Buying a home is a whirlwind process of both excitement and stress! Many homeowners choose to look at and buy older homes. These homes possess lots of unique history, charm and fantastic features which attract buyers. While there are several benefits to buying an older home, there are also some potential issues that you need to consider. Here are a few things that all buyers should think about when purchasing an older home.
- Ask when the roof was last repaired. Often current owners haven’t touched their roof in decades. This could be a big problem if they didn’t’ take the time and money to maintain the roof. If the roof has damage, this could be a tremendous expense for you to repair should you choose to buy the home. A damaged roof is bad enough, but if it’s been in poor condition for a while, it could even be rotting or impacting the quality of the home’s structure and stability. If you have your heart set on the home despite these issues, try asking the owner to cover the estimated repair costs and reduce the price of the home.
- You also want to check out the furnace. Furnaces are usually good for about 15-20 years if they are well taken care of. Find out how often the furnace has been inspected, when the last inspection or repair was conducted as well as when the furnace was installed. Making sure the heating system of the home is intact will be crucial.
- If the home was built in the early 1900’s, you should have the home checked and inspected for lead paint. Often these older homes were painted with this toxic paint before we realized how damaging it can be to human health. If lead is present, it will have to be methodically removed and contained so that the space can be deemed safe and livable. The rooms will then need to be repainted with new, non-toxic paint.
- Have the electrical wiring examined by a professional. Often when wiring is older, rubber that was used begins to corrode and if this is the case, new wiring will be needed throughout the home. You may be able to tell is corrosion is occurring if the home’s lights dim or flicker frequently You may also experience frequent shocks, fuses that cut out, strange noises, or smells coming form the outlets. New safety upgrades can be installed quickly and they usually are not very expensive.
- Lastly, if the home’s heating runs on oil, be sure to have the tanks inspected to ensure there is not leakage occurring so that you know if they are working efficiently. These tanks are usually located in the basement or the yard. Look to see if there are any oil spots. Also find out when the tank was last replaced since they usually last about 10-15 years.
All of these issues may arise when you are in the process of purchasing an older home, however if you are proactive and thorough, you will be able to nip these problems in the bud and make sure they are properly repaired. Always hire a professional to inspect all areas of an old home and to explain when to clean air ducts in your home for the best results and a safe, clean living environment.