Lynn: You are wise to explore all of your options before you go into debt for the single most expensive purchase you will make. After reading all of you responses so far, I agree with most of the advised you have already received. However, as a contractor myself, let me offer you the following encouragement. First; talk to all your friends and find a good, dependable electrician who will work with you by allowing you to do some of the work yourself to save some money. Remember the more you can do yourself, the more you will save in the long run. And yes, an old house can be quite an project. I'm about to purchase a 110 year old house myself that also has alot of knob & tube wiring. I plan on replacing all of it myself, but with help from qualified electrical assistance. And second; do not take on more than you can handle at one time. Remember, Rome was not build in one day. There will always be things needing fixing or upgrading, but that's okay. Just don't get frustrated, Take your time, and tackle one project at a time. Good luck on your new house.