When you are house hunting most everyone knows that there are many benefits to purchasing an older home. Aside from purchasing a piece of history, homes of today don’t have the same charm and character as those built long ago. However, before you put in your offer on an older home, keep these 7 things in mind when you are doing your research.
Inspect the electrical system
Because everyone has so many appliances nowadays, make sure the electrical panel and wiring has been upgraded to be accommodating. Check everything from the electrical outlets and back to the circuit breakers should be current and up to code.
Check the roof
Find out what the age of the roof is. Roofs will usually have a life expectancy of 10-20 years depending on things like materials used and exposure to the elements. Ask if there have been any repairs made or it there are any problem areas to know about and how many layers it has.
Check the HVAC
Not all older homes will have both heat and air conditioning, but all will have heat of course being in the northeast. Inspect the furnace and see if it is newer and has been regularly serviced. Anything older may be less efficient, lead to higher energy bills and could be an expensive replacement to budget for.
Check the foundation
Inspect the foundation for any cracks or low, sunken areas. Find out if there is any history of water leaks or seepage. Your home inspection will be very valuable with further investigating this assessment.
Inspect the plumbing
Find out what materials were used for the plumbing. Sometimes you can make an educated guess based on when the home was built, but if there have been any upgrades find out from the owner what was done and what material was used.
All sellers will provide a notification form of what they know regarding the home’s lead status. You can also take this one step further and add a lead paint test as part of your home inspection. Knowing where it stands can potentially be an asset.
Plan on upgrades
Regardless of how old the home is, there will always be something that will need to be repaired, replaced or upgraded. Having a good understanding up front before buying the home will help you budget and plan for the future.