counter tops or a heating plant

People who rehab houses know exactly how to make them the most appealing to a first time home buyer. They put in some nice

Old boiler

countertops and trendy backsplashes in the kitchen, and shiny new fixtures in the bathrooms.

They paint the rooms using colors that are currently popular and then do some staging and hang up some “live laugh love” signs and a cookbook and bottles of wine, or fancy vinegar in the kitchen.

When I go into some of these houses and open the plastic door with fake wood grain and go down into the basement I am likely to see an ancient water heater with some rust on it. The furnace or boiler may also have rust on it and in many cases will be older than the home buyer I am showing it to.

A complete home inspection will reveal numerous ungrounded electrical outlets and that the roof is older than the furnace or boiler, which of course are older than the home buyer.

When looking at old St. Paul houses it is wise to start in the basement and work up from there. Sometimes I can smell the basement from the front entryway, which is never a good sign.

After decades of touring old houses in St. Paul, I have seen everything . . . or that is what I say until I see something I haven’t seen before.

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