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Buying an Old Home? Here’s What You Should Know

Getting an old home instead of a new one has many benefits. An old house offers rustic charm, allure, and craftsmanship that you can’t find in newly built properties. On top of that, you could end up paying a lower price upfront. According to an article from Architectural Digest, new houses cost 14 percent more than an old house.

Before you search the housing market, here’s what you should keep in mind when getting an old home:

You Will Need to Make Upgrades

Regardless of the age and condition of the home you want to buy, you need to come up with a plan to renovate certain areas of your home. This means upgrading or remodeling the basement, kitchen, bathroom, and other spaces to keep the property in tip-top shape.

You’ll Likely Pay More for Homeowner’s Insurance

Insurers price a homeowner’s insurance based on risk. Many providers are knowledgeable about the expensive problems that come with an old house. Given this, you could expect to pay higher premiums to insure an old property.

If you’re set on buying an old home, begin gathering quotes as early as now, so that you know what you’re getting into when you obtain an insurance policy. Collecting quotes early also enables you to get the best possible deal for your situation.

You Need to Check the Plumbing

Ask the seller on the materials used to construct the plumbing for the property. Pipes built using old materials could cause problems down the road.

Take the plumbing system built in 1950 as an example. During this decade, construction workers built the pipes using clay, which tends to corrode or crack under pressure.

Apart from clay, workers could have used to polybutylene (PB) piping to form the plumbing system. The main disadvantage of this material is that it deteriorates at a rapid rate, which could result in burst pipes.

If you’re unsure what to do with old plumbing systems, don’t hesitate to reach out to a plumbing professional for expert opinion and advice.

couple talking to real estate agentYou Should Consider the Home’s Foundation

Although many old houses are sturdy, you should still resolve any foundation-related problems to keep the home safe and inhabitable. Some homes may have issues, such as sunken, cracked, or undermined foundations, which necessitates immediate repair.

If you’re interested in purchasing in an old home, bring in a structural engineer to check the condition of the foundation closely.

You Need to Test the Home for Presence of Lead

The federal government banned the use of lead-based paint in 1978. If the construction workers built the house before 1978, get a professional to test for lead paint.

Lead is a toxic substance. Exposure to high levels of this material could result in a range of serious health problems, including body weakness, anemia, organ damage, and nervous system damage. You’ll want to run tests to make sure that the house you’re looking to buy is free from lead and other hazardous materials.

Buying a house may be worth it, so long as you conduct due diligence. When searching for an old home, don’t rush. Do as much research as you can to help you arrive at a well-informed purchasing decision.

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