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Things to Consider when Buying an Older Home

Purchasing a home that has all the latest and greatest appliances and other amenities and all the modern fixin’s can come with many advantages. But so can buying an older property that holds charm and character that today’s newest cookie-cutter developments can’t come close to delivering. They can also come fraught with problems and headaches if you’re not sure about what to look for. Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re looking at older homes, to make sure that you always find it as charming as the first time you saw it!

The Foundation

Foundations are always something to be concerned about in any home, because they’re the backbone of the property. If something goes wrong with that, it’s only a matter of time before it starts causing other things to fall into disrepair. But checking the foundation very carefully, or better yet having a home inspector do it for you, is even more important when it’s an older home you’re looking at. This is because older foundations have been holding the weight of that home for a very long time; and therefore it’s more susceptible to things such as cracking and splitting.

The Roof

Second only to the foundation is an older home’s roof. Very similar to the foundation, if your home’s roof has problems, it’s going to cause all kinds of problems in other areas of the home. Not only have older roofs simply been in existence longer than new roofs, meaning they have much more wear and tear, but they could have also had multiple repairs and patches done to them. Check, or again have the home inspector, look to make sure that the roof isn’t made of multiple different materials, and that it’s in proper working order and will provide the protection you’re looking for.

The Wiring

Older homes might have older wiring and electrical systems; and if they’re not up to current codes, these could not only break down, they could be a major hazard for your family. Only professionals should be hired to check these systems, but it’s of the utmost importance that they check them completely and thoroughly.

The Plumbing

Things like copper plumbing are out of date, but very commonly seen in older homes. This is only one component of the plumbing system that could be out-dated, and again these could be very costly if they break down. A professional again needs to carefully check these systems, and make sure they’re up to date.

The Heating

Electric or gas heating is what’s most commonly seen in homes today, but don’t expect that to be the case in older homes. In these oil heating is often very common, and just about the most expensive type of heating that you could have. Radiators are also often seen throughout older homes, and these not only don’t really heat a home efficiently, but they can also add to your utility bill more than modern types of heating homes. Also remember that even if the older home you’re considering does have gas or electric heat, you need to make sure you know how old the furnace is. If it hasn’t been replaced in at least 10 years, that’s probably an expense you’re going to have to face if you buy the home.

Other Safety Issues

Systems such as the plumbing, wiring, and heating can be real safety hazards for homeowners if something should go wrong. And many of these systems are considered to be outdated because we now know that they’re dangerous, and have come up with safer alternatives that still do the job effectively, but pose no threat to those living in the home. And while these systems are some of the first home buyers think of when they’re looking at homes, there are other safety issues that come into play with older homes only as well.

Those include certain materials that were once used in the actual construction of homes – materials such as asbestos or lead paint. If these issues are of concern and you or your home inspector sees them around the home, it’s probably best to move onto the next dream home rather than argue with the seller that it must be removed before you commit to purchase.

Also while you’re considering the different safety issues that come with purchasing an older home, consider the things the older home doesn’have that a newer home would in order to make it safe. These are things such as carbon monoxide detectors or, in some cases, even smoke detectors. Always make sure that any home you buy – old or new – has the newest devices intended for personal safety.

There are plenty of reasons people want to buy an older home. They are quite charming, and can bring certain features and trademarks that new homes just can’t match. But there’s also a reason that many home buyers are wary to buy something old, especially something very old, and that’s because if you’re not careful, it can turn into a really big headache. Look for these certain items, make sure they’re all in check, and you’ll find that your next older home really is very charming!

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