The pros and cons of buying an older home

Nowadays, it’s not unusual that home buyers go for a comfortable life by purchasing a low maintenance new property. But, despite the obvious choice, people still have a hard time choosing whether to buy a newer or an older house.

There is a certain allure to owning older houses. New houses can’t compete with the nostalgic appeal of a more renowned home whose every feature is filled with history and character.

However, buying an older home can have both risks and rewards. So, here are the pros and cons of purchasing an older property.

The Pros:
CHARM AND CRAFTSMANSHIP
Let’s face it.

These days, houses are built with modern amenities and convenience in mind. While a new home is excellent in some aspects, it has its downside mainly being considered cookie cutter.

Older homes were created with incredible craftsmanship and gorgeous attention to details. Original fireplace, beautiful millwork, leaded windows, sloping ceilings and many more features that made older homes unique.

Of course, these characteristics can be replicated to some extent. However, older homes were built with different building materials that are difficult or impossible to find today.

LOCATION
Just like modern houses, older homes were built in areas that were in early development stages. As the time goes by the area developed into a location that is closer to commercial and business districts. These are keys contributing factors to the value of the property.

You’ll most likely be within the proximity of schools, small shops, banks, supermarkets and public transportation. It provides convenience and generates more interest despite its age.

ESTABLISHED NEIGHBORHOOD
Of course, it is evident that older homes are in older communities. Typically, older areas have the look and feel of a cozy neighborhood, opposed to newer communities where you have to build the charm from scratch.

You also get the added benefit of mature trees that take decades or centuries to grow. Like the giant oak tree or mature cherry trees line the streets of these charming neighborhoods.

SIZE
When home buyers look for a home, one of the most important aspect they look for is the size of the property and lot. Chances are if an old house is what you’re looking for you may find that the lot is significantly bigger than what is available in newer homes.

Older homes were built at a time when land was still abundant.

Frequently you’ll find smaller homes on larger lots. In an older home, you may also be surprised by the smaller bedroom size. We didn’t see the larger bedrooms like what’s seen in modern homes until the 1990s.

HAVE GREATER RETURN OF INVESTMENT
It is common misconceptions among first-time buyers that the purchasing old homes result in lower returns because of the age and the cost you’ll have to pay for renovations.

Yes, it’s true that renovation can cost a lot of money, but the truth is it gives you an opportunity to increase the home’s value.

Despite its age, most older properties have great space to work with. Improvements such as adding a bedroom, remodeling the kitchen, increasing storage rooms, building a garage, removing walls, updating windows, and doors can enhance the value of your property.

The Cons:
HIGHER COST TO MAINTAIN AND UPDATE
Because of its old age, older homes have a fair share of wear and tear. It’s plumbing, heating and air conditioning system is outdated and may not comply in our current building standards.

These conditions should be addressed immediately because they could post a threat to the safety and health concerns of you and your family.

FUNCTIONALITY ISSUES
The changes in our lifestyle as the time goes by is drastic, so older homes come with some features that are not fit for a modern lifestyle. You will notice that the design of rooms and cabinets are smaller compared to newer houses.

Fixing the issue can cost a lot of money and won’t raise your home’s value as typical upgrades would. Remember these items were not issues back in the day and it may take some getting used to.

HIGHER INSURANCE COST
When you buy a house, it is a must to have homeowners insurance coverage. However, getting insuring on an older home can be expensive compared to a newer property.

It makes sense.

Insurance companies are aware that an old home carries more risks than new ones. Outdated plumbing can cause flooding, old wiring increases your chances of causing a fire, and the foundation of the house may not be as stable because of material used at the time of constructing the home.

These issues could increase the total you’d pay to keep your home insured. It’s best to consult with an insurance agent that specializes in older homes. They may be able to consult you with updates you can make to the property to reduce your insurance cost.

EFFICIENCY
With today’s technological advancements, new homes are built with the latest efficiency codes and standards. Unlike traditional homes, they have high ceilings, transom windows, large overhangs and well insulated to help make the house more efficient.

However, there are ways to make older homes more energy efficient without removing its character. Some of the efficiency upgrades can make a massive dent in your wallet.

Older homes would benefit from an energy audit. Some local governments have a list of energy auditors who can come to your property and recommend ways to increase the home’s energy performance.

Bottom line
If you decided to purchase an old house, it is a must to take your time, do your due diligence, research on what to do and hire a professional real estate agent to guide you along the way.

Keep in mind that older homes can be transformed into your modern dream house with a little imagination. Enter the property with an open mind and a reasonable budget.