Buying an older property definitely has its advantages. The neighbourhood will already be well-established, so you’ll be able to get a sense of the community. The trees will be grown. The area will have a defined character. This combination of an older home and established community may be something you like, or even love.
However, when you’re viewing an older home for sale, there are a few extra things you need to be sure to check. Here are the most important:
Needed replacements. Nothing lasts forever. In any home, there are items that will eventually need to be replaced. The most common include roofing shingles, furnace, water heater, air conditioner, windows, deck, and fencing. When viewing an older property, ask about the age of each of these items. You’ll get an idea of probable upcoming replacement expenses.
Building issues. Homes were built differently decades ago than they are today. So, there may be issues that need to be addressed by a new owner. Some can be serious, such as water leakage and structural problems. Others less so, such as old electrical outlets that need to be updated. If there are issues like these, they’ll likely be identified during the professional home inspection.
Drafts. Drafts are common in older homes. Of course, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be fixed. Even modest infiltration of air through an old window or door with worn weather-stripping could add hundreds of wasted dollars to your energy bill each year. Look for signs of drafts when viewing a home.
Special Designation: Some older homes may be designated as having historical significance and there may be restrictions on how they can be updated. Your realtor will let you know what those restrictions will be.
The good news is that the overwhelming majority of these issues can be fixed easily. Don’t let them dissuade you from buying an older home you otherwise like. When you work with me, I will be right there with you to point out any potential issues and how they can be overcome.