5 things I wish I knew before buying an old home in Minneapolis
by Ben Ganje
on Tuesday, December 29th, 2015 at 4:15pm.
Plenty of our clients come to us in search of a classic old Minneapolis home, something loaded with historical details that newer homes simply don't have. Some buyers are looking for that 'fixer upper' while others are looking for something more along the lines of a move in ready. No matter the case, there is a certain amount of due diligence these types of homes require relative to the rest when making a purchase. Below are the top 5 things we recommend every one of our clients get comfortable with from the start.
1. KNOW THAT AN OLD HOME NO MATTER WHAT THE CONDITION, IS GOING TO BE A WORK IN PROGRESS.
One of the first things to consider when purchasing an older home for sale in Minneapolis is maintenance. Any home is going to have a list of items to handle--some more than others and some with a higher level of priority. For most buyers, the reality of this scenario can come when a home inspection is done and they come to find a litany of items. A clear understanding on the right expectations when reviewing a report will define your experience. Being able to navigate multiple reports to define what indeed needs attention right now versus items that can be put on a 3,5 and 10 years plan will make a difference which leads to our next point.
2. YOU NEED MULTIPLE INSPECTIONS
With an older home comes the need for an additional layer of due diligence, for an old Minneapolis home a simple home inspection won't cut it. For stucco homes we recommend having a moisture intrusion test or an infrared scan of the exterior to ensure there is not an issue. For most homes in Minneapolis, we also recommend having the chimney scoped to ensure the firebox and flue pipes (usually clay) are in good order. In addition, scoping the sewer drain to ensure proper drainage can make a world of difference in having to install a new line the following year for $8000-10000. A good home inspector who does a thorough job top to bottom in essential. It's not uncommon for our clients buying around Lake of the Isles, Lake Calhoun or Lake Harriet to have 2-3 inspections done during the inspection contingency.
Heating an old Minneapolis home can get pricey real quick depending on the amount and types of insulation within a home. Some home of the oldest homes can merely have a few layers of newspaper compressed into the wall cavities and rafters at best. This can translate into extremely high heating bills during the winter months. Homes with updated insulation in the rim joists in the basement, walls and rafters can have a layer of closed cell foam which is the latest technology and gives an excellent thermal barrier during the winter. Depending on the size of the home, a well insulated home can have a huge savings over the course of homeownership.
4. STORM WINDOWS/SCREENS
This item can contribute in a big way to your heating bills. Well maintained original homes with good storms or updated windows will make a significant difference. If the house you are looking at doesn't have these get a cost for repairs, new storms or simply new windows and know what you are getting into budget wise.
5. CONDITION OF WALLS AND FLOORS
At first glance on the web when you are beginning to search for a home a fresh coat of paint can mask the reality of walls. Plenty of homes can look nice but have layers of wallpaper underneath. A room that can take a day or two to paint can turn into a month long project. The same can hold true for plaster ceilings and walls which take time or the right individuals the handle the repairs. Sanding down floors these days can be more than a simple sand job, even an experienced DIYer can get overwhelmed with the scope of work this entails.
Reach out to Ben Ganje + Partners to gain insight in the Minneapolis real estate market! Our partnership with Sothebys allows an unparalelled level of service and support that is unmatched in the market. We continue to unite extraordinary properties with extraordinary lives!