Buying an old house and trying to flip it for profit might seem like a good idea to most. There certainly is a profit to make if you play your cards right. Or, maybe you want to take on the challenge of architectural design for renovating an old home in California because you love the details of a bygone era and their classic style.

Either way, there are opportunities and downsides to purchasing and renovating a decades-old home. This is true especially in places where natural disasters like earthquakes often occur, like California. If you’re planning to renovate an old house in California soon, read some pros and cons of taking on such a project before you start.


  • Profit: The price of old homes is often at a lower cost than more recent or modern residences. For people that plan to make money with a remodeling project, old homes are one of the best options.
  • Resilience: Normally older houses are more resistant to the passage of time than homes built more recently. They’re proving they can stand the test of time, so remodeling may guarantee to stay there for a longer time.
  • Living in your Kind of Place: Depending on each house situation, getting an old-fashioned place and renovating it to fit your taste might be cheaper than purchasing a new house from scratch.
  • More Space to Work: One benefit of purchasing an older house is that they were often built in large lots. So, it provides plenty of opportunities to expand your home. You can build a spare room to rent if you live in a sought-after place like the Bay Area, for example.


  • Costs: The costs of repairing an old home, if not adequately quoted, can skyrocket before you can realize it. Renovations can cost between $30,000 and $40,000 in cities like San Francisco, depending on the extent of the project.
  • Time: Turning a classical house into a more comfortable living place can take weeks, months, or even years if problems arise.
  • Contractors: Finding the right person or crew to work with can be exhaustive. Making sure you select professional helpers can be the difference between getting the job done or not. Pro tip: have all the costs, timing of the project, and possible penalties written down in a contract.
  • Materials: Having the right materials to work might not seem like a problem at first. However, as the project progresses, you might find yourself needing more, so try not to pick materials that may run out of stock.
  • Laws: Most homeowners don’t know about the many laws protecting old homes in California. Depending on the city, the home, and the architectural value of the house, you might not be able to change the exterior of the house. Be sure to check with a zoning lawyer before embarking on such projects.

There are plenty of benefits from renovating your old home, as well as potential headaches to keep an eye on. Make sure you have a proper budget (this movers guide) should help estimate additional costs on top of the property itself), a signed contract for the project, and that you choose an efficient crew to help you remodel the house.

In case you need more information about your Home Renovation or Home Addition projects, feel free to contact us!

Author’s Bio

Geraldine Orentas is a writer from Happy Writers, Co. in partnership with steel pipe distributor, FedSteel.