Marketing and media may try to convince you that new is the way to go, but when it comes to buying homes keeping it classic never goes out of style. Plus, you are much more likely to find a uniquely designed older home than a cookie-cutter piece of new construction. There’s also much more availability, so you have more choices and more styles to choose from in your price range. With an older home, the price will be more negotiable and known issues with the home will be revealed in disclosure documents so you already have a track record to refer to. Plus who doesn’t want all of the benefits of living in an established neighborhood?
While living in a historic home is a wonderful option, you should be well versed on what issues to check for as you shop around for a charming dwelling space. Things to look for when buying an antique home:
Termites & Pests It’s no secret that termites love wood, especially soft wood. If the home has seen a lot of leaks over the years, you absolutely need to get a great termite inspector out there.
Lead Paint If your home was built before the late 1970s, it’s possible that there is led paint in it. Enough led poisoning can cause cardiac arrest in adults and harm a child’s brain development. Purchase a led paint detection kit for under $100 and keep in mind the removal of this paint can cost around $10,000.
Inefficient Windows Be sure to go to every single room and open and close the windows. Replacing windows is expensive, so check that the sills and panes aren’t rotting. If that is the case you will have a lot of heat and air conditioning leaks and waste a lot of money.
HVAC Systems You will have a lot of issues with heating systems in homes that are 100 years and older. Many of those homes were heated with oil and those systems haven’t been maintained properly which is a very serious fire hazard.
Foundation As you walk around the home, make sure that the floors are level. If you see any inconsistency, that is a red flag and you should do some inspecting for foundation and structural issues. With an older home, it is absolutely vital that you do not allow the seller to pick your inspectors. Do your research and hire experts in each field so you get to enjoy your classic home and not see it as a burden.