What to Look For When Buying an Old House

9 Problems with Old Houses

Age is subjective when it comes to houses, but an unwritten rule is that if a home is 50 years or older it’s considered “old” and a home built before 1920 is considered “antique.” Many factors can contribute to the condition your potential dream home may be in, and thankfully most can be caught during the home inspection phase of the buying process.

To help you do your due diligence before getting your heart set on a classic home, here are the most common problems to look for.

1. Foundation Issues
2. Deteriorating Roof
3. Hazardous Building Materials
4. Toxic Gases Affecting Air Quality
5. Outdated Electrical
6. Plumbing Problems
7. Energy Inefficiency
8. Old Mechanical Equipment
9. Outdated Features and Layouts

Owning an Old House: Charming Love Affair or Expensive Money Pit?

From a 1920s bungalow or stately three-story Victorian to a rustic stone farmhouse, a lot of us love old houses for their sturdiness, quirky charm, and connection to history. And fortunately, there are a lot of venerable old homes still standing all over the world. Nearly 14 percent of the roughly 137 million homes in the U.S. were built before 1940, according to the U.S. Census American Housing Survey. In places such as Somerville, Massachusetts, and Buffalo, New York, more than 60 percent of the housing stock dates back to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s second term or earlier.

But old houses also have a potentially significant downside, especially for unwary first-time homeowners, in that expensive problems are often tucked away inside the walls or under the floors. We don’t mean just the predictable maintenance issues, such as replacing the roof shingles every 20 years or the electric or gas water heater once a decade. (Here’s a still-useful 2007 report on the average life expectancy of various home components, from the National Association of Home Builders.)


What You Should Consider Before Buying an Old House

Buying an old house can pose challenges. With smart planning and the right renovations, you can enjoy the rewards of living in a historic home.

Buying an old house can help you get into a desirable neighborhood or afford a larger home, not to mention potentially preserving a piece of history. But houses built decades or even centuries ago often have quirks (both good and bad) that you won’t find in newer construction.

Before you fall in love with that original woodwork, get acquainted with the hurdles that can come with buying an older home.

Get an inspection (or two)
Figure out financing
Research restrictions and easements…


Ralene Nelson, REALTOR®

#JUSTLISTED – 309 Delta Blvd. Rio Vista, 6,970sqft lot

Perfect lot to build your next home on the Delta. Utilities have not been hooked up, so call City of Isleton for costs, permits & Building codes. Then enjoy the Sacramento River activities, such as fishing, boating & more. READ MORE

#JUSTLISTED – 181 Cedar Ridge Dr. Rio Vista
2 bed/2 bath/1,433sqft

$540,000 – Look no further!! This Clipper model is like a new home, completely renovated, from new sheet rock to all new cabinets throughout, new baths, laminate flooring, quartz counters, appliances, and new interior & exterior paint. Located on the 11th fairway, bring some patio furniture & enjoy the scenery. This model provides a living room/dining room & a nook/great room. Trilogy provides so many amenities, including 2 swimming pools/spas, bocce courts, billiards, tennis courts, pickleball, gym & more. READ MORE

JUST LISTED – 1009 Diamante Dr. Rio Vista
2 bed/2 bath/1439st

$475,000 – From curb appeal to beautiful upgrades, this Pebble Beach model is move-in ready. From white cabinets, granite kitchen with stainless appliances, to wood flooring to plantation shutters, this home is exceptional. 2 Bedrooms & 2 baths have carpet in bedrooms & double doors in the den, making this home very cozy. Upgraded landscaping to drought resistance and a patio with cover. Bring your furniture and join the numerous activities available & take advantage of the amenities your HOA fees include, tennis, bocce, billiards, 2 pools/spas, gym, and more.READ MORE

FOR SALE – 147 Gardiner Way, Rio Vista

$540,000 – Custom Craftsman Cottage, w/detached carport, 70 ft driveway, workshop & studio on a shy 1/4 acre lot. 3 bedroom, possibly 4, with 2 baths, painted in vibrant colors. Laminate floors & white blinds brings out the artsy homeowner. Kitchen has painted cabinets & bead board walls/backsplash, Corian counters with added cabinetry. Main bath has a stall tile shower & separate tub, quartz counters with white cabinets. 2 bedrooms have built-in cabinets & new laminate floors/fans. The family room can be the 4th bedroom/bath also has a tiled shower. FM also has a wood burning stove w/built-ins. Sunroom can be a great entertaining spot along with the large patio that has room for a built in kitchen/BBQ. The workshop has wall air conditioner, dark room with grey water sink. The She craft/studio room can be utilized for crafting or potting area. Homeowner has built numerous planter boxes for the gardener. YES, room for your RV/toys, carport with garage door. Don’t pass up this home!! READ MORE

FOR SALE – 404 Riverwood Ln. Rio Vista, 2bd/2bth/1391sf

$450,000 – Big Sur model & no rear neighbors!! Located in the Active Adult Community, Trilogy. Relax in this lovely backyard & watch the wild life. 2 bedrooms/2 full baths and den with double doors. Both master bedroom and den have bay windows that provides a more open feeling. Master bath has walk in shower & closet, double sinks, white tile counters, Dark kitchen cabinets, Corian counters w/tile backsplash, black appliances & tile floor. Stove is electric, however, is plumbed for natural gas. The dining area overlooks the backyard. Patio with all weather cover, great for BBQ in the rain. Garage has storage cabinets. Just bring your furniture and enjoy the activities, tennis, bocce, new gym, 2 pools & spas. READ MORE

FOR SALE – 718 Allender Wy. Rio Vista, 3 bd/2 bth/1346sf

$499,000 – Gorgeous home, shows pride of ownership and has been renovated since purchased. 3 bedrooms & 2 baths with all new flooring/baseboards, interior paint, light fixtures, etc. Kitchen has new painted cabinets with quartz counter tops with island. Auxillary electric heaters in 3rd bedroom & livingroom. Whole house water filter with under the sink reverse osmosis. Front yard has been totally relandscaped with new walkway to front door, with drought resistant landscaping, drip system & timer. Driveway extended as well as sidewalk to the backyard. Backyard has sprinkler sytem as well & patio. Just bring your furniture and enjoy!! Rio Vista is a quaint town located on the Sacramento River, close to SF, Sacramento & bay area. READ MORE

FOR SALE – 731 Turnberry Ter Rio Vista
2 bed/2 bath/1410 sq ft

$434,900 – NO BONDS-Spinnaker mod1:30el with private backyard. This 2 bedroom, 2 bath home feels like a very relaxing cottage for a retirement home. The patio provides a quiet place for morning coffee & afternoon beverage. Den has built-in book/curio shelves & bay window. The Master bedroom has a bay window, which creates room for a sitting area. New hot water heater. Enjoy amenities such as golf, tennis, bocce, pools/spas & a new gym, and more.  READ MORE

Events in Northern California this Week-End

7th Annual Down in The Delta Supercharged Weekend…
No Wussies Allowed

Thu Sep 8, 2022, at 12:00 pm to Sep 11 2022 3:00 pm
Orwood Resort, CA Delta, 4451 Orwood Rd, Brentwood,CA

RIDES: We will have a lot of ground to cover especially on those 150-mile round trip days, make sure your speeds are between 45 to 65 mph!!! If you’re a beginner this is not your ride. If you have extra fuel for the gas guzzlers bring 5 gallons, just in case. When crossing some lakes such as the franks tract and Golden Gate you may experience large swells and weeds make sure you are physically fit for this adventure ride. (Franks Tract… keep your speed above 45 MPH there is lots of weeds at the surface).

We will have a leader and a sweeper… If you have a RADIO we will be monitoring CH69, I recommend the Standard Horizon HX890. I would have a GPS as well… One wrong turn and C’est la vie!!! These tools are all vital when we ride anywhere and is a great investment!!!

Be responsible at all times make sure your head is on a swivel at all times. Watch out for other boaters and fishermen. Stay at least 100 feet from these people and other members. NO riding on the wrong side of the river. No cutting corners. No tailgating. No splashing other boaters or riders. No one will surpass the leader and no one will take the ride over unless directed by the Leader. Obey all no wake zones… and using No Wake mode is not acceptable. You will be called out if you don’t abide by the rules.

Everyone, its your responsibility to get your own RV sites and Campsites. Call Orwood at 925 634 6812 I would suggest Campsites 24-26 and RV sites 1 – 6

Crawfish & Catfish Festival
Sat Sep 10 2022 at 11:00 am to Sep 11 2022 7:00 pm
6th St, Sacramento, CA

Join us for Authentic Louisiana Food, Music & FUN. Boiled Crawfish, Catfish, Alligator, Frog Legs, Gumbos, PoBoys, Red Beans & Rice, Etouffee, Beignets, Southern BBQ. and MORE. Live Music featuring: Zydeco, Cajun, Blues, Brass and Funk. Attractions: Sportsman’s Paradise, Car Show, Crawfish Races, Kids Zone and Merchandise vendors. www.Craw-Fest.Com. READ MORE

Stockton Brewfest
Sat, Sep 10, 7 – 11 PM
221 N Center St, Stockton, CA

Stockton Brew Fest is the perfect opportunity for beer geeks and beer beginners alike to speak to the brains behind the brews. Craft beer fans will gather Saturday, September 10, 2022 at the Weber Point Events Center as this popular festival celebrates its 6th anniversary! This event is for those 21 years and older. MORE INFO ~ BUY TICKETS

Mountain View Art & Wine Festival
Saturday, Sept. 10, 11am to 7pm, Sunday, Sept. 11, 10am-6pm
On Castro Street in Mountain View, CA

50th Mountain View Art & Wine, September 10-11, 2022! The Bay Area’s Best Art & Wine Festival is a “Festival Like No Other”. It’s fabulous and FREE!

Mountain View’s longtime signature event, the Art & Wine Festival was launched in 1971 as the first major fund-raiser for the Chamber of Commerce. Today, it is considered one of the nation’s top art festivals. Realizing the goal of its founders, the festival provides a consistent stream of revenue that helps fund Chamber programs throughout the year. Proceeds are invested in carefully crafted programs that help strengthen and bring together Mountain View’s diverse community. The Chamber in concert with its Foundation works to partner with businesses, local schools and nonprofits through various programs. The Chamber’s Foundation ( provides diverse programing aimed to help different areas of the community. These programs include Leadership Mountain View ( which develops well-rounded and thoughtful leaders to move the community forward, Scholarship Mountain View, which supports scholarships for local high school students pursuing a degree, and I Love Mountain View ( which acts as the virtual visitor center for the city. READ MORE

California Statehood Day at Columbia State Historic Park
September 10, 2022, 11:00am
Main St, Columbia, Ca

California became a state on September 9, 1850. The Statehood Day Parade in Columbia is sponsored by the Native Sons of the Golden West, Columbia Parlor #258. The Native Sons have a tradition of preserving California History–the parade is a tradition that began in 1876, and was revived in 2008.
Information: 916-834-3332 or Columbia State Park at 209-588-9128 or 209-532-3184.

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