With maintenance costs skyrocketing and finding skilled labor, normal upkeep is a thing of the past. The distant past.

Then there’s the code issues.
Not one of these older homes is easy to refit to code, which one has to do, anytime repairs are done by a contractor.

When the cost of repairs outweighs the cost of the place, this is often the result.

Around ten years ago my parents, getting ready for retirement had a hard look at moving or fixing. The 1880’s farmhouse that was the core of the house was still strong enough, but the foundation, stacked limestone sans mortar was crumbling and collapsing.

A quick cost analysis and the decision to stay was easy. They had the house jacked up, a proper basement poured, new heater, water heater, etc., all installed. At the same time, the old kitchen and porches were scraped off and a new addition added.

For four times the original cost of the house, they have a place where they can stay for the duration. And still at a third the cost or less of a comparable place total.

Times get tough, people should take advantage of that, everyone needs to eat, pay bills, etc.
Better to make $10 an hour than nothing.
Make the plumber, roofer, carpenter an offer.
Trade work when you can.

We had the roof replaced with tin at our last house. Because we caught the contractor right before Christmas and he was looking at the bills coming up during his slow season, we got his labor at half price. Granted we had to wait nearly a month and a half for the snow to melt, but he fixed what another roofer had messed up repeatedly. At half price.

I have long planned that when I have the opportunity to pick up one of these places, where the ‘skeleton’ is still good but the outside is rough, it will become a vacation/shtf location in the works.

I think back to one I missed by two years. Perfect location, huge house, a tree fell through part of the roof. The price was right, before the long wait occurred But between the tarp ‘patch’ that only lasted a week and the absent owner not deciding to sell the place until the local kids had gutted it, the place was beyond repair.
Last I heard, it was burned down and they got nothing out of it.