As many people are aware, purchasing a home is one of the biggest investments (if not the biggest) a person (or family) will make in their lifetime. It is a decision that needs to be considered, researched and properly evaluated for the best possible outcome. These days it’s easy to find price estimates as well as sales and rental histories online for just about any home you’re interested in. Potential property buyers are able to access online report tools which will provide them with the necessary information to further inform their purchasing decisions. There are, however, other factors and potential issues that should be looked at when it comes to evaluating buying older homes that are on the market.
* Buying An Older Home:
There’s a lot to consider if you want to make sure your investment is solid, so consider this a brief summary.
Worn Out Foundations:
As a house age, so do the structure it’s built on. To avoid sinkhole syndrome down the track, Money Crashers recommend that you check carefully for cracks or signs of unevenness in building foundations, as well as signs of corrosion in supports. Other signs to watch out for include jamming doors, cracks in the wall, and windows which often get stuck.
Many of us are aware of the dangers posed by the asbestos fibers, but as Max Real Estate Exposure will tell you, the use of the substance in housing was still legal until 1989. That means any house built before then might contain asbestos as insulation or in the floors, and if you’re set on purchasing a home from that time or prior, you may need to shoulder the cost of removing it.
Many old houses are made of good old-fashioned timber, the kind which draws termites from miles around. If you ask Scott Sidler from The Craftsman Blog, the best way to protect yourself from the damage these and any other wood-craving organism can do is to order an inspection by a professional and follow up with a termite bond from your local exterminator.
Besides the obvious issue of buying an older home containing fewer power points than what is needed to accommodate modern electronic devices, the electrical wiring can be a big-ticket expense. According to Money Crashers, wiring installed prior to 1960 has an estimated lifespan of 70 years, and once that safe period is over, homeowners risk electrical fire, power failures, and short circuits if the wire is not replaced.
If you’re interested in buying a home built prior to 1978, it’s important to consider the possibility that the paint may contain lead, especially if you have children. According to Max Real Estate Exposure, it is a legal requirement that any traces of lead are removed if you have a child under the age of six, the reason being that the presence of lead is especially detrimental to young bodies.
Temperature regulation isn’t necessarily an easy fix when dealing with to buying an old home, or a cheap one; in fact, Scott Sidler notes “heating, ventilation, air-conditioning is the most expensive mechanical component of your home,” and the quality of insulation in your home is an important factor to consider. Unless you’re happy to shoulder soaring electricity bills during the summer as you try to control the temperature, it’s wise to check out the insulation situation before you buy. This problem is also exacerbated by damaged or aged windows and doors, so be sure to check those as well.
Issues with the plumbing can be difficult to spot, and the repercussions difficult to stomach, especially if a pipe failure occurs down the line. It all comes down to the age of the piping system, and the materials used, with brass and copper tending to last the longest (50 years or more). Brian Martucci from Money Crashers warns that a serious failure in the piping can cause a flood in the home, which creates a host of other problems including immediate water damage and potential long-term issues like mold – not to mention the high expense of fixing everything up.
● Property Value Calculators:
- UK – https://www.propertypriceadvice.co.uk/valuation
- Australia – https://www.lendi.com.au/property-report/
- USA – https://www.zillow.com/how-much-is-my-home-worth/