Old homes are like old people, they’re full of history, have all kinds of character, and will randomly make weird noises. Old homes can also be full of unwanted and expensive surprises (sometimes old people are full of these things, too).
If you’ve never bought an older house, you most likely have no idea what questions to ask or what to look for. No worries, we spoke with real estate agents and the owner of an old house, and also tracked down home inspector Paul Grush from Grush Inspections in Reno, NV to give us some insights.
Buying an older home is a decision that should not be made lightly. The wrong choice will still put a roof over your head, but it may also have you in over your head. The following insights, tips, and questions can help determine if going old is right for you.
From broke young couples who can’t afford new to established world citizens searching for charm, people of all ages and financial rankings are looking into older homes. Literally.
For Tiffany East, who purchased a 40-year-old home at age 39, it was all about character and location.
“I was a single mother with two kids and I liked that the neighborhood was safe. Seeing as I was living alone, I also liked being in close proximity to others, and the landscape was mature,” said Tiffany.
According to Paul, older homes have a more solid structure. So if location, maturity, and a little bit of personality have you smiling and not wincing, then an older home may be for you.
Every pro has its con, and all the positives of buying an old house also come with these potential negatives.
Buying a home takes a village, but buying an older home takes a village, a realtor, a home inspector, specialists, lots of paperwork, and lots of research. Your realtor and your home inspector will quickly become your most trusted sidekicks, so knowing what expertise to look for in both is essential.
“I had no idea what I was doing. Fortunately, my realtor knew what questions to ask as far as when certain things had been replaced and what the history of the house was,” said Tiffany.
“The best tool for a homeowner is the internet,” said Paul. “Before you start looking for a home, hop online and do some research on potential problem areas, what to keep an eye out for, and what questions to ask.”
Good thing you’re reading this article!
As NBC told us every night on television, “the more you know.” Turns out they were right, the more knowledge you have on something, the better-educated decisions you can make. Weird.
At the very least, be sure to ask the following questions of the current owners or the realtor selling the house.
Now that you know what to research before buying an older home and who to have in your corner when purchasing, there are still a few more things to know.
Whether we’ve convinced you that old homes are better than old people, or assured you that you’re in no way suitable to take on an older home, you can take this knowledge and charge forward in your home search. So gather up your village, educate yourself, and stay away.