*This is a guest article*
If you’re thinking of purchasing your own home, looking at older properties can seem like a good choice. They are usually more affordable, in a better location, and can come with a tremendous amount of personality.
However, before you start looking around at your options, it’s essential to do your research first. Unlike newer homes, they can come with existing issues, and you’ll want to make sure that what you choose is the right fit for you and your family.
Below we are going to take a look at ten different things you should know before buying an older home.
Sound interesting? Then let’s get started!
1. Try and keep an open mind
When you first contact a real estate agent and start looking at different homes, it can be challenging to see past all of the flaws. But before you go giving up straight away, it’s important to try and view things with an open mind.
Picture your belongings inside the property, think about what changes you can make, and what potential it has. While some homes will have no hope, others can be incredible. You just need to have some imagination.
2. Getting an inspection is essential
Inspections are essential when buying any home, but when it comes to those that have been around for more than ten years, it’s absolutely critical. While it might seem like an extra expense, you need to know that the property is safe for living in.
In fact, it’s actually worth paying for two separate inspections so that you are 100% sure of what you are buying. The last thing you want is to move into a whole house of unexpected problems.
3. You’ll need to find out how long the house was vacant
This is one question that many people forget to ask when looking at homes, but it’s crucial to find out how long the property was vacant for. If it’s been longer than a few weeks, there could be issues, such as pests or water damage.
Discuss this with your real estate agent before making a final decision. You might need to do a more thorough walk through the house to make sure there are no surprises.
4. Your insurance costs might be higher
Every home requires insurance, but when they are older, expect the cost to go up. This is because they are prone to more significant risks, and most companies are not willing to pay for them.
It will depend on your provider, so it’s worth looking around and getting a few different quotes. You’ll need a plan that is affordable but still something that is going to provide enough coverage.
5. You’re always going to need to make some upgrades
As much as you might try and get around it, you have to know that every older home is going to require some type of upgrade. It could be something minor or something large, but you’re going to have to prepare for it.
Whether that be changing your Zinsco Breakers, replacing your roof tiles, or giving everything a fresh coat of paint. There will be work to do, even if you don’t want to do it.
6. It’s best to over budget for any renovations
Speaking of these upgrades, with any home improvements, it’s important that you have the right amount of money saved up. Depending on the type of renovation, it’s generally always best to over budget.
This is because the price of things can always change along the way. You might find that specific issues are more extensive than they seem once you start on a project.
Calculate the cost and try and save another 50% on top of it, just in case. Then, you really won’t regret it.
7. Be prepared for increased utility bills
Older homes have older electricity and water systems. So, it makes sense that you will probably have increased utility bills. Unless you plan on doing some significant renovations straight away, you’ll need to take it into consideration.
Try and find ways to limit your usage until you can make arrangements. You can find some tips to help you get started here.
8. Older homes are prone to hidden problems
If the above hasn’t made it clear already, you should know that older homes are going to be prone to hidden problems. Unfortunately, even with careful selection, you never really know what’s wrong until you unexpectedly find out.
One day, you may fix a hole in the wall and discover severe structural damage or a nasty hive of pests. This is why it’s crucial to make your decision carefully and pay for multiple inspections.
9. It’s wise to have an emergency fund
We already talked about how it’s best to over budget for renovations, but don’t forget to have an emergency fund too. If one of those hidden problems does arise, you at least know that you can get it fixed without damaging your actual income.
Most financial experts recommend keeping enough in your fund to cover three to six months of your expenses. However, the more, the better. It’s always wise to be one step ahead.
10. Embrace their quirks and unique features
Finally, the last thing you should know before buying an older home is to embrace all of their quirks. The best thing about them is that they are unique, so instead of trying to cover them up, highlight and use their interesting features to your advantage.
With time and dedication, you can create a beautiful home. It just requires a little bit of hard work first.
As you can see, there are quite a few issues that can arise when buying an older property. However, this doesn’t mean they aren’t an excellent investment.
By doing the proper research and understanding what problems can arise, you can find a great home that suits you and your family. Trust us when we say, all of that waiting and patience will be worth it in the end.
Thank you for reading.