Last Updated on August 15, 2019 by Kari-Ann Ryan
With a cascade of charming quirks, old homes are attractive to many in the homebuying market. The old home you are eyeing may feature a Colonial, Victorian, or even bungalow style. No matter what draws you to an antiquated house, keep in mind a few homebuying tips intended to ease the process of buying and moving into an old home.
While the pros of buying an old home are many, such as its lower cost, its prime location, its availability to be moved into right away and its larger lot size, there are a handful of disadvantages, too. These cons should be given significant attention if you aim to comfortably inhabit your new old home.
Tip 1: Inspect Electrical Systems
An older home is likely to have outdated electrical systems that fail to meet current building codes. Aged homes also were not sufficiently equipped to sustain modern-day technology, such as dishwashers, washing machines and dryers, computers, mobile devices and various other electronics.
Be sure to purchase a home that caters to your technology needs, like one that comes with several electrical outlets to power diverse electronics. On the other hand, you may be willing to shell out cash to hire an electrician to renovate the home’s electrical systems.
Tip 2: Look at the Windows
The downside of buying an older home is that it is likely to come with inefficient windows. Higher heating and cooling costs result for the new homeowner, unless you are willing to undergo the expensive project of updating the windows to energy efficient ones.
Tip 3: Check for Pests
Termites, bats, and vermin may be found in an older home, especially one that has been left vacant for a significant period. Catching the pest problem before buying is ideal, as negotiations with the seller for repairs can be conducted. A home inspection can lead to uncovering pest infestations.
Tip 4: Be Aware of Hazardous Materials
Lead, found in paint prior to 1978, and asbestos, used until the mid-1970s, are two common materials that can be dangerous to a home’s inhabitants. The EPA banned asbestos applications, but did not require the razing of the buildings to which they were applied.
Homebuyers who are comfortable purchasing a home with hazardous materials may elect to hire a lead paint removal professional. Older plumbing systems also may contain lead. A water infiltration system can supply lead-free water; a more expensive means is to replace the entire plumbing system.
Tip 5: Check for Mold
Mold infestations may be concealed inside walls in older homes and may be easy to miss during a walk through. Before purchasing the house, confirm that your homeowner’s insurance policy covers mold remediation. If coverage is unavailable, consider switching to a more accommodating policy.
Tip 6: Ask About Plumbing
Substandard plumbing may be prevalent in older homes and can wreak substantial havoc down the line. Pipe failures are responsible for inundating the home with floodwater, making the home temporarily uninhabitable and costing the homeowner thousands of dollars in water damage repairs.
Ask the seller how old the plumbing is. Antiquated drainage pipes, like brass and copper ones, can also cause foundation damage if they are broken by surrounding tree roots. Request that the seller install new pipes, or consider replacing the system yourself.
Tip 7: Consult an Engineer
Foundation problems run rampant in older properties. An engineer can identify structural issues through visual evidence, like wall or concrete floor cracks or windows that fail to close. When flaws are visible, factor in the cost of repairs when negotiating the sale price of the new home.
Tip 8: Investigate Appliances
Older appliances, such as the furnace, are prone to failing at inopportune times, like in the freeze of winter. The situation can pose as a major and expensive problem. Prior to purchasing the home, research the lifespan of dated appliances and develop a replacement schedule to prevent issues.
Tip 9: Consider Outdated Rooms
Cooking in an outdated kitchen may or may not be unappealing. Homebuyers should consider whether or not they are willing to eat the cost of revamping an outdated room, which can run into the tens of thousands to fully update. A home requiring extensive updates may disguise a larger problem.
Tip 10: Examine Unsafe Features
Dated homes are likely to feature strange elements that may have been useful at an earlier point. Staircases that end abruptly in the middle of nowhere to low ceilings to nonfunctional fireplaces are far from uncommon. If you have kids, these obsolete design elements may be unsafe.
Affordable options to fix these problems are readily available. For example, a steep staircase that is dangerous for toddlers can be made childproof by installing a child gate at the foot of the stairs. The deteriorating chimney may be repaired and annually maintained by a professional chimney sweeper.
Aged homes evidently have potential issues, and insurance companies are the first to understand the risks involved. It is a given that insuring an older home is far more expensive than covering a newer one. The cost of insuring an older home should be kept in mind when buying.
Get Help from a Moving Company
If you do become enamored with the quaint allure of an older home across town or in another state, Mid-West Moving & Storage is prepared to safely transport your belongings to your new home. We proudly provide moving services in Elk Grove Village, IL and the Chicagoland area that are comprehensive and swift.
Mid-West Moving & Storage
Professional movers from Mid-West Moving & Storage follow proven procedures that ensure a quick and efficient packing and unpacking process. All furniture and goods are thoroughly protected. As an added convenience to our customers, we offer short- and long-term storage.
Mid-West Moving & Storage has successfully relocated countless satisfied customers in and out of Chicagoland since 1983. Our local and long distance professional movers speak volumes about our commitment to quality and exceptional service.
Get a Free Estimate
Contact us at 847.593.7201 for a moving quote as soon as you finalize the process of buying an older home.