undersized Electrical Systems. It was common to put all the electrical needs of one room or even a couple of rooms on the same circuit.
Drafty Windows. Inefficient steel and aluminum windows were common in this era.
Asbestos Ceiling Tile and Textured Ceilings. If you still see these in your house today, it's a good idea to have them tested by a lab to make sure they are asbestos free before removing them.
Vermiculite Insulation. Vermiculite is a lightweight brownish-gold mineral that was used as insulation in attics. It is also loaded with asbestos and needs removed by a professional
Aluminum Wiring. This wiring is known to catch on fire; it was responsible for taking down many homes before it was pulled out of service.
Fire-Retardant Plywood. Unfortunately, this plywood had design flaws that caused the wood to disintegrate.
Poor Roof Ventilation. Typical during this timeframe, this could lead to moisture buildup and a rotting roof.
Fiberglass Roof Shingles. Around 1980, roofing manufacturers began changing the way they made roof shingles by replacing the organic mat that held the asphalt with fiberglass. This seemed like good idea, but once many of these fiberglass shingles got to be 5 to 10 years old, they began to crack, rip or tear and need replaced.
Synthetic Stucco. Technically known as Exterior Insulated Finish System, or EIFS, this material creates an attractive finish to home exteriors that looks very much like a masonry stucco. However, it can leak. More recent applications now have draining channels.
Whether you are an experienced real estate investor or a first-time “flipper,” Catalyst Funding can help you get started. Catalyst Funding is a hard money lender committed to guiding investors of all experience levels through the real estate investing process.