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Five Things to Look For When Buying an Older Home



Five Things to Look For When Buying an Older Home

If you have decided to buy a home against renting, one of the significant decisions you will need to make is choosing between a new home or an old home as your next property. But what type of property qualifies as a new home or an old home? As a general rule of thumb, homes built before 1990 are considered older homes, while homes built before 1920 are considered antique.

While old homes are typically cheaper and located in a great neighborhood, they tend to have some underlying issues that you must consider before purchasing one. This article will highlight five (5) of these issues to look for when buying an older home in Atlanta.


1. Foundation Issues

The foundation of older homes is always a concern for individuals looking to purchase an old house. Issues can range from small cracks to seriously damaged support footings. The primary cause of these issues in older homes is typically linked to normal wear and tear, seismic activities, low maintenance, or poor soil condition. Before purchasing an older home, you should look out for the following foundation issues.


What to Look For:

· Interior and exterior wall cracks

· Doors that won’t latch

· Uneven floors

· Windows that won’t open


2. Damaged/Deteriorating Roof

One of the common issues of an old house is the condition of its roof. While it is common for roof shingles to deteriorate over time, it depends on the level of maintenance, quality of the shingle, and proper installation. On average, the cost to replace a roof in Atlanta is around $7,879.


Things to Look Out For:

  • Missing shingles

  • Bowing gutters

  • Leaks or moisture in your attic or top floor


3. Plumbing Problems

Another possible thing to look for when purchasing an old home is its plumbing system. Rust, tree roots blocking the pipes, or faulty plumbing systems are major problems associated with older houses. Before purchasing an old house in Atlanta, you should have a professional plumber check it out. On average, the cost of replacing plumbing pipes in Atlanta is around $2,500-$15,000.


What to Look For:

  • Low water pressure

  • Slow water drainage in sinks, bathtubs, and showers

  • Leaks beneath and around all faucets


4. Outdated Electrical Systems

The electrical systems of most old houses are either faulty or not compliant with modern electrical appliances. Nowadays, we have HVAC systems, energy-saving appliances, and smart appliances requiring either lower or higher electrical load supply compared to older electrical appliances.

If you are looking to buy an old house in Atlanta, you should hire an electrical engineer to help you confirm that the current electrical system will work with your present electrical needs. Below are some of the things to look for when checking an old house electrical system.


What to Look For:

· 2-prong outlets or ungrounded wiring

· Frequent power outages

· Flickering or dim lighting

· Warm light switches or outlets


More importantly, if the old home you are hoping to buy feature knob and tube wiring, it may affect your chances of getting homeowners insurance or a home loan. On average, it will cost you around $1,322 to rewire a house in Atlanta depending on the size and material.


5. Insect and Pest

Old houses are typically home to insects and pests in addition to their human owners. Insects, rats, termites, bed bugs, and other pest are familiar occupants in most old house, which creates an inconvenient environment or cause health hazards for any homeowner. Insects and Termites are usually a common sight in older homes with older wood or underlying water damage.

Before you purchase an old house, you should hire an insured home inspector to carry out a thorough inspection of the house. When inspecting an older home for pests and insects, you should look out for the following signs.


What to Look For:

· Chewed wiring

· Mouse and rat droppings

· Rodent nest in cabinets and pantries

· Scratching noises behind walls


When to Walk Away

While older homes come with their share of structural and electrical issues, it is undoubtedly not enough reason to avoid purchasing one. If the price is right, you should be able to cover the repairs and renovations needed to turn it into your dream house. However, if you have a tight moving timeline, you might want to consider a renovated older house or a new house.