Should You Buy an Older Home?
People have this idea that older homes are built well and are fantastic. Older homes are also often constructed in major locations with lower price tags than modern high rises. Purchasing an older home can be a great investment if you know what potential problems to look out for before signing on the dotted line.
During the buying process, make sure you watch out for these four potential problem areas in older homes.
1. Old or substandard electrical and plumbing
Rewiring and updating plumbing are both expensive and wide-ranging projects, which is why many older homes still have their original knob-and-tube wiring and cast-iron pipes. Both pose safety risks, as an old electrical system can cause a fire, and corroded pipes can result in leaks and water pressure drops.
As when the wiring and pipes were last updated. If the home still has the original systems, get a quote to see how much they would cost to replace. Ask the sellers if there were any updated the electrical and plumbing, check to see if it was up to code.
2. Some excessively big issues could be paint and asbestos
Some older homes are likely to contain hazardous materials, including lead and asbestos. Lead was commonly used in exterior and interior paint up until 1978 and within plumbing systems built before the mid-1980s. This lead can leak into the environment and the water system, causing health issues. Asbestos was also used in gas fireplaces, insulation, roofing, and wallboard patching compound up until the 1970s, when officials became aware of the health risks.
Before purchasing, check about lead paint removal services and costs for eliminating popcorn ceilings contain asbestos.
3. Foundation or structural issues
Over time, sturdily built homes can form cracks and unevenness in the foundation slab. This can cause corrosion, dry rot, moisture damage, and other risks. When inspecting an older home, check for doors and windows that jam easily, wall cracks, cracked tile, this could be a foundation problem. If the inspector reveals significant concerns or necessary repairs, you may renegotiate the purchase price, request the seller to make the repairs or rethink buying the home. The cost of repairs could be more than you planned.
4. Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
In many states, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are required on every level of a home. Test both smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to see if they are working properly.
If this makes you excited, then an older home is definitely for you but if this information makes you a little gun-shy, perhaps a new home is the way to go. Remember, we have dozens of great new construction homes in Omaha and Elkhorn ready for occupancy! Call us anytime for more information on Omaha's older homes and brand new ones!