When you’re looking for your dream house, every detail matters. Finding the right neighborhood is important, but so is the house itself. Marquette is a growing city, sometimes referred to as the “capital of the UP”, with lots of regal old houses. But looks don’t always show everything when it comes to homes. Let’s look at what to expect from houses in Marquette – the good, and the not so good.

Older Marquette Homes

Some Marquette neighborhoods have newer homes, but the majority of houses in the city are at least 100 years old. Older homes can be some of the most gorgeous houses you’ll ever see, but they do require upgrades as time passes to keep them looking nice and compliant with modern building codes.

Some people may ask why anyone would go to all the trouble of updating an old house when they could just build a new one. The truth is, there’s lots of reasons! Old homes tend to have an elegant charm to them that just can’t be replicated with modern building materials. From the layout and design to the quality of the wooden door frames, trim, and hardwood floors, most older homes in Marquette are antique gems. In fact, an entire district on the East side was classified as a historic district in 1980.

Another reason to keep an older home is that it is often cheaper. Unless the house is in really bad shape, updating electrical or plumbing systems, or installing a new roof or furnace is a cheaper option than demolishing and rebuilding.

Common Characteristics of Marquette Homes

In Marquette, almost no two houses look alike. Each one has a unique feel and charm to it. However, there are general characteristics that we’ve found to be a common sight in Marquette, typically in older houses.

One of the most common sights you’ll see is old fashioned wooden window frames. This style of window has a sophisticated, vintage appearance and many of them have held up well to the test of time. These windows use weights hidden within the frame so that when you open it, it doesn’t fall back down and shut itself. One of the most common issue with this type of window is broken weights, which are easily replaceable.

Another common characteristic of homes in Marquette is sandstone foundations. Sandstone is a soft stone that crumbles easily – it’s basically compressed sand. But don’t let that scare you away! The state of the foundation depends on a variety of factors, and some sandstone foundations are perfectly solid. A home inspection will provide you with detailed information about not just the home, but the site it’s on as well.

Lastly, old pipes are a common sight should you visit the basement. Galvanized steel that’s starting to degrade may release particulates into the water, turning it orange. Some old houses have been re-piped several times, often not by professionals. This can result in a maze of pipes that the water has to go through before it reaches the faucet, cooling hot water before it reaches the sink. Both of these plumbing issues can be resolved by replacing the plumbing with modern pipes.

Issues with Older Homes

Despite their charm, older homes in Marquette almost always need a few upgrades. Here are the most common issues we’ve found during inspections:

  • Asbestos on pipes and in floor tiles
  • Outdated and potentially dangerous wiring and electrical boxes
  • Rusting steel pipes and/or lead plumbing
  • Leaks
  • Houses shifting and settling on the foundation

While these issues sound bad, the severity can vary greatly from house to house. Updating and old house may be a simple fix, or a long-term project. A home inspection is the best way to find out what’s going on with an older home. Being aware of what upgrades your house needs will allow you to create an efficient repair schedule that doesn’t empty your wallet or make an informed purchasing decision.

Types of Marquette Home Inspections

We offer the following types of home inspections in Marquette:

  • Buyers inspections. If you’re ready to buy a home, it’s a good idea to get a home inspection done before you make your final decision. The results could give you a bargaining chip to drive down the price. Or, if you discover more repairs are needed than you anticipated, you’ll be aware before getting in over your head.
  • Home Maintenance inspections. Once you’ve bought your home, it’s up to you to keep it maintained. Regular maintenance inspections provide a quick once-over of your home to keep you informed on the current state of all your home systems. This allows you to replace worn out parts before they become an emergency.
  • Radon testing. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in America after smoking. Originating from the ground, this undetectable gas can easily become trapped within buildings, where it poses a health risk. Radon testing measures the radon levels in your home over several days, so you can breathe easy.
  • Air and water quality testing. Old pipes can add contaminants to your water, and mold, household chemicals, pets, and even houseplants add dusty particulates to the air. Simple air quality and water quality testing will let you know what’s in your air and water, so you can fix any potential issues before they become health hazards.
Marquette Home Inspector Rich Beasley

Ready to know the details of your Marquette home? Call (906) 360-3879 or schedule your inspection here.