In today’s real estate market, more and more people find themselves drawn to older homes – rather than new construction. For whatever reason people choose to invest in these older homes over new homes (more home for the money, unique properties or prime location) it’s important for potential buyers to know exactly what comes with buying an older home – the good and the bad.
First, let’s look at the pros inherent in buying an older home.
Typically, especially in urban areas, older homes are located right at the heart of the city. This means that these homes are often convenient to the city center with its shops, office buildings and restaurants. For the right person, nothing beats living right in the heart of the city and being able to walk to your favorite restaurant.
Lower Cost of Ownership
Often, buying an older home allows you to stretch your real estate dollar just a little bit further than with new construction. Choosing to buy an older home in an established neighborhood rather than a new home could make the difference between living in a four bedroom with a huge backyard or a 3-bedroom patio home.
Many modern neighborhoods are planned along the principle of conformity. The houses tend to look the same. For some people, this sameness can be stifling. Older homes are often very distinct from their neighbors – and each owner has put their unique stamp on the home over the years. If you value uniqueness above conformity, an older home could supply you with just what you desire.
Older homes are in established neighborhoods. Buying a home in an older neighborhood means that you don’t have to deal with the constant construction and the eerie feeling that comes with living in a new neighborhood that is only half complete, and your home will often be surrounded by established trees rather than saplings.
While there are great things about living in an older home, investing in a vintage home comes with some drawbacks.
Buying Other People’s Problems
You are buying a used home, and there is no guarantee that the previous owners properly maintained it. After you move in, you could discover that the plumbing is in severe need of updating, that the electrical is no longer up to code or the roof needs replacing. Even one of these problems could mean spending every dime you saved on the purchase price to make repairs.
Older homes tend to be smaller than modern homes. If you are one who favors walk-in closets, large bathrooms and expansive master suites, moving into an older home that was built when standards were different can be an adjustment.
Built-In Restrictions and Hidden Costs
Many people buy older homes with the plan of renovating them with modern amenities while protecting their vintage character. While this is a great idea, in some cases, the owners of historic homes find that their big plans may require approval by the local historic commission.
In addition, rehab projects can invite the attention of the building inspector. If he discovers health and safety issues with the home, it can mean redoing several aspects of the home in order to bring the home up to current building codes.This can turn something like a modest kitchen remodel into a large financial undertaking.
Investing in an older home can be a great choice for the right person. Just remember what you are getting into when you buy an older home and be ready for the good and the bad. Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you find your dream home.
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