What You Need to Consider Before Purchasing an Early 20th Century Home

What You Need to Consider Before Purchasing an Early 20th Century Home
  • Opening Intro -

    Older homes have considerable charm and character that make them irresistible to some house shoppers.


Many new construction homes today are mass produced with relatively cheap finishes So you understandably may have narrowed the scope of your search for a new house to turn-of-the-century homes that are more than 100 years old.

These homes have unique considerations that you should be aware of before you make an offer.

Potential Hazards in the Home

Many older homes were built with materials that are known health hazards today. For example, many older homes have lead-based paint as well as asbestos. These are carcinogens that generally must be removed or properly contained before you move into the home.

There can also be issues with the electrical wiring or general construction of the home that you need to be aware of before making an offer. The best way to determine if these materials and issues are in a particular home is to order a property inspection from a professional.

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Property Condition

Part of the charm of older homes is that they are not in perfect condition. Every blemish may tell a story, so renovating the home to erase all of its imperfections is not desirable in many cases. However, you must keep up with property condition and building maintenance in order to protect the integrity of the home.

For example, wood rot and peeling paint on the siding and trim must be addressed as soon as possible to keep your home from crumbling or acquiring additional damage. A property inspection can provide you with details about issues that require your attention.

The Need for Major Upgrades

All major components and systems in a home will require replacement or repairs at some point. For example, the air conditioner and water heater have limited lifespans. When buying a home that is more than a few years old, the age and longevity of each of these systems and components must be taken into consideration.

If the house has been occupied in recent years, always ask for a history of the major appliances and repairs that have been done. This will include the HVAC system, plumbing, and roofing. The last thing that you want is to purchase a home that many need tens of thousands of dollars in replacements within the next few years, at least without being aware of these necessary costs in advance.

Historic Architectural Character

Some people love the look of an older home, but they want features found in newer homes. For example, older homes do not have open floorplans and large walk-in closets. Some of them do not even have a shower and only have a bathtub.

other valuable tips:

These are architectural factors associated with the era, so renovating the home to make these and other updates may impact your ability to sell the home for top dollar in the future. Whether you choose to keep the historical style of the home or update it, make sure you are aware of the costs for both options.

Before making a firm offer on an older home, consider ordering a property inspection so that you can learn more about its true condition, its hazards, and its needs. By doing so, you can make an offer based on concrete facts about the home. This will also help you to get the best value in the long run.

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