What To Be Aware Of When Buying An Old Home

Dated: October 12 2017

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Buying an old home is often cheaper than buying new, but there are also a few things you should be aware of throughout the process.

There's something so cozy and quaint about an old home. Older homes tend to have an undeniable sense of history that you just can't get with a newer house.
The stories, the memories, the architecture -- it's like a time machine back to a different era.

But for every great feature an old home delivers, there's concern and upkeep. There are plenty of elements to an older house that some will view as a red flag, while others will view as part of the charm.

If you're considering purchasing an older house, be sure to read on. Here are some of the most important things to consider when buying an old home.

What to Be Aware of When Buying an Old Home

1. Pricing

Depending on the neighborhood, most older homes are priced below their contemporary counterparts. If you're looking to purchase your first home, an older home is a safe, smart bet.

Often, they feature similar square footage to newer models for only a fraction of the price.

2. Hazardous Materials

One major downside to older homes is that they may not be compliant with current regulations. In fact, an older home may have some materials that are outright dangerous.

For example, lead paint was commonly used up until a few decades ago. Used for its longevity and low cost, it wasn't until years later that scientists realized the harm lead paint could cause.

According to the EPA, 69% of homes built between 1940 and 1959 contain trace elements of lead. And the older the home, the more the likelihood increases. They also estimate that 89% of homes built before 1940 contain lead paint.

Dust from lead paint can lead to some of the following symptoms:

  • Headaches

  • Breathing issues

  • Muscle and joint pain

  • Reproductive problems

  • Brain development issues

It only takes a small amount of inhalation to take effect, so be sure to ask whether your new home contains lead.

3. Structural Weaknesses

Even if your home was built with the strongest materials, time takes a toll. Over time, even the most well-built buildings deteriorate and weaken.

Always look for cracks in walls, ceilings, and floors. These are often signs that a home's structure needs repair or replacement entirely.

Also, be on the lookout for uneven floors. Warped flooring can be caused by many things, such as leaks and weakened wood.

4. Old Homes are Often an Investment

If you're looking to purchase an older house, it's important that you realize it's an investment. You'll likely have to spend more money on upkeep and maintenance.

For some, that's actually part of the charm. There's something refreshing and almost therapeutic about fixing an older house. It tends to give owners more of a sense of ownership.

For others, however, the cost is simply too much to contend with. Understand that more factors into a home's cost than just the selling price. Make sure you've set aside the proper financing for repairs and renovations.

Let Us Help You Find Your Dream Home

At Keller Williams, we're all about matching you with the perfect home. Whether you're buying or selling, we can help make the process easier and more affordable than ever.

Get in touch today and get one step closer to the house of your dreams!

Blog author image

Rachel Tiller

I am the team leader for The Prime Team with Keller Williams Realty and have been a Realtor since 2011. Real estate is my passion, whether it is helping people buy, sell, build, or invest. It doesn't ....

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