What to Expect When Buying an Older Home
Buying an older home is a completely different experience than buying a new one, and there are pros and cons to it. Older homes have a classic kind of charm that you just can’t get with newer homes.
As with every purchase you make, there are some things that you should know about buying an older home.
There will likely be more upkeep needed to keep the house in good condition and working order. Even renovated older homes will likely still have things that require more maintenance than new models, such as older electrical or plumbing systems.
Older homes also require more frequent checkups, maintenance checks and inspections to make sure that everything is working properly.
Older homes were often built with materials deemed safe at the time. However, through research and trial and error, some of these materials were found to be dangerous and have been avoided when building new structures.
Older homes can have asbestos and lead in their materials, which are two very toxic materials.
Asbestos is known to cause lung disease and cancer when it is airborne, and lead is known to cause cancer as well and can be found in old, chipping paint.
If you are purchasing an older home, it is recommended to have your inspector check the paint for lead and the walls/insulation for asbestos.
Purchasing an older home almost always means moving into a neighborhood that has residents who have lived there for a long time. Often, older homes have residents who have grown up together and have established a community.
Thus can be a great asset for school systems, local community areas (parks, libraries) and is an overall buying factor when reselling a home. The value of a house increases if the neighborhood is desirable and well-established.
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Remodeling / Building Constraints
While old homes are remodeled all the time, sometimes there are limits to how much the home can be modified. Depending on the location and the age of the house, older homes can have sentimental and historical value that the town or local government decides needs to be preserved.
Sometimes there are also limits to expansion based on the property size and the neighboring houses, which can impact plans the buyer may have had and the reason why they bought the home.
Remember to check with the city and previous owners before purchasing an older home that you want to modify.
Possible Better Construction
Oftentimes, older homes were built with materials like stone, brick and expensive woods. Now, with houses being built quicker for less money, the materials may not be as durable and valuable as older homes.
However, with an older material home, the energy-efficiency of the home could be much less effective than newer models, and may cost you a lot of money to fix.