As a home inspector I like to go above and beyond my responsibilities to the profession. Given the opportunity I provide opinions after the inspection on how best to make a dated house more comfortable for the new owners and how to overcome issues that would otherwise drive the cost of living higher than necessary.
This was a waterfront property. Oceanfront. I don't need to tell anyone on this forum that this 'type' has amazing appreciation potential over time. The house was lightly used. I was told that it was a vacation property only, although the house was a built as a complete 4-season residence, with electric baseboard heating.
There were minor issues throughout related to a house being over 30 years old but the sellers were clearly meticulous and made essential updates as needed the the kitchen, bath, roof, deck and windows.
I did point out to the buyers that since the house was built to codes from the 1980’s, the insulation values in the vaulted ceilings and walls would be likely half or even less of current standards. So be prepared for higher utility bills.
On the other hand, there was a 1982 wood burning stove in the living room. A wood burning stove from that era is not particularly efficient. But modern wood stove technology has greatly improved over the decades. A new airtight with a secondary combustion chamber will not only sip fuel (compared to the 1982 model) but can be sized to more than adequately heat the whole house. The existing electric baseboard heaters can then be used for ‘trim’ heating only.
So for a selective upgrade, the buyers can overcome the dated insulation standards, improve upon their comfort in cold weather and minimize their utility bills. And ‘voila’ a classic cottage on the waterfront can become a dream home to the new owners, without a major upgrade to the insulation.