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Buying Old Houses in Shreveport Bossier City
by Matthew Thompson, Realtor - 318.272.0951

 

Oh, how fun it can be to find that perfect old house on the hill, fix it up, and turn it into a thriving plantation. While this idea sounds alluring to most, romanticism should be put aside temporarily when evaluating whether that house on the hill is going to make you or break you. Put on your rennaissance dress and read on!

Shreveport Real Estate - Old House

The real estate market in Shreveport Bossier City dates back to the 1800's. Since that time many people have come and gone through this area of Louisiana. Along the way some really nice real estate was developed into what is today's old homes. The Broadmoor area of Shreveport is an excellent example of that with homes dating back to pre-WWI.

There's just something about old homes that make people like them. Many of them are well-built which is the reason they are still standing today. They have a character and a distinct smell. They make creaking sounds that bring our imagination into the past and make us wonder what life must have been like back then.

The price of this little piece of history can be steep. Let's take a look at some of the most common problems that can really affect your pocket book.

An old house in Shreveport Bossier City is going to need maintenance. Even once you have this old home fixed up to the point where it's ready to move in, you should be prepared for recurrent maintenance. It's hard to calculate what the expense of monthly maintenance will be, but don't kid yourself into thinking that once you're finished you won't have regular continuing costs.

Test for Radon. Identified as the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, Radon usually enters the home through cracks in the foundation. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 1 in 15 homes in the United States has high levels of radon. Home inspectors, contractors, or myself can help you test for radon in your prospective home.

Look for cracks in the foundation. If left unchecked cracks in the foundation can cause huge problems. The use of sealants was rare back then, and if joints in the house separate it can lead to water seepage. We all know that wet wood causes rot and mold.

Find out if there are lead pipes in the house. Lead pipes weren't replaced until the mid 1940's, and the earliest galvanized pipes still had lead in them until they were changed over to zinc. Even the solder used to join copper tubing had lead in it until the mid 1980's. If you don't want to replace all the piping, either get a house that doesn't have lead pipes or be prepared to purchase a water filtration system that could be as high as $1,000.

Make sure that the house is free from lead based paint. Lead in its solid form is not harmful unless ingested. In all likelihood the house has been painted with a latex paint, and all the lead should be sealed beneath. However, if the paint peels it could expose the lead and cause lead particles to flake off. You don't want your children ingesting lead.

Asbestos sure is a good insulator, but it's not good for you. The health threat from asbestos comes from the softer friable form found in insulation. Just touching it with your finger sends up a small puff of toxic dust. If you end up getting stuck with asbestos in your home you could be in for a large cost for your upcoming abatement project.

It's possible that they didn't even have electricity when your old home was built here in Shreveport. At some point along the way somebody added electricity to the house. Inspect the wiring in the house and make sure it is up to date. Electric boxes back then usually ran 60 or 100 amps. Today's standard is 200 amps. Wiring back then was typically not grounded. The best way to tell this is by looking at the prongs on the wall outlets. If they are 3 prong then it's probably grounded. If they are 2 prong then most likely it's not grounded.

I hope you enjoyed this little piece of advice.

Matthew

 

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Shreveport Real Estate Site last updated September 23 2020

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