Setting Expectations for Buying a House Built in the 1950's

Home Inspector with The Real Estate Inspection Co.

We work for many first time home buyers in San Diego. As first time buyers, they are often drawn to older homes which fit into their price range. San Diego has tens of thousands of houses that were built right after World War II. With a huge military population, the GI Bill made these houses ideal for troops returning from Europe and the Pacific. Houses popped up like mushrooms along the coast and inland. 

Typical 1950's kitchenPeople describe these houses in many ways; mid-century modern, retro, classic 50's, nostalgic, even quaint. But they all share many similar building techniques, materials, and technologies that fall short by today's standards. Buyers who have never lived in an older home may not immediately notice the differences. Things like fewer receptacles, a complete lack of insulation, old drafty windows, and very old appliances. Believe it or not many people don't see these things until they are pointed out in our inspection report.

Having performed many thousands of home inspections I can tell you that clients are often shocked to find out the difference between these old homes and those to which they have become accustomed. This leads to many cancelled escrows and sometimes causese hard feelings towards the agent for not preparing them adequately.

What to expect when buying a house built in the 1950'sTo help both buyers and their agents set the proper expectations, we have created a short white paper on "What to Expect When Buying a house Built in the 1950's". This paper is one of the most popular items on our website and we want to share it with everyone. It helps educate agents and buyers on what to look for in these cool houses, and helps set everyone's expectations. This leads to fewer surprises at the end of the inspection, and a happier relationship between buyers and agents.

Please feel free to use it. You may link to it, print it, or embed it on your site by using the code below. We just ask that you don't change the document without permission. Just copy the text below and insert it as HTML code.

For just a link:

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Click here to see our white paper on Buying a House Built in the 1950's



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Elite Home Sales Team
Elite Home Sales Team OC - Corona del Mar, CA
A Tenacious and Skilled Real Estate Team

That is such a good idea setting up a white paper to address a particular in your area.

Dec 30, 2012 02:03 AM #1
Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

Great report! Going to share this link with my buyers. Thanks!

Dec 30, 2012 02:14 AM #2
Li Read
Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring) - Salt Spring Island, BC
Caring expertise...knowledge for you!

Thank you!   I live in a 50s house, and your points are well taken.

Dec 30, 2012 02:32 AM #3
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Setting clients' expectations from the beginning saves you and your clients time and frustrations. Sometimes clients' expectations are as high as the sky and it is up to an agent to bring them back to Earth, carefully and realistically explain the process, condition of the market, educate, outline mutual responsibilities, etc. 

Jan 18, 2018 01:04 AM #4
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