One must be aware of the factors to look for when buying an old house, as it may result in a loss-making proposition. Here are few pros and cons of buying an old house.
Did You Know?
You may be subjected to higher ownership fees if you are buying an old house.
Old homes leave buyers super-impressed with their charm, allure, and character. Also, the exclusivity attached to older homes is one feature which attracts many prospective buyers. However, there are certain pros and cons of buying an old house. As the community in which the old house is located is already established, there may not be any new zoning changes. Also, with old houses, you have the benefit of becoming a part of a close-knit and well-established neighborhood, which a new community may lack.
However, you may incur considerable expenses for repairs and refurbishment. Also, there may be certain health and safety concerns which may need your immediate attention. One may also find that there is little or no scope for renovation in an old house. Here are few advantages and disadvantages of buying an old house.
Remember that old houses often have intricate woodwork which was crafted or carved out by carpenters manually, as no modern-day carpentry tools were available. Hence, the architectural details in such homes is often unique and irreplaceable. No two homes will be similar in their look and style, unlike new-age homes. If you are someone who thoroughly enjoys aesthetics and architecture, then old houses are definitely meant for you.
Old houses are relatively cost-effective. This is because you can get more square footage area for a limited price than you would get in the same amount for a new home. It is often observed that old homes are bigger than the new ones, and one may end up getting a better bargain. You may also get a larger yard than a new home.
Return on Investment
Old homes have always enjoyed a good demand in the realty market. As the area is more and the construction sturdy, many people actually prefer to invest in an old home. It also leads to excellent growth of capital. You will be surprised to see how the price of an old home appreciates with time. Even if you put the house on the market, after a few years, you will still be able to get an excellent return on investment because of the rarity quotient.
Nowadays, new houses may be located far away from schools, hospitals or supermarkets. Hence, you have to drive through bumper-to-bumper traffic to reach your house in the downtown. However, many old houses are centrally located, and are within walking distance from these vital places. Hence, buying an old house is a wise decision if you have school-going children or aged people in your family, who may require sudden medical attention.
If you have bought a Georgian or Victorian home, it will have its own history to tell. The ambiance will simply leave your guests awestruck. Who knows, you may have an interesting story to share about the house. Not only this, but a rich heritage will also help you to gain better prices when you decide to sell the house.
Old houses often have bigger yards. You can utilize this additional space for having a gazebo or swimming pool. Needless to say, if you intend to undertake some creative landscaping, you will have ample space to experiment. Also, if you have pets, they can have enough space to move around.
Cost of Repairs and Refurbishments
In all probability, if the house is not maintained properly by the old owner, it will mean you will have to shell out more money for repairs and refurbishment. Especially, if your house is situated in a coastal an area, it can lead to rusting of pipes and plumbing. You may also have to check the roof for leakages. Apart from this, peeling color, non-working appliances and systems, etc., will add to the expenses.
In a new house, one can decorate the interiors as per his/her taste. However, you do not have this artistic liberty when it comes to an old house as the cabinet, windows, carpets, landscaping, etc., are all present already. If you are to make any drastic changes or undertake renovation, you will have to bear the additional cost.
Health and Safety Concerns
If you are buying an old home, you can be in for some really unpleasant surprises. There is no way to tell if the house is infested with rodents and pests. Also, one cannot determine for sure if the house is lead-/asbestos-/mercury-free. Also, it may not have a fire or burglar alarm, and you will have to install it separately. Also, it may so happen that the electrical wiring and insulation may have aged and is no longer functional. All these situations may pose health and safety hazards.
Root-cause of the Problem
In all probability, the earlier tenants may have planted trees to create a landscape. Roots of older trees often grow farther below the soil, and hamper the plumbing and foundation of the house. You may never be able to detect such problems by looking at a house, it is only when you actually start living there that such issues surface. It will not only mean a hole in the foundation of your old house but also your pocket.
With the growing consumerism and increase in earnings, we have become serial hoarders or pack-rats. We tend to hang on to clothes that don’t fit us anymore, the gym equipment that we no longer use, travel bags are left gathering dust, etc. All this requires a huge storage space which is not found in old houses. Many times, these houses have sloping roofs, which cause storage problems in the attic, and you may have to get new customized storage options. And if you own three cars, it is pointless to buy an old house which offers a single garage.
Too Small, Too Soon
Even though old houses were built for large families, they do not cater to the need of a modern-day family. You may find that your 60s home is too small even for a family of 4, especially after the kids grow up. With the growing need for a separate living room, study, bedrooms, guest-rooms, kitchen, etc., an old house may seem like it is too cramped up and lacks space.
Undertake an house inspection before buying it so that you get an idea about the required repairs. Unlike a new home, there won’t be a builder’s guarantee. However, you can then ask the owner to either get the maintenance done or pay you for the expenditure. Old houses have steadfastly faced the test of time without giving in to changes in weather or climatic conditions. Now that you know about the pros and cons of buying an old house, hope you will make the right decision.