Considering Buying An Older Home? Get It Inspected First

Considering Buying An Older Home? Get It Inspected First
  • Opening Intro -

    Many communities throughout the United States have older homes in well-established neighborhoods that can be a good value for prospective homebuyers.

    These homes often have great character and spacious yards in good locations at a tempting price.

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However, an older home can have a number of problems that may require expensive repairs that significantly raise the overall cost. Here are a few points that you should investigate carefully before making an offer.

Check the Plumbing System

Older homes often have older plumbing systems, and these may include lead pipes that leach hazardous lead into drinking water or severe deterioration that may require an expensive re-piping of the entire home. This repair can easily run into many thousands of dollars that add to the initial cost of the home.

Even if it isn’t lead-lined pipes, they may be eroded or rusting metal which is also hazardous. This may be something that you can do on your own but for most people, it’s ideal to hire a professional plumber or a contractor that is experienced with testing for lead.

Older Homes May Need Electrical Upgrades

Today’s families use significantly more electricity than in earlier ages. Televisions, computers, appliances, grooming equipment, and other items can put a strain on electrical systems in older homes.

You may need an upgrade on the system, which can be an expensive project. Typically, this is related to the quality of the wiring used.

In some cases, older homes may even require a complete overhaul of the electrical system. This is especially relevant if you want to use multiple utilities at the same time such as a toaster and a microwave at the same time.

Additionally, you may need more outlets installed if you have multiple devices that you want charging at the same time or in multiple locations per room.

It is common for older homes to only have one outlet per room. This may be a bigger problem in the master bedroom where you may want a light or phone charger on both sides of the bed.

Foundation Problems or Structural Concerns

Some older homes may have experienced significant shifting of the soil under the structure that has caused damage to the foundation. If the home is located on an elevation, erosion of the soil may have caused damage to important structural elements that may threaten the stability of the house.

Sometimes, the damage is hidden and only an experienced inspector can find the telltale signs of a problem.

Hazardous Material May Be Present

Lead, radon, and other types of hazardous materials may be present in older homes that were built in an age when these matters weren’t considered. Remediation of the home may be necessary to ensure it is a healthy environment for your family.

This is typically evaluated and addressed as part of the sale. That being said, it’s important to ensure that a certified inspector has gone through the process for checking.

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The Importance of Professional Home Inspection

A home inspector has the knowledge and experience to understand the problems that are often found in older homes. A home inspection typically includes a thorough evaluation of the home’s essential systems, such as the plumbing, heating and cooling, electrical system, roof, gutter system, attic, basement, and foundation.

In this way, you can make a more informed decision about any home you are considering purchasing.

Purchasing an older home requires a little more investigation into hidden issues that could mean expensive repairs. If you have your home professionally inspected, you will be able to assess whether existing problems are something you can handle, or whether they will make the purchase more expensive in the long run.

Image Credit: by twenty20.com

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