The first (and only) house we bought was 80-years-old. It was NOT an appropriate "starter home."
We bought the house in Green Bay in 2000. It had a 20-year old furnace, 20-year-old kitchen appliances, and a 40-year-old pool.
The pool was in-ground and made of cinder block. Although I'm an engineer, it didn't even occur to me that cinder blocks in Green Bay don't make sense. They tend to shift every winter...But the pool was full, clear, and beautiful when we bought the house!
We bought the house because it was cool! It had character! It had a ton of potential! We would learn how to restore it as we went! Just knock out that wall, take down that wall paper, pull up that carpeting, refinish that wood, and honestly, how hard can it be to take the shingles off the roof!? - Let's just say there is a reason for the term "starter home."
It would have been wiser to start simple, learn a few things, and then buy a "project house" a few years later. But after seven years, after dumping a ridiculous amount of time and money into the place, we're happy to be here. It's in a historic neighborhood in the center of town, we can walk to the grocery store, and the house is unique. The house is uniquely ours!