There are over 5.5 million homes sold in the United States this year.
If you’re in the market for a home an old or antique home may seem like a romantic idea. But before you take the plunge know that buying an old carries a lot of rewards but also a lot of risks.
Here are some things to look out for when buying an old house.
Buying a house with lead paint is one of the biggest fears people have when they’re buying an old home. It’s no wonder why as lead poising has been caused severe developmental disabilities in children.
Keep in mind that lead paint is a serious issue in houses and apartments built before 1978. In most states, if you have children under six living in the home you are required by federal law to remove lead paint.
Just because you suspect that a house has lead paint doesn’t mean that it’s automatically dangerous. Lead paint only becomes a serious safety hazard when it begins to chip and flake off. If there is an undamaged layer of lead paint in a room that a kid can’t access then there are options for safely dealing with it.
One thing to look out for when buying an older home is a cracked or damaged foundation. Buying a house with foundation issues
The most important step in assessing foundation issues is to get an inspection to see how serious the damage is. When buying an old home a little deterioration may be standard and harmless.
Be cautious of any wear and tear on the sill plate. A sill plate holds the building up and rests on the foundation. Damage to the sill plate can cause the home to be more vulnerable to liquid and other pests.
Damage to the sill plate can be costly because repairs often involve jacking up the home. This process if done incorrectly cause cracks to the walls and other structural problems.
Before buying an old home keep in mind that foundation issues are some of the most expensive and difficult repairs to make.
What to look for when buying an old house one of the most dangerous answers is asbestos.
Asbestos is a powerful flame retardant that was used in many building prior to 1989 when it was banned. Though it’s been mostly replaced in older buildings some buildings still have asbestos in them.
If you’re looking to buy an old home you should be aware that it’s costly to remove and presents special problems when it comes to renovating.
Asbestos usually isn’t dangerous unless it has been broken in some way. When it’s damaged and released in the air it puts people at risk of mesothelioma and other lung illnesses.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult if not impossible to tell simply by looking at a building if it has asbestos. This means that DIYers may be at risk without knowing it.
Rodent and Insect Infestations
Whether you’re buying a 100-year-old house or a house that was built last year checking for rodent infestations can save you tens of thousands of dollars in the long run.
Older homes are the perfect candidates for insect infestations as they have more crevices where rodents and bugs can hide.
One of the most damaging and expensive pests you can have are termites. This is because even before they’re discovered they can cause massive structural problems. This is because termites will ingest the wood from the inside and burrow through wood frames floors and walls.
You should also be aware that bugs can cause damage even when they’re not active anymore. Inspectors will often draw attention to old building damage caused by powderpost beetles.
One of the major problems with trying to renovate old homes is they often aren’t set up to deal with modern day electrical demands. This can lead to problems like blown fuses and power failures.
The most dangerous outcomes are electrical fires. These can be caused by a worn electrical wiring insulation or incorrectly installed wiring. Because of high temperatures, the poorly installed wires are more likely to fail early.
The dangers extend beyond wires and into fuse boxes and circuit breakers. Working with old wires can lead blown fuses to avoid these many homeowners will buy circuit breakers or fuses for higher currents. If these installations are made without changing the faulty wiring this can cause a temperature increase and make an electrical fire more likely
Another risk these electrical issues cause are problems with heating and cooling around your house.
Problems With Plumbing and Water
If your buying an old home be aware that it may not have a modern water source. Your old home may have a well as a water source which can cause a variety of health and sanction issues.
Old wells are often not dug by hand and not drilled. They usually aren’t very deep and because of that are more prone to contamination.
High Insurance Expenses
For most people living in an old house seems like an exciting proposition but then they see the insurance costs. When buying an old house you have to remember that there are more risks when dealing with older plumbing and electrical systems this can make it difficult and expensive to buy homeowners insurance.
Buying affordable insurance will often require expensive renovations to the home.
Buying an Old House and Want Some Help?
Buying an old house doesn’t have to be scary.
As you can see there are many risks involved but most of these can be avoided with a good inspection.
If you want to know that the home your buying is safe, then sign up for an inspection today.