If you’re shopping for a home, don’t overlook older properties. Depending on the needs of your family, you may find that a home built decades ago is just what you’re looking for. When considering properties, here are some of the pros and cons of buying an older home.
Buying an Older Home: Pros and Cons
For some homeowners, the appeal of buying an older home is the charm of the property. You might love the historic neighborhood where the home is located or you appreciate that the house was built back when things were designed to last.
No matter the reason you’re considering an older home, take a look at the property with a critical eye – and the help of your real estate agent and home inspector – before finalizing the real estate transaction.
A Spacious Property
Population density has increased in recent years and urban sprawl has extended further and further into what were once rural areas. Today, it can be challenging to find a home that comes with a generous parcel of land.
Most real estate developments over the past few decades have opted for placing as many homes as possible in a neighborhood. Lawns are shrinking so there’s hardly any space for a garden or a patio.
One of the virtues of buying an older home is that they often come with land. More acreage offers more opportunities, giving homeowners space to spread out and distance themselves from busy streets.
Lower Asking Price
Buying an older home can often be accomplished at a fraction of the expense of modern living spaces. If the home is in obvious need of repairs and upgrades, and you’re prepared for such a project, you can save thousands of dollars by investing in an older property.
Buying an Older Home Could Mean a Better Location
Even if an older home doesn’t include extensive acreage, the location may make up for it. Newer homes and neighborhoods are often constructed in the suburbs far away from city centers while buying an older home could put you right in the middle of a town you love.
The Cons of Buying an Older Home
Harmful Building Materials
In some older homes, hazardous materials were used, including materials containing lead and asbestos. If you decide to invest in an older home, do not waive the general home inspection. Schedule inspections for lead-based paint and asbestos to determine whether you’ll need to replace dangerous materials to protect your family’s health.
An older home may also have dated materials and components in the plumbing and electrical systems. Not only does this pose a safety hazard, but outdated systems often require a complete replacement. Polybutylene plumbing pipes and an electrical system wired with aluminum wiring have more potential failure points that could problems in the future.
Wear and Tear May be Obvious When Buying an Older Home
The older the home, the more wear and tear you’re likely to see. The property might need several upgrades and home improvement projects, especially during the first couple of years that you live there. Maybe you’ll get lucky and only have to work on cosmetic updates, but there’s a chance that major repairs will be needed to shore up the roofing system or foundation.