The Pros and Cons of Buying an Old House

The Pros and Cons of Buying an Old House

I am always surprised when we are asked to conduct a home inspection on a 100+ year old home, and the buyers happen to be under the age of 30. And furthermore, it’s going to be their first home!

I’ve learned over the years that a lot of the draw / interest directed toward older homes is because of the charm and the unique architectural features that are found in older homes. Younger buyers are often attracted to the unique construction style, as opposed to the over-produced colonial-style homes that are constructed in huge numbers these days.

However, if someone is going to purchase an old home, there are items that need to be considered. Items that need to be taken into consideration that you won’t find in a newly constructed home. Some of the more notable items to watch out for: lead paint (both inside and outside the home), asbestos impregnated insulation and flooring, old and potentially unsafe electrical wiring, as well as the lack of insulation, little-to-no ventilation, etc.

When you decide on an older home, the aforementioned items should be anticipated.

Most of the time, home inspectors end up having to deliver the news that we have found some of those items in the home.

Now, it’s not the end of the world. It very rarely is. With very few exceptions, everything is fixable or correctable.

Of course, there is always a $ sign attached to the items.

For example, if Asbestos wrapping is discovered on the supply pipes for a steam boiler system, removal of the Asbestos material can be expensive.

Again, these are issues that you won’t find in newer homes. So, the moral of the story is, if you want an older home, be prepared to see these types of items in the home.

But on the pro side, you get a home that was built with a quality of workmanship that we don’t always see in new construction. And of course, you get those fantastic architectural features! For my money, you can’t beat the older homes!

At First Choice Residential and Commercial Inspections, we really appreciate and look forward to inspecting old homes.

Michael McCarty
NH Licensed Home Inspector # 316
Vermont Property Inspector License # 143.0134099
HUD 203k Consultant # 1939

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