Disadvantages of Buying an Older Home
Systems May Require Upgrades
Older homes are sometimes in need of major system upgrades. The plumbing could be aging, the wiring may not be safe, or the roofing materials could be deteriorating. Homes built in the 1960 and 70s may have aluminum wiring. During this time there was a shortage of copper, so many homes were wired with aluminum as an alternative. Aluminum expands and contracts at a greater rate and can work itself free from connection points. This can cause a short circuit and lead to a fire. If your home has aluminum wiring, it will need to be re-wired by a professional.
Lead-based paint was used in homes until the late 1970s. Lead paint is generally considered safe as long as it’s not peeling, chipped, or cracking. However, if you plan to do major renovations to your home, disturbing lead paint is hazardous. You’ll need to hire lead mitigation professionals for any kind of demolition work.
An older home may still have its original décor. A tour of the property may reveal out-of-dated cabinet hardware, old lighting fixtures, popcorn ceilings, shag carpeting, or even an avocado green bathtub. Aesthetic features don’t pose a danger, but you may want to budget for replacement.
Reasons to Consider Buying an Older Home
Older properties were built with longevity in mind. Modern homes are often constructed with builder-grade materials that will need to be replaced in a few years. Laminate flooring and laminate cabinets won’t hold up to years of wear and tear. In an older home, you’ll often find hardwood flooring, real wood cabinetry, solid wood doors, and fireplaces constructed of stone instead of a resin façade.
More Land May Be Included When Buying an Older Home
Vast land was more of a priority years ago when people wanted to raise animals and plant gardens. Today houses are commonly built in sub-divisions, allowing very little acreage for each property. When shopping for an older home, you’re more likely to find a house sitting on a large plot of land.
Older Homes Have Interesting Features
Older homes have architectural features that are interesting and charming. Depending on the year the house was built, you might find claw-foot bathtubs, glass doorknobs, ornate ceiling medallions, wainscoting and crown molding, or a Dutch door. You might notice windows above the entryway door. These are called transom windows and they allow more light into the entryway. They can be opened in the summertime to help circulate air throughout the home. Transom windows are an older design feature that is still functional today.
Prudent Home Inspections offers inspections in the Washington DC area. If you’re buying an older home, contact us to request our services.