What to Look Out For When Buying an Old House

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There are some important steps everyone goes though in their lives. Moving out from your parent’s house, getting married, getting a big promotion, or any number of events that mark our lives. But certainly, a big step into the future is buying your first house. It is one of the largest investments you can make, and you need to consider it very carefully. That being said, if you are interested in buying an older house – either because you like rustic charm or because you want to fix it up and flip it in a few years – you have to be careful and keep an eye out for these problems:

Is the extra cost worth it?

Whenever you are moving into an older house, and especially one that is showing signs of old age, you know you’re going to have to invest. A lot of times, it’s worth it to put in the renovation money rather than spending it upfront on a newly renovated house that will certainly be priced a lot higher. However, you have to understand that it’s not just the renovation money you are putting in. It is additional time that you will have to live in another place while the house is being done, and potentially a lot of labour, if you are planning to do some of the renovating yourself. Make sure that you are calculating all of these costs when you are trying to form the total budget, because if you can’t afford to finish your renovations, you will be in a much bigger problem.

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Are there health concerns?

There are good reasons why we don’t employ the same practices when building homes today as we did before. Some of them are not sustainable and a lot of them definitely aren’t healthy. Some homes can have very high levels of lead or asbestos hiding in the walls, the roof and most levels of the house. If you do decide to move into an old house, make sure you find professionals who do asbestos removal service, and have them sweep the house clean. This is especially important if you are planning to move in with children, or if you are thinking about starting a family there. While you are checking the safety of the home, look for structural insecurities as well, like wobbly handrails, which can cause a fall and serious injury.

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Is it a good long-term investment?

Buying a house is a huge financial responsibility, often including taking out loans and getting yourself in debt. In addition, the value of your house has to grow as you are living in it, if you hope to one day get your investment back. But if you move into an extremely old house, you have to take into consideration that it might not be structurally safe in a few decades. Make sure that you know everything about the house; bring an architect along and show them any original blueprints you might have. Check that the foundations aren’t cracked, sunken, or otherwise damaged. Listen to an architect’s advice, and don’t let the charm of an old house sweep you up and make you forget you need to have that house on your side for a long time.

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Electrical problems

Keep in mind that older houses were built in a time before electricity – or at least before it was ever used as much as it’s used today. This means that you will have to do quite a few renovations to get the wiring to stand up to modern standards of safety and functionality. Not to mention that if the house has knob and tube wiring, it will probably get damaged by renovations, and to make things worse, insurance companies often won’t cover houses with this type of wiring. You should also inspect whether the house is connected to any lines you might need for internet and cable access.

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Buying a house is an exciting event, and you might want to jump into it and buy the first one you fall in love with. But take it slow, look at the situation realistically, and make the best decision that will not only make you happy, but ensure that your investment doesn’t go to waste and leave you in debt without a place to live.

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