Purchasing a house can feel like an overwhelming process. You’ll find a diverse selection of properties, including newly built homes and older ones. Make a list of features you want in a home and talk to your real estate agent to help narrow down possibilities. If you’re considering an older property, it’s important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of buying an older home.
Pros of Older Properties
There are definitely advantages to purchasing an older home. You may be able to get it for a lower price and many aging properties have a lot of character. Here are a few reasons to consider an older house.
Older houses were generally built in prime locations and neighborhoods grew up around them. Often these properties are closer to the center of town and are convenient to stores, schools, offices, and parks.
Lower Purchase Price if Buying an Older Home
When compared to a newly built home, an older property of the same square footage is often less expensive. Generally, these homes are not as popular with homebuyers and tend to sell for a lower price.
The building materials in older homes are usually of better quality, as these homes were designed to last. You’ll often find solid wood cabinets and flooring and real stone fireplaces. Newer homes may be constructed with less expensive, builder-grade materials, like vinyl flooring and laminate cabinets.
Older homes were built with features that aren’t as common today. When touring homes, you might notice a rock walkway, Dutch doors, transom windows, or arched doorways. Built-in bookcases are more common in older homes and you may see wrought iron handrails or fencing, or even a dumbwaiter. If you prefer a home with character, an older home might be right for you and your family.
The Drawbacks of Buying an Older Home
Older homes often need updates to make them more comfortable and functional. Let’s look at some of the downsides of buying an older house.
Outdated Building Code
Depending on the age of the house, it may have an outdated heating and cooling system. The plumbing may be unreliable and the electrical system may not be able to handle the needs of modern appliances and electronics.
Problems with the major systems and components of a home can be costly to update and repair. Order a home inspection before finalizing the purchase to better understand what types of renovations the property needs.
Older aluminum electrical wiring can be dangerous, leading to electric shock or even a house fire. Some properties may have been built with materials that are now known to be dangerous. Asbestos was used in insulation and siding for years, and lead-based paint was common in homes until the late 1970s. To keep your family safe, you’ll want to address concerns like these before moving into the home.
Lack of Storage When Buying an Older Home
One disadvantage of an older property is the lack of closets and storage spaces. Closets didn’t exist in some homes and garages weren’t common. Families today have more belongings that need to be stored. If you’re purchasing an older home, you may need to get creative when it comes to finding places to keep your things.
An older home could be an excellent choice for you and your family. Before purchasing a house, order a professional home inspection and attend the inspection if possible. You’ll learn about the condition of the home and the state of its systems and components. This information will help you determine if this property is the right investment.