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With Age Comes Three Major Concerns When Buying an Older Home

With Age Comes Three Major Concerns When Buying an Older Home

Maybe you’ve heard the phrase “With age comes beauty.” This certainly is what many home buyers feel when they tour through older homes. Of course, there is beauty to be found in new homes, too. But, there often is something so majestic about the original architecture and charm of a historic home.

If you’re a buyer who is drawn to homes that are centuries or even a few decades old, it is important to exercise a little caution before you get to the closing table – or you could be bargaining for far more than you think!

Here are three crucial things to consider when buying an older home:

1. Inspections

No buyer is advised to skip a home inspection when they are on their way to close. But, this advice is imperative when it comes to older homes. Yes, it is true that many older homes were solidly built, but years – and some uninvited insect intruders – can do a devastating number on even the most fortified construction over time.

So, when it is time for the inspection process, be thorough! Get a standard home inspection, but also don’t be afraid to go for a pest inspection, too. Have your home inspector scour everything from old windows, which may let in drafts that could send your heating bills through the roof, to that aging roof, which could be letting a moisture problem seep in, to the original foundation, which also could be prone to water damage. Have a pest inspection to be sure the older home of your dreams is not also home to termites or other damage-inducing insects.           

2. Hazardous Materials

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to buying an older home is actually the materials that were used to build it. Lead paint was popular in homes until it was banned in 1978. If you’re looking at homes built prior to that time, you could be exposed to lead paint, which can be a big danger if you have children.

Asbestos and radon are two other dangerous materials that you may find in older homes. Both have been linked to various diseases, but can be removed from a home – for a fee, of course. You’ve also got to be cognizant of mold when you’re looking at an older home. It has the potential to cause irritation to many parts of the body. Finding mold in an older home may not be a deal breaker, but it could be another expensive upfront fix.

3. Major Systems

Frankly, when some older homes were built, their systems were fine. But, some major advancements in technology have been made over the last 100 years, so it is incredibly important to make sure that an older home’s heating and plumbing systems can keep up.

Years ago, oil was used to heat homes. It was inexpensive – but, is not anymore. Also, it was dangerous – which is still is. If you want to buy an older home, make sure you find out if the heating system is up to date – or at least has been properly maintained.

You’ll also need to make sure that older homes have updated plumbing systems and that they are properly insulated. Any plumbing fix can be expensive, but updating outdated plumbing is a particularly steep expense.

Finally, try not to feel overwhelmed. Older homes have stood the test of time for a reason. Just because some of them may need a little extra T-L-C does not mean that they are not meant for Y-O-U! If you’d like to start searching for older homes around Pittsburgh, get in touch with a Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty agent today!