Disadvantages of Buying an Older Home
Old Wiring or Plumbing
When buying an older home, hire a home inspector to assess the condition of the property. Your inspector may find old wiring or an outdated plumbing system. He or she can talk to you about recommended improvements and upgrades.
In the 1960s, aluminum was introduced as a wiring option for homes due to a shortage of copper. Aluminum is a softer material that expands when it heats up. Because of this, aluminum is a more dangerous option than copper. It is easily damaged, can develop hot spots, and can work its way loose from connections, leading to house fires.
Lead pipes may also be a problem in older homes. Homes built before 1986 have a good chance of having lead plumbing pipes or pipes with lead solder. Your home inspector can determine if the pipes are lead and may recommend replacement.
Other Hazards You May Encounter When Buying an Older Home
Other concerns in older homes include asbestos and lead-based paint. Asbestos is a great insulator and was used in siding, flooring, and as insulation for homes. It is now known that exposure to asbestos fibers can cause respiratory issues. Lead-based paint was popular because it was strong and long-lasting. However, it has been shown that lead causes health problems and developmental concerns in children.
If you’re interested in purchasing an older property, order a professional inspection to learn about what types of potential hazards are in the home.
Another disadvantage of buying an older home is the outdated decor if no updates have been made. Examples of this are shag carpeting, dated lighting fixtures, and a color pallet that is decades old. While you can renovate after closing, you’ll still want to budget for these upgrades when determining how much you can spend on a house.
Advantages of Purchasing an Old House
When compared to a newly built home of the same size, an older home is generally less expensive. Even if you’re looking at properties in the same neighborhood, the newer the home, the more costly it will be. New homes are preferred by a wide range of buyers and an older property usually sits on the market longer. You’re more likely to spend less on an older home.
More Land When Buying an Older Home
In the past, families wanted land for farming and gardening. Modern homes generally have less acreage. A new community might have features like a neighborhood park or pool, but an older property is more likely to have land included in the purchase. If you have dreams of a garden, want a big backyard for your children to enjoy, or would love to have a pasture for horses, take a look at older homes.
One of the best things about an older property is the interesting architecture and unique features of these homes. Depending on the style and year, you might tour homes with Dutch doors, arched doorways, or even a dumbwaiter. Transom windows were a popular feature in older homes. These windows were installed above the front door to allow more light into the house and could be opened to promote air circulation.
Older homes are also more likely to be built with hardwood floors, as opposed to laminate. They will feature real wood cabinetry, wooden doors, and fireplaces constructed of stone, instead of a resin facade.