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10 Things To Check Before Buying An Old Home


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Buying a home is a huge milestone for many, unfortunately, increasing real estate expenses can make it very challenging for the average person to afford a home. This has taught numerous future homeowners to think about purchasing an old home to renovate or remodel.


Compared to newer homes, looking through an older home and its primary elements can be a lot of work. Buying an old home can have tons of advantages, but may also have a reasonable amount of what-ifs, which you’ll want to take into consideration. If this is a choice that you find yourself trying to make, Stay Forever INC. is here to help! We covered everything you need to know when looking for an older home to assist you in determining if this kind of real estate investment is for you.



WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER AS AN "OLD" HOUSE?

Normally, an “old” home is about 50 to 100 years old. The fact is, there's no specific number of years a house needs to get to before it’s deemed old. It’s more beneficial to evaluate the anticipated lifespan of crucial features of the home like plumbing, electrical work, or the roof. For instance, a home’s roof can last anywhere from 15 to 25 years. Numerous old homes may qualify as “fixer-uppers” which are homes that will need a significant amount of work before you can move in.



THE PROS AND CONS

There are tons of pros and cons when it comes to purchasing an older home.


PROS CONS

  1. Lots of historic houses frequently feature striking architectural appeal

  1. They could have been built with dangerous materials

2. You may be able to flip and sell the home for a profit after restorations

​2. Older homes are typically smaller than modern homes

3. Buying an old house can save you money

3. Utility costs can rise because old homes use ineffectual insulation materials

4. Old homes are normally in central areas and prosperous neighborhoods

4. Old homes sometimes need major repairs before you can move in

You might be dedicated to finding a larger home. If this sounds like you, an older house might not be the best choice for you because of the work that may be needed in advance.


A list of pros and cons is a great start for your home shopping process, but you can’t just add up your list of pros and cons and continue based just on which list is greater, because purchasing a home is very personal.



WHAT AGE AND CONDITION ARE THE MAJOR HOME SYSTEMS IN?

Every central system in a home is anticipated to endure for a specific amount of time. When reaching the end of a system’s lifespan, restorations become more routine, and they may ultimately need replacing.


MAJOR HOME SYSTEMS + THEIR LIFESPAN:

  • Foundation: 80 to 100 years (newer ones can last 100+ years)

  • Electrical: 40 to 70 years (replacing sooner might be advised)

  • Roof: 15 to 25 years

  • Metal Roof: up to 70 years

  • HVAC system: 10 to 20 years

  • Plumbing: 20 to 70 years (depending on the pipe material)


When shopping for an older home, think about the age of each of these systems to help decide if you need to replace them soon. Each system's condition also counts because elements that have been inadequately sustained will need to be changed out sooner. When you evaluate the price of an older home, you may want to include the possible expenses needed to restore or replace in-home systems.



POSSIBLE STRUCTURAL ISSUES

An older home will more likely have structural problems with its foundation. These issues are particularly expected for homes built before the 1940s — when home builders started consistently utilizing everyday concrete slabs.


Structural problems can become extremely time-consuming and costly to repair. Natural issues like earthquakes, erosion, and even overgrown tree roots can provoke structural problems.


STRUCTURAL WARNING SIGNS:

  • Cracks in interior/exterior walls

  • Askew floors

  • Slab leaks


If you detect any of these while examining a house, there’s an immense possibility that it’s undergoing structural problems. Before buying, you should have the house checked by professionals.


POTENTIAL HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

Older homes were usually constructed using materials that are no longer deemed safe. Asbestos and lead are the top two most unsafe materials found in old houses. Lead-based paint was frequently utilized as a drying and pigment agent, and asbestos was utilized in siding, insulation, ceiling tiles, floor coverings, and many other building materials.


1978 was the year the U.S. Congress enacted a law prohibiting the use of asbestos and lead in residential homes. If you’re viewing a home that was built after this date, it'll be much less possible that it'll contain lead and asbestos.


Older homes also have a very high risk of containing mold since houses constructed in the 1970s and before commonly have terrible air circulation and ventilation compared to modern homes. You should make sure your home is checked for mold before moving in.


REPAIR COSTS

Old homes normally come with a long list of much-needed restorations. It’s vital to comprehend how much these repairs can cost before moving ahead with the purchase.

The best way to estimate a home’s possible repair expense is to have a specialist complete a walkthrough inspection. Another option is to hire an experienced home inspector before the official inspection. They’ll assess the damages and give you a clear sense of what your bill may look like.


IMPORTANT QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK


HOW OLD IS THE ELECTRICAL SYSTEM?

It’s essential to know the age of a home’s electrical system. Most can endure anywhere from 40 to 70 years. Nevertheless, UV rays and heat exposure can reduce the anticipated lifespan of wiring.


The cost of rewiring an entire house can cost $45,000. If you think electrical restorations are a must, your buying price of the home should reflect the additional expenses. You may also want to contact multiple electrical companies for quotes prior to moving along with repairs.


HOW OLD IS THE PLUMBING?

The lifespan of plumbing systems:


  • Copper: 50+ years

  • Brass: 40 to 70 years

  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC): 100+

  • Galvanized steel: 20 to 50 years

  • Cast iron: 75 to 100 years


Galvanized steel and copper are the most used materials in older homes. PVC plumbing lines are a good indicator that the plumbing has been newly updated.


HOW'S THE ROOF'S CONDITION?

You should assess the shape of a home’s roof for the exact same reason you would the home’s plumbing and electrical systems. If replacing the roof is a must, you should include that cost in your buying price.


Replacing a roof can range from $5,000 to $10,000 or more. It depends on labor costs in your area, style, and how challenging it is to remove the old roof.



ARE THERE FOUNDATION ISSUES?

One of the most expensive repairs for an old home is a foundation issue. If a home has foundation issues, it could become a safety matter that has to be fixed before you can move into the home.


Luckily, foundation problems are very rarely uncorrectable. Make sure you evaluate how much the issues may cost to repair and guarantee the cost you pay for the house reflects that additional fee.


DO YOU HAVE ANY MAINTENANCE RECORDS AVAILABLE?

Knowing a home's history is important before potentially investing in an old home. Without transparent maintenance documents, anticipating future expenses of restoring an older house is way more complicated. A home inspection completed by an expert can give you discernment into the state of an old house.


Sadly, these examinations aren't always as detailed as they should be. It’s likely even for trained specialists to overlook crucial problems. For this reason, many people urge against buying a home with no maintenance records, but this is a conclusion you must make yourself. If you do purchase a home with no maintenance documents, you might want to prepare for ample restorations just to be safe.


NEW VS. OLD. WHICH IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

This solution will rely on what you’re looking for in a home as well as how much work you’re ready to take on as a new homeowner. If a charming, historic home is what you're looking for, buying an older house could be a great idea. Make sure you're diligent in your research before anything else.


Nonetheless, if you're looking to move in right away, purchasing a newer residence or a refurbished old home is presumably more suitable.


At Stay Forever INC., we're more than happy to help you with any questions you may have regarding this topic. Contact our team with questions or for a free quote today! We are, The Best Choice For Homes!





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