If you’re in the market for a house, don’t overlook older properties. Newly built homes tend to sell faster and for a higher price, but there are benefits to owning an older house. Let’s look at the pros and cons of buying an older home.
Disadvantages of Buying an Older Home
A home that was built many years ago may still have its original plumbing, wiring, and insulation. If the home hasn’t been updated, you’ll need to budget for replacement. In the 1960s and 70s, there was a shortage of copper wiring and, in many homes, aluminum was used instead. Aluminum expands more with heat and the wires often become loose and short out. Some homeowners insurance companies won’t provide coverage to a house with aluminum wiring because of the risk of electrical problems.
Another concern with materials in older homes is the use of asbestos insulation and lead-based paints. These materials are generally considered to be safe if left undisturbed. However, if you have plans for future remodeling, removal of these substances can be expensive and dangerous.
If you’re interested in an older home, make sure to have a home inspection before closing. Your inspector will find and note problems with older building materials.
Renovations May Be Necessary When Buying an Older Home
If the home you’re interested in has never been updated, you will need to budget for renovations. Older homes don’t have much closet or storage space. You may be faced with removing popcorn ceilings or shag carpeting. Depending on the age of the house, the bedrooms may be small and the floor plan might feel confining.
Buying an Older Home Offers Benefits
An Older Home Has Personality
One of the reasons you might purchase an older home is because of the features that are uncommon in modern homes. An older property might have arched doorways, transom windows, a root cellar, and coffered ceilings. If you’re hoping to find a home that has a unique style, an older property could be right for you.
Built to Last
Older homes were built to last. The materials were high quality and resistant to wear and tear and warping. Modern homes are often built with contractor-grade materials which tend to show wear within a couple of years. Laminate cabinets and laminate flooring are examples of products in new homes with a short lifespan.
An older home was likely constructed with solid hardwood floors and real wood cabinetry. They often have fireplaces built from stone, as opposed to a rock façade, and heavy, solid wood doors throughout the house. An advantage to real wood is that cabinets, doors, and flooring can be sanded down and refinished instead of having to be ripped out and thrown away.