Ask Us: History of previous occupants

For those that have been reading theFrontSteps for a while you’ll know we have a little thing we call Stump the Stammtisch, where readers write in with all sorts of questions that we attempt to answer. If we can’t answer, we’ll try to find someone who can. As it turns out many questions aren’t necessarily geared towards “stumping us”, so we might be permanently changing the name to “ask us”. (Not that you really care, but we feel obligated to explain.)

Today, Sophie simply wants to ask,

How much do you want (or don’t want) to know about previous occupants of your house?

Today, for the 3rd time, someone from the family who owned the house

for decades [before us] rang my doorbell. I love the visits. Each of them brings

information and insight, and each visit finishes with a “This place is so full of happy memories. Thanks for letting me peak”.

However, there are [things] that I wish I [didn’t] know about the

previous occupants. We still receive mail for owners and tenants who moved out 18 years ago (and each and every occupant since).

So buying new? Or buying a property and its history of happy and less

happy events?

Sophie would like to know.

We say, go for both. Buy new, and buy old, just don’t get too old before you buy new.

2 thoughts on “Ask Us: History of previous occupants

  1. I’ll kick this thing off. In SF it is pretty tough to buy completely new without buying some sort of history on your building and with that comes all the history of the people prior to you. It’s par for the course here and really impossible to avoid.

    If you’re buying investment property elsewhere, like I have, new is the way to go. The newer, the better. There are much less headaches. If something breaks, it is hopefully still under contractor warranty and all appliances are too. It is easier to get tenants in new properties, and easier to keep them happy.

    So in SF, I say get whatever makes you happy, but whatever you buy, be willing to accept there will be some history.

  2. While I generally don’t want to know, I do find it hilarious that once in a while, I get a copy of High Times for a previous owner.

    [Editor’s note: Horticulture is all part of making a great home, or garden.]

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