Home: Buying an Older Home? Read This First!
They just don't build 'em like they used to!
Older homes can be fabulous. They tend to be spacious with high ceilings, oozing character and charm plus a certain vibe where you can almost feel the history that has happened between its walls over the years. But an older house can also bring with it a lot more than you bargained for, as issues and problems are unfortunately more likely to crop up (imagine we'd been stood there that long - you can imagine our rendering might be flaking to say the least) So before taking the plunge on a gorgeous older property, there are a few things to consider first!
Have the structure checked out
As they have been standing for a long time, they’re much more likely to suffer from wear and tear. And if this wear and tear has lead to structural issues then you could end up buying a home that’s incredibly expensive to renovate. You need to make sure therefore that the building is structurally sound, you might also want to have things like the plumbing and electrics checked too- unless you already know that you’ll be completely replacing them. Issues like asbestos can also be difficult and expensive to have removed, it's worth checking the property for this as it can be contained in things like artex and ceiling tiles and will require specialist removal.
Think about how you’ll heat it
Many houses are now connected to the gas mains, but if the home you’re buying is out in the middle of nowhere or was just never connected up, you’ll need to consider how to heat it. Electric radiators are one option but they can be expensive to run. Heating oil for your home can be a good choice, you could look into log burning fires and all other options that are available.
Consider parking options
Many older homes were built at a time when a lot of people didn't own cars, so they were built without off road parking. This can be a problem in today's modern world where many homes have two cars or more. Think about what options you have for creating off road parking, from turning a garden into a driveway to installing a garage at the side if you have space, or even a carport to the rear of the property if you have access. If you have to park on the side of the road, you could struggle finding a spot to park, plus it is worth checking if your car insurance will be affected.
Find out the costs involved in changing the layout
Older homes were built with the lifestyles of the generation in mind. For example, kitchens were built small as the priority for space was given to the living and dining areas for entertaning. Rooms downstairs tended to be enclosed, these aren't necessarily what people in the modern world want. Today, we tend to want bright, open space, open plan kitchens and large kitchens. Older houses often had bathrooms ‘added on’ to the downstairs, often leading off the kitchen, when an indoor bathroom became a legal requirement, whereas just about every modern family will want an upstairs bathroom now. Think about the costs that will be involved in changing the layout to how you want it.
Older houses really can look stunning, but make sure you do your homework before committing.