Everything You Need To Know Before Buying an Old House

Everything You Need To Know Before Buying an Old House
  • Opening Intro -

    Buying an old house is a personal decision.

    For some, it is the fun of purchasing a house that needs work.


It allows people to buy a house at below its true value and then restore it in their own time, creating a potentially stunning home. In many cases, the finished article is better than the equivalent modern home.

But, it takes time and money to improve an old house and there are frequently unforeseen issues that can punch a hole in your budget. In addition, older houses tend to be less energy efficient unless you spend a lot of time and money on improving insulation.

That’s why you need to be aware of potential issues before you commit to purchasing a specific home.

Two Surveys

If you are getting a mortgage, they will conduct a survey of the house. However, it should be noted that this survey is for them, to confirm the value of the property and make sure the funds they lend are safe.

You need to have your own survey undertaken, and it should include magnetic particle testing. This will identify any structural issues and allow you to understand what it will cost to fix these issues.

Once you have had one survey done, get another and compare the reports. It is likely they will be slightly different as inspectors are human and do miss things.

If major issues are discovered, you need to talk to a structural engineer and consider whether the property is a wise investment, or not.

Water Filtration

This may sound strange as you are probably used to turning on a tap to get water. However, if you are looking at older properties you may find that they are not on the mains water supply and have their own well.

If this is the case, you need to know the quality of the water and whether there is a filtration system in place. If there isn’t a filtration system and you find it must cost you several thousand.

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      some new plumbing to consider      

Check If the House Has been Empty

The longer the house has been empty, the more likely it is there will be unwanted inhabitants. These can be flies, bats, birds, or even mold which is not good for your health.

Anything like this can cause issues and may be difficult to resolve. You need to be aware of them before you move in.


Lead Paint

Lead paint should show up on the survey. It is no longer legal but was used a lot in the past. Lead accumulates in the body and can affect brain development, causing an array of health issues.

It is worth noting that you need a specialist to remove the lead.

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This is essential! It is expensive to add insulation to your house, especially if it has none. It is also very expensive to heat a house, the cost of oil keeps rising!

The bottom line is that there will always be something that needs doing on an old house. But, they have character and if you go in with your eyes open, they can be made into beautiful homes.

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