There is no doubt how appealing an old home can be. We can all agree they all seem pretty, with those massive stone fireplaces, charming bay windows, the wood trim and mouldings and many other awesome features that few modern homes can hope to match. Old homes have a lot of character, but it takes more than just character for any given home to be actually worth the money you’ll be paying for it.
So if you find yourself mesmerised by an antique home and you’re actually considering to acquire it, here are some things to consider before buying an old home.
1. The age of the house
You need to know how old the house really is, because its age is often a factor that will help you in all decisions about the house. While real estate tax records are often the default source of information when it comes the age of the house, they are not exactly accurate. Old-fashioned research with the help of an experienced architectural historian or even books from the public library can help you peg the age of the house down to a certain decade.
2. Old homes were built with old technology and materials
Old homes are built to last, particularly when we’re referring to those huge, hand-scraped wooden ceiling beams. The same, however, cannot be said of its plumbing, electrical wiring, heating, windows, roofing and insulation, which, of course, are ancient and therefore need to be replaced. It goes without saying that refitting a home is going to cost you.
3. Old homes could use some renovation
The original builder of that antique home you’re thinking of buying probably didn’t plan for the big bathrooms, closets and bedrooms that you’d want in a home. Old homes typically only have a bedroom or two and one bathroom, so you’re probably going to have to do some renovating if you want to fit your family of five or more inside that home.
4. The cost of home owners insurance
Many people get overwhelmed by the beauty of an old home they tend to forget about crucial things, such as home insurance. If you think getting a relatively new home insured is expensive, just imagine how costly it would be to insure a home that has been standing for decades. With ancient wiring, plumbing and aging concrete foundations, few insurance companies would risk insuring that home. For those who do, you can expect premiums to be sky-high.
5. Your appliances and furniture may not fit through the door
You can only imagine how incredibly frustrating it would be if you fell in love with an antique home and purchased it, only to find out that the movers could never fit your favourite couch or your huge fridge through any of its doors.
You see, the doors of older homes were not exactly designed to accommodate the huge furniture and appliances we’re all so accustomed to these days. Doorways are typically narrower and shorter, so before buying the place, we recommend measuring them first. While you can always get wider doorways done, that would mean you will have to spend more than you have to.
6. Check the roof
The roof is probably the most battered of all parts of the house, and it’s safe to say that the roof of an old home has endured decades of rain, wind, sun, snow and even hail. Years of abuse makes the roof the part of an old house that would probably need replacement. Roof replacement also happens to be one of the most costly repairs you can make on an old house, so make sure you have the budget for this before buying that ancient home.
7. The neighbourhood historical society might have something to say
In case you didn’t know, there are historical societies or neighbourhood associations that are dedicated to the preservation of old homes in their respective areas. That means you may have to deal with these groups, who are likely to have restrictions on the style or amount of renovation you can do on it. To be sure whether such organisations and restrictions are in place, it’s best to ask your realtor about it.
Only after you’ve considered the above things should you decide whether to buy an old home or not. Should you decide to acquire it, you are certainly going to have to make upgrades, and that is something Tradebusters can definitely help with. Our roster of builders, electricians, plumbers and other tradies comes highly recommended. Give us a call, and they can help you transform an already beautiful old home into something even better.