Posted by michaela-CA on May 08, 2010 at 22:22:46:
old Victorians have been my niche for years. They are awesome homes, with an incredible attention for detail and drama.
With that said, they’re also very expensive to renovate/restore. I have done about a dozen or so (and the largest one 3000 sqf) and have always gone over budget - not because I have not idea what I’m doing, but because there are always unexpected things that come up. It doesn’t matter how well you inspect them before hand.
A 100 year old house has normally gone through many stages of renovation and add-ons etc, and they didn’t used to have codes. I have had roofs with 10 layers on them (that shows how incredibly strong those old, old roof trusses were - with today’s wood that roof would have caved in). People didn’t treat for termites and if they’ve been in for a while, they may have crawled up the wall studs and you can’t see the damage. You don’t know how well the renovations have been done until you tear open the walls, ceilings, floors. And you can’t do that until you own the house.
I love, love, love old Victorians, but I would never, ever suggest for someone to start a real estate career with renovating one of those, especially not one of that size. I have spent between 50k and 175K in each of my renovations.
So, make sure that you have at least a couple of 100k air in that for rehab, unforeseen things, holding costs, profit etc.
Just my thoughts