What to look for when buying an Older House

What to look for when Buying an Older House

Buying an older home can seem like an appealing idea. There's a charm that comes with old homes that you just can't find in a new one. Many people just love the look of older homes compared to more modern styles. Whatever the reason, if you are looking to purchase an older house, there are some potential issues that you should keep in mind when viewing older homes for sale on the real estate market.

Structural Integrity

An older home can have some structural issues because they've been receiving normal wear and tear over a long time. When inspecting an older homes, there are a few key issues you can look out for as indications of the home's structural integrity.

  1. Cracks in the walls, both inside and outside of the home
  2. Cracks in tile or concrete floors
  3. Uneven floors
  4. The doors and windows have trouble opening or closing
  5. Corrosion, rot, or moisture damage

Energy Inefficiency

A common issue with older homes is one-paned windows and a lack of proper insulation. While this may not immediately seem like a huge issue, you'll definitely notice their effects on your power bills. Single-paned windows are extremely inefficient at keeping out the heat in the summer and the cold in the winter, while two- or even three-pane windows are the standard in modern homes. If the home you're looking at has energy efficiency issues, that'll be something you'd need to fix quickly so as not to end up spending even more on electricity in the future.

Hazardous Materials

Depending on how old the home is, it could've been built with some hazardous materials. For example, asbestos is a dangerous product capable of causing cancer but was once commonly used in home construction. It was only banned from being used to construct homes in Canada in 1979. While it's likely for previous owners to have renovated any asbestos out of their homes, it's entirely possible they didn't, and it is something you'd need to do.

Another dangerous substance that was commonly used in the past was lead paint. Lead is toxic to people, so it is another thing that would need to be quickly taken care of.

Outdated Essentials

With old homes come outdated systems. There are a few essential parts of a home that could be old to the point of it needing to be replaced entirely. Some examples are the following:

  1. Electrical - The electrical system of an old home may not be able to handle all the technology we use today. Another consideration is that older homes had fewer outlets in each room, which could also be inefficient for you.
  2. Mechanical equipment - Mechanical systems such as the furnace, water heaters, and AC may be outdated and inefficient. This could leave you with cold water and poorly regulated room temperature, and could also cause higher electricity bills.

Don't Let Some Problems Scare You Away

After everything we've just mentioned here, is buying an old house a bad idea? Not necessarily; it really just depends on your priorities. If you're looking for a home that needs few modifications or renovations when you move in, then you probably want something more recently built. On the other hand, if you're fine with spending some time and money on renovations, especially if you could save some money up front, it would probably be worth it to get that older home. It's definitely possible to find a gem of an older home, and you don't need to let a few fixable problems scare you away from making that purchase!

If you're considering buying an older home but not sure if it's worth it, get the help from a local REALTORĀ® that specializes in older homes on the market. Not only can they give you advice on the homes you are eyeing and on what to look for when buying an old house, but they'll also be able to find more homes for you to consider based on your preferences.

To begin your journey contact a local real estate agent for help finding that dream property.

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