Image source: Wikimedia
This blog will give you the basics on what red flags to check for when buying an older home. Every property, even the ones which have only just been built, will have problems. However, when you’re buying an older home, you have to be much more wary of these issues. Before you even start to think about doing up the interior, there may be a lot of work to make the home habitable. If you’re thinking of buying an older property, then here are some big problems to look out for.
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First of all, termites and other pests. Termites can be a massive problem for people who own old homes. They’ll burrow through pretty much any wood, causing all kinds of structural damage. When you look at the amount of money termites alone can cost for repairs, you may find it very hard to believe! These pests prefer soft wood, so be wary of any leaks in the property you’re looking at. If there’s a lot, then it’s probably worth calling in a professional house inspector. They’ll be able to point out any pests, and other issues with the home. There are many other wood-eating insects which can cause huge problems for home owners. Look out for any signs of infestation whenever you’re looking around a home.
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Poisonous substances are another serious problem which you might find in an older home. Lead paint, for example, has been banned since the seventies. However, there are still houses being sold which are covered in this toxic substances. While it’s not a guarantee that every old property has lead paint in, it’s not something you want to leave to chance! Enough exposure to lead paint can cause cardiac arrest, and hinder a child’s brain development. Another big thing to look out for is asbestos. This was used as building material throughout the 20th century, and exposure to it can cause severe illness and death. Make sure to have a home inspector scour the property for asbestos. If you find any, either move on or look into some professional a company such as PROAS.
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Finally, inefficient windows. Depending on where you are, heating may not be that much of an issue. However, if you don’t want to end up wasting a lot of money on heating, you need to make sure the windows in the home are fairly efficient. Unfortunately, a lot of older homes were built with single-pane windows. These are incredibly inefficient compared to modern standards of windows, and will let out huge amounts of heat. The worst combination you could ask for is a home with both an old heating system and this old style of window. Get a house with both of these, and you may well triple your heating bill! Either have older windows replaced, or move onto the next property. Bear in mind that replacing every window in a home is going to eat into your design budget!
When you’re looking around at older houses, be sure to keep these issues in mind. A lot of old homes have a lovely rustic charm, I know. However, if you get taken in by this, it could end up costing you huge amounts of money!