Pros of Buying an Older Home
Be Closer to the Center of Town
As a town or suburb grows, new developments are typically further away from the town center. Conversely, older homes tend to be closer to town. If you prefer a home that’s within walking distance to many amenities, an older home might be your best option.
Depending on your commute, buying an older home could mean spending less time in traffic every day and less money on gas and vehicle maintenance.
Buying an Older Home will be Less Expensive
Generally speaking, an older home will cost less than buying a new home of the same size, plus the quality of craftsmanship and building materials is often better.
If the property needs repairs and updates, the sale price can be significantly lower than a newer home. If so, make sure you plan for these additional expenses in your budget.
An Older Home has More Character
Typically, more attention was given to the details in older homes. From the unique materials used to features like built-in shelving, pocket doors, and transom windows, older homes have more charm than the properties in newly constructed neighborhoods. If you want a unique property with character, you’re more likely to find it in an older home.
The Downsides of Buying an Older Home
The Neighbors Come with the Territory
New developments are typically aimed at a specific target market and have HOA rules in place to keep things consistent. In an older neighborhood, you might meet people who have lived in their homes for years and have unique yard art and vibrant paint colors because there are no restrictions.
Some of the homes may be rentals so your neighbors could change every year or two. Other homeowners might not have maintained their properties well, which can lower property values for the whole block. If you are interested in buying an older home, first check out the neighborhood to make sure the personality of the area is a good fit for your family.
Updates and Renovations
Some older homes still have their original aluminum wiring, dating back to the 1960s and 1970s. If that’s the case, it should be replaced since it’s since been proven to be a fire hazard.
If an inspection shows that the plumbing system needs to be upgraded and the roof is aging, buying an older home might not be worth the price. Make sure you have the budget for major renovations.
Less Storage Space
Families today have more belongings than their grandparents owned. Make sure the older home you’re interested in has enough storage space.
Specifically, look for things such as built-in cupboards and/or shelves in the bedrooms, as well as garage and kitchen storage. Check the closet space. Older homes had few, small closets and there is no guarantee you’ll find one in every bedroom.
If you’re thinking about purchasing an older home, don’t forego the inspection. Your home inspector can point out issues with systems and components that you may not have noticed.