Buying a home is expensive. With real estate markets at an all-time high, any way to save money can make the difference between you having a home or having to wait.
One way to save money is to buy an older home. Without all the bells and whistles from a shiny, new home, older homes often cost a lot less.
Nothing is without its downsides, though.
Older homes have their own shortcomings that can make it difficult for those who aren’t prepared. Whether it be major repairs that need done or just some quirks that you’ll need to deal with, here is what to look for when buying an older home.
Radon is a harmful substance when humans are exposed for it for too long. When uranium breaks down in soil, water, or rock, radon is created. This is a common occurrence in nature, but homes weren’t built with this phenomenon in mind until the 70’s. Many home inspectors test for radon, so be sure to include that when you’re looking to buy an older home.
You’ll often find that older homes weren’t built with certain safety concerns in mind. Among those are the materials used during construction. Lead paint and asbestos were common materials used when building homes several decades ago. Eventually, it was discovered that these materials were harmful and/or toxic. They’re not used for homes anymore, but an old home that hasn’t been updated could easily have some left over.
Old Electrical Wiring & Outlets
Having old electrical wiring is more of an issue than you think. Without the proper wiring, you’ll find yourself unable to use all your appliances or entertainment devices. Say goodbye to that man cave you’ve wanted all your life. The reality is that electronics were far less common in the past than they are now. Homes weren’t built with so many devices in mind. If the wiring hasn’t been updated, you could have a serious lack of outlets needed to charge your phone, plug in your TV, and more. Electrical work can be expensive too.
If you’re wondering what to look for when buying an older home, foundation issues are arguably the most important thing. After a home is built, the foundation will wear over time. Numerous issues, such as rainwater, cracks, leaks, and even just using your driveway can apply pressure to it. If your foundation has issues, then the rest of your house is at risk. Older homes are more susceptible to it simply due to the age factor. Be sure to get the foundation inspected if you’re looking at an older home. It could save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
Good Drainage and Waterproofing
The waterproofing tools that exist today didn’t exist back in the 60’s or 70’s. As such, most basements were used as storage spaces and nothing else. Nowadays, basements are used for living spaces, extra bedrooms, gyms, and more. That requires serious waterproofing and finishing. Keep in mind that older homes will likely have little more than a creepy, old basement that lets water in and throws it out via a drain. If that home sits in a flood plane, be prepared for lots of standing water.