Buying an old home can be a sound investment but can also turn into an absolute nightmare. Old homes have their set of pros and cons, and some people may actually prefer these types of properties. However, there are things that are specific to old homes that home buyers should know before they make the jump. This will ensure that they don’t get unpleasant surprises and be prepared for the worst. Here are some of the things you should know when buying an old home.
You Might Need More than one Inspection
This is probably the number one most important thing when buying an older property. You want to get at least two inspections from two different inspectors. No matter how good they are, inspectors are still human, and they can make mistakes. Paying a bit more to have a second inspection performed will eventually pay off.
Work on Old Homes can Get Complicated
Doing work on old homes can get much more complicated than many may imagine. For one, you have to deal with old components that not all contractors will be able to work with. Then there’s the issue with lead paint.
A large portion of homes that were built before 1978 had lead paint in them, and you can’t just go and start working on a house like this right away. This will also make a difference when hiring contractors. The RRP rules regulate work on houses with hazardous materials, and there has been increased enforcement of the rules lately. This means that contractors you hire have to be certified to work on these kinds of jobs before you hire them.
Be Careful With Well Water
If you buy an old home, there are chances that it will be supplied with well water. Wells can be a headache to work with, and there are some filtration issues you have to be wary about. Sulfur, for instance, is often found in well water, and while it is not toxic, it will leave an unpleasant smell. If you’re going to rely on well water, you will have to invest in water filtration, which is not cheap, so be prepared for that.
You can’t expect insulation to be the same in a house that was built in 1940 as it is in the current one. Insulation technology has evolved greatly since, and the chances are that the insulation is inadequate. This will be a major issue when it comes to heating the house. If the house is somewhere that gets really cold in the winter, you might have to consider having the whole house insulated or prepare to pay a small fortune in oil costs to keep the house warm.
Buying an old home can be a great pet project, and can work when you’re ready to face the challenge. Just make sure that you’re prepared for anything and make sure that you know exactly what you’re getting into.