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buying an older home

Important considerations when buying an older home

Are you considering buying an older home? As a home buyer, you are certainly not limited to properties built within the last decade. There are centuries-old homes out there that might pop up on the market, and you might be curious about exploring this option. Older homes certainly have a different look and feel to them, which is appealing to many potential buyers. If you are attracted to the idea of purchasing an old property, there are some key points to consider before taking the leap. Here are the most critical factors to keep in mind!

You must prioritize a home inspection

A home inspection is not a mandatory requirement home buyers must complete in order to purchase a property. However, we have always recommended treating an inspection as an essential part of the buying process. A home inspection is meant to evaluate the condition of the property. This includes highlighting any safety concerns, or need for repairs. If a home has any issues, it’s much better to learn this before the sale closes. If a buyer skips the home inspection in the hopes of closing the deal quickly and appealing to the seller, this can have disastrous consequences. If you buy a home, and later discover it needs major repairs or replacements, those costs fall on you. However, if the same problems turn up during an inspection, you have more room to negotiate with the seller, or walk away from the sale.

A home inspection is especially important when buying an older home because older properties are more likely to present problems. These could range from rodent infestations to mould, weak roof shingles, or electrical issues. Some of these can be a health and safety risk if left alone! You should find out what you are dealing with in terms of the property’s condition.

There might be big repairs to complete

Like we just mentioned, buying an older home increases the odds of running into necessary repairs. You will need to decide how much you are willing to take on financially here. Old properties can be very expensive to restore, depending on what they need. There is really no end to the amount of work you can complete on a home. You could be looking at new roofing, plumbing repairs, insulation, electrical upgrades, and more. Plus, even if the home does not need substantial work right now, odds are it will in the future. This is not meant to turn you away from making the purchase! However, it is important to know how much you may have to spend to make the home liveable. Budgeting for major repairs is extremely critical with these types of purchases.

You may want to do home renovations

Depending on when the home was last occupied, and who lived in it, an old house might be in need of some modernization. Trends and styles come and go, and you can imagine how an old house might feel super dated. The older the property, the more likely it is to have gone through the styles of different decades. For example, you might be dealing with old-fashioned wallpaper, shag carpeting, wood paneling, or pastel prints. In order to bring your new home into the 21st century, you should carve out some room for renovations in your budget. Of course, if you happen to like the home the way it looks, you don’t have to change a thing! You might also be in luck, if there was a recent previous owner who took it upon themselves to make some improvements.

Your insurance costs will be higher

Every home purchase requires the purchase of home insurance. If you decide to buy an older home, your insurance costs will likely be higher than if you chose to purchase a newer property. We have previously outlined how older homes carry more risk for damage and danger, and insurance companies feel the same way. Old wiring and fuel tanks, for example, increase the risk of house fires or fuel leaks. Ancient plumbing can pose the danger of floods. This is the reality of buying an old house, so you must remember to budget for higher insurance costs. It is easy to forget about this expense during the rush of buying, but we’re here to remind you of its importance!

Buying an older home can be an adventure, and for many people it feels like a fun challenge to restore the property. If you think this sounds like you, we encourage you to reach out to a mortgage broker before you get started. We can discuss your purchasing goals, and your vision for your (old) new home. The more prepared you are for this experience, the more you can enjoy the process.

If you have any questions about your mortgage, give us a call at Centum Home Lenders! You can reach us at 506-854-6847, or get in touch with us here.