Monday, August 25, 2014

How old are these houses now?

Coming back recently from the old continent, where everything is at least 3 or 4 centuries old, when it is not from the previous millennium, I got curious about the age of properties in the US.  It turns out that:

-  14% of houses are between new and 14 years old,
-  25% are between 15 and 34 years old (33 million homes),
-  30% are between 35 and 54 years old (40 million homes),
-  16% are between 55 and 74 years old (21 million),
-  8% are between 75 and 94 years old (11 million homes),
-  and 7% are over 95 years of age! (9 million homes).

If you are buying an old property, in the latter category, I would definitely consider hiring a property inspector who specializes in older homes. There is an Historic Building Inspectors Association.  The problems in an older home may not be the same at all as in a newer home, and an inspector who is familiar with how homes were built a century ago would be more useful to detect what is still good (or even better than newer materials), and what has become dangerous. (i.e. some electrical set ups, plumbing arrangements, degrading materials, etc...).

It is unlikely that you will be in this situation in the Bay Area, but certainly not impossible!


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