If you’re shopping for a house, don’t ignore older properties that are on the market. Newly built or modern homes tend to sell faster and at a higher price. However, there are benefits to buying a house that is not brand new. Here are some pros and cons of buying an older home.
Disadvantages of Buying an Older Home
When buying an older home, it’s likely you’ll find the property needs to be updated. When making an offer, take the costs of these projects into account.
Updates May be Needed
If you tour an older home, the aesthetic may initially turn you off from the property. Things like outdated countertops, popcorn ceilings, shag carpeting, and even a peach or green bathtub may still be present in the home. Depending on the age of the property, you’ll want to budget for improvements to update the house.
Safety Concerns When Buying an Older Home
One issue with older properties is the presence of materials and components that are now known to be hazardous. Until 1978, lead-based paint was used in homes and it is still present in some older houses. While it’s considered harmless unless it is flaking, chipping, or otherwise disturbed, should you choose to remodel, you will need to hire a lead abatement specialist to deal with the paint.
Another concern is asbestos insulation, which was widely used in homes between the 1940s and the 1970s. This product was fire-resistant and great at reducing noise. Like lead paint, you will need to hire a professional to remove the asbestos if you choose to remodel.
Reasons to Considering Buying an Older Home
Older homes often sell for a lower price than a new house with the same square footage. Even if the home needs updating, there are advantages you’ll enjoy in an older house.
When touring an older home, you might notice features like Dutch doors, transom windows, arched doorways, and built-in shelving. These characteristics add personality and character to a home. A Dutch door, or a double-hung door, is a door in two halves with each half hinged separately. This allows you to open only the top half of the door. It’s a great design for keeping children or pets indoors, while allowing fresh air to flow through the space.
Another benefit to purchasing an older home is that the sale is more likely to include acreage. Today more homes are built on smaller lots in dense neighborhoods because families have less time to take care of the maintenance. If you hope to have more land for adding on to the house as your family grows, for gardening, or for privacy, look at older properties.
Solid Construction Practices
Modern homes are often built quickly with construction-grade materials. These materials, like laminate flooring and cabinets, aren’t designed to last. They often show wear after only a few years. Older homes were designed and built to last for many years. In these properties, you’ll often find hardwood flooring, solid wooden cabinetry, real wood molding and trim, and fireplaces built from stone or brick, as opposed to a resin façade.