There’s no denying that older houses have more charm and character than new ones. It’s hard not to fall in love with their history and the original features they contain. In the excitement of it all, it can be easy to buy an older house on impulse without considering it fully.
While it may have the personality and style you desire, it may also have a number of issues you will have to deal with later on. So here are some crucial things every potential buyer should do before committing to buying an older home.
Check each room
Try to organise a second viewing of the older property you have your eye on. But this time, look at each room in the house in more detail.
Look for signs of mould and damp as well as cracks in the ceiling and walls.
If possible, also look at rooms such as the attic and don’t forget to check the exterior for issues too.
Another tip is to test the taps and lights to make sure the plumbing and electrics are working correctly. Rewiring or re-plumbing an entire house can cost a fortune but is often necessary for older properties.
Write down a list of everything you find and use this to influence your decision to proceed.
Get an expert's opinion
While you will be able to spot the most obvious issues with a house, an expert can identify problems you won’t always be aware of. This is why it’s so important to have a professional inspection of the property before you decide to buy it.
Find a company who has experience in inspecting older home, as they will know what possible issues to look for. For example they may notice things you don't know about such as suggesting you look into repairing the concrete lintel above the windows, which was commonly used in the 60’s and 70’s.
Lots of older homes also have lead paint, which your inspector should be able to test for and advise you about.
If possible, get a second inspection carried out too, especially if it's a really old property and requires a total renovation. It is possible for experts to miss things so having another opinion will ensure every potential issue is identified so you can work out repair costs accordingly.
Find out about the history
The internet is a fantastic tool that can give you a wealth of information about the property you are interested in. Do a quick Google search to try and learn more about its history. This can add to your excitement but can also be eye opening too.
You might discover that the house has flooded previously or that there haven’t been any occupants for a long time.
Alternatively, talk to your real estate agent or politely knock on the neighbour's door to see what you can discover. Doing this may make you think twice about putting in an offer.
It can definitely be a tough decision whether to buy a new or older home for your family to live in.
If you think that buying a newer home is a better decision, don’t despair! You can have the best of both worlds by incorporating features such as ceramic sinks and log burner fireplaces into your new property.