5 Common Problems In Buying An Older Home (And What They Will Cost You)

If you are looking to buy a home, there is a good chance that you will come across an older home for sale. In America, the average age of owner-occupied structures was 37 years old in 2016, and 19 percent of the existing homes nationwide were built before 1950. Older homes are often noted for their traditional appeal as they provide a great canvas to create your own unique living space. However, should you opt to purchase an older home, there are a few challenges you may face. 

You May Need A Roof Remodel

Throughout the years, the roof of your home faces the environmental elements throughout the seasons. For those homes that have been around for longer, its resistance can begin to deteriorate. Having a damaged roof can also kick start a number of other home problems including pest infestation and insulation problems. The cost of repairing these can widely vary according to the extent of the damage and the kind of roof your home has. To repair leaks in the roof, expect to spend around $903 for a roof seal while more drastic repairs such as replacing a tile roof will cost an average of $12,169.

Dampness And Mold May Be Hanging Around

Like humans, our homes need to breathe as well. Dampness is very common in older homes and it is likely to occur in the colder months. It also presents the ideal conditions for mold to thrive in. Both of these can have consequences for your home and for your health. Exposure to mold and other fungi can affect your body’s epidermis, block your respiratory system and trigger asthmatic episodes. The United States Environmental Protection Agency recommends addressing this issue as soon as possible and suggests keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 50 percent to avoid a recurrence. The use of a simple humidifier can help you keep track of this. For repairs, professional mold removal can cost you an average of $2,233.

Termite And Other Infestations May Be Eating Their Way Around

Termites can pose a serious threat to the wooden elements of a home. You are more likely to find termite damage in older homes due to a damaged foundation. Be on the lookout for other insects as well including rodents and wasps. Any of these infestations can compromise the structure of your home; leaving you with a hefty repair bill (around $526).

A Wobbly Start

Homeowners of older homes often list structural and foundation issues as one of the common problems they have had to face. This can due to either foundation settlement, a foundation heave or deterioration of the stem walls. Foundation problems can be easily detectable such as uneven floors or it can present itself in less obvious ways such as doors that won’t latch or minor cracks. A quick inspection performed by a structural engineer should tell you the extent of any foundation issues your new home may have and the costs attached to it. This can vary widely and in some cases, may not be repairable. Home Advisor averages the cost of repairing a foundation can range between $1,850 to $6,429, with the national average being $4,072. Smaller repairs such as cracks will cost you between $250 and $800.

Energy Efficiency Is Not A Priority

Most older homes are not built with energy efficiency in mind. Compared to today, homes are up to 31 percent more energy efficient than those built in 1970. This means a home that hasn’t been updated will cost a lot more to heat due to older windows and fittings. In many cases, you will find seals around these windows are cracked; allowing heating to escape. Allowing this to go on can add between $126 and $465 per year to your electricity bill. However, be warned that this can be a costly renovation based on fittings choices and preferences.

Before taking the plunge into the property market, it is key to get the right inspections done. Regardless of your reasons behind opting for an older home; expect some DIY in your future as you bring your new abode up to code.

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