There is a certain beauty and magnificence to old houses. The architecture is usually more detailed and intricate than newer homes and they have especially unique layouts. It’s no wonder why so many people end up buying an old house.
When buying an old house, there are some things you should keep in mind. Since the structure is older, there may be more problems and concerns that need to be addressed before you move in. These are some of the most important things to be aware of when buying an old house.
Have Two Home Inspections
Scheduling a home inspection when buying a house is a given for any real estate transaction. You don’t want to buy a home full of problems that require expensive repairs. When buying an old house, you may want to schedule two home inspections. It always helps to have two opinions. There may be issues that one home inspector missed, but another will notice.
New science and research comes out constantly about materials we use everyday. Back in the day, lead paint and asbestos were thought to be safe and used in old houses. Now that we know these materials are hazardous, houses no longer contain them. However, when buying an old house, you may find these hazardous materials are still there.
If the house does have asbestos, take into consideration the cost of removing and replacing it with a safer material. As for lead paint, if you have a child under the age of six years old, it’s federally mandated that the paint be removed. This is another cost to keep in mind.
Energy Efficiency and Insulation
Buying an old house means that central A/C and heating are a given. You may be using radiators and A/C units. It’s a good idea to check the insulation of the house, especially if the winters get very cold. You don’t want to throw money away heating a house that just won’t stay warm. Your utility bills can increase drastically throughout the colder months.
Windows don’t last forever. Before buying an old house, check each and every window’s quality. Make sure that they open and close and won’t get stuck. Check for a draft that may need to be insulated during the winter. If the windows do need to be replaced, consider the cost before purchasing the home.
Unfortunately, a roof has a certain life period. Typically, a roof will last from 20 to 30 years and can be very expensive to replace and repair. When buying an old house, have your home inspector check the roof for leaks or damages. You don’t want to move into a leaky house and have to unexpectedly shell out thousands of dollars to repair the roof.
If the house has been empty for a while, it’s imperative that your home inspector checks for mold, especially in the basement. Some mold can be very dangerous, like black mold, and make the house’s occupants sick. It can also be a hassle to deal with and get rid of.
Consider Repairs and Updating Costs
When buying an old house, it is more likely to have issues and repairs than buying a newer house. Before purchasing an older home, consider how much repairs will cost and factor it in with your mortgage payments and the price of the house. If there are a lot of serious problems, you can always ask your real estate agent to negotiate with the seller after the home inspection.
Another cost to take into consideration is any updating you would like to do. You may want to have central air or an updated kitchen and bathroom. These aren’t inexpensive costs to ignore when buying an old house. Get a quote from a contractor so you can factor this decision into buying an old house.
About Agent Lady: Cherise Wynne is a leading real estate agent in Philadelphia, helping home buyers and sellers navigate the City of Brotherly Love, with a special focus on first time home buyers. To chat about getting started with your first time home buying experience, call 215-518-5193 or click here.