Many homebuyers like older homes because they offer charm and character details that newer homes lack. But older homes also come with more maintenance and upkeep, and even potential health risks. Buyers need to be aware of these things before they make a purchase.
Higher Maintenance Costs
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Structural problems and serious plumbing and electrical issues are more common in older homes. Certain problems might surface only after you have been in the home for a while. To find out where the issues are, you need to get a professional home inspection. Choose an inspector that specializes in older homes and knows where to look for potential problems.
An older home is more likely to have lead paint or asbestos. Make sure you know the proper precautions to take before dealing with these situations. Removing asbestos is a costly matter and requires professionals. Although fixing lead paint is simpler, you still need to take safety measures.
Higher Utility Costs
Many older homes do not have as much insulation as newer homes and this leads to higher utility costs. Windows and doors are not sealed as well either, causing more issues with heating and cooling. Plus, old air ducts may leak or be excessively dirty and older systems are not as cost-efficient as newer ones. To keep utility bills reasonable, hire a professional HVAC contractor to look at your home. An inspection will uncover air leaks and find if the current system is able to keep your home comfortable without breaking the bank.
Historic Homes Have Restrictions
If you’re buying a home listed on a historic registry, there are restrictions about remodeling or additions. Requirements make historical homes stay as close to the original building as possible and additions are rarely allowed. The good news is that many historic homes come with tax breaks or discounted loan rates. Check with the local tax assessor to find out if you qualify for a tax reduction and ask your lender about lower interest rates.
Other Problems to Check for
Some old homes get water from a water well system and that can be smelly, especially if there is sulfur in the soil. Although it is not a health issue, the smell is difficult to overcome and you need a water filtration system to cut the odor.
Older homes, especially ones that have been vacant for some time, probably have rodents or other creatures sharing the living space. Make sure the home is thoroughly checked by a professional pest inspector so you don’t end up with unwanted housemates. Animals, such as rats or bats, leave droppings that are toxic — so make sure all remains are cleaned up by the pest control company.
Old homes come with a charm and character that newer homes do not offer. Older homes, however, are a costlier investment because of problems that come with age. Remember to get a professional inspection to make sure the home will give you comfort and pleasure in the years to come.