Acquiring an old house brings a certain glamour and artistry. However, there are plenty of drawbacks as well.
While buying an old home does not always mean paying for repairs later, it is vital to consider this in advance, especially if you have renovation plans.
Here are some factors to consider before purchasing an old house:
1) If You Plan To Renovate, You May Be Limited
Not necessarily, but some old houses have restrictions on what can and cannot be done. Check with the building planning department in the area where the house is located to see what restrictions are in place. For example, there may be restrictions on what you can change, such as not being able to add another structure, fence off the property, or change the interior layout.
If you plan to remodel (or hope to eventually do so), consult with a planner before you buy to ensure there are no restrictions and, if so, that you have a clear understanding of those restrictions. That way, when you apply for a remodeling permit later, you won’t be surprised when it is quickly denied.
2) Homeowners Insurance Can Be Expensive
Homeowners insurance, like all insurance, is priced based on risk. Insurers know the various problems that older homes can have and will include those possibilities in their quotes.
Just as you need to budget in advance for unexpected repairs, you need to know what your home insurance policy covers. Start gathering quotes early on to understand how insurance will affect your spending limits so that when the time comes, you can be sure you are getting the best deal possible.
3) The Cheapest Deal Is the Best Deal
That ancient Victorian villa on sale for way less than its market value? It’s likely not just because the current owner believes in the power of good deals. Whenever you see old houses being sold for less than expected, it’s generally because the seller is gambling on something. It can be a vital repair they don’t want to do themselves or a totally obsolete feature that would cost a fortune. This is not to say that the house is not worth buying; it just means that while it may seem like a good deal on paper, it may not be in reality.
If you are interested in buying an old house that looks suspicious, do your research before getting serious. In addition to the obvious steps, such as going to see the property and asking your real estate agent to get all the information he or she can from the seller’s agent, try searching for previous inspection reports and other relevant documents of possible problem areas of the house, which should give you a better idea.
4) You Need People From Various Fields
When you buy an old house, having several people on your side can be a smart decision. This includes not only realtors, but also engineers, builders, and inspectors with extensive experience with old historic homes.
While older homes last longer, they usually have quite old attributes including plumbing, electrical, roofing and heating. With no proper inspections, you might find yourself buying an older home with a lovely frame, but plumbing that is ready to fail completely.
By assembling a team of experts who can check these critical features before you buy, you can get ahead of systems that will need to be replaced soon. You will also gain greater peace of mind. It is better to know that the roof will have to be replaced in a few years than to find out after water starts leaking into the kitchen.
Let us know if these few tips have helped you in the comments below!