There are so many choices when it comes to buying a new home. You may be asking what are the pros and cons of buying an older home? Buying an older home can be a wonderful choice but there are certainly some drawbacks to consider. Keep reading for the pros and cons of buying an older home.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Buying an Older Home
Con: Outdated building code compliance
Older homes were built to different codes than we have now. You may need to have costly updates made if your home doesn’t meet the codes in your area. For example, older homes often don’t have a ground in the electrical sockets (there are only two holes instead of 3 in the outlets). There are also building issues like asbestos which was widely used in homes built before 1980.
Older homes often have a great location. They were more than likely built close to the center of town so you can have quick access to downtown. Neighborhoods for older homes are well-established and often have the original owners still living there.
Some older homes need extensive repairs if they have not been kept up over the years. From roof and window replacements to refinishing hardwood floors, these renovations can be expensive. Kitchens and bathrooms are the main places in older homes that usually need some remodeling. Old faucets and fixtures may be an eyesore that you want to get replaced right away. Many older homes also lack the storage that modern families need. You may have to get creative with using closets to their full potential. You could also consider remodeling to add more storage.
Pro: Availability and furnishings
The great thing about older homes is that they are established. You don’t have to wait for them to be built as you may for a brand-new home. You also don’t have to worry about starting from scratch when it comes to landscaping. You may even be able to buy the furniture already in the home from the previous owners.
Con: Roots of old trees
You may not realize it but older homes can have serious foundation issues due to old tree roots. New homes may have some settling issues but older homes may have sustained more damage to their foundations from trees growing up around them. Be sure that your home inspector thoroughly checks the foundation, especially if there are older trees near the home.
Pro: Long-term investment
An older home will keep its character and desirability as long as you maintain it. Even though you may have to do some work, you will always have an older home which is a rarity. No matter what you do with a newer home, it will be a newer home for a long time, and they are not scarce. Consider your repairs as an investment that you can get a return on when you go to sell it.
Con: Appliances may not fit through the door
Another issue you may not think of but can cause a big problem is whether your appliances and furniture will fit through the door. It may sound strange, but older homes were built with narrower doorways so wide screen televisions and large furniture like a sectional couch may not fit through the door. Your refrigerator and washers may also be a tight squeeze depending on the model.
Older homes were built to last, unlike many quickly built homes today. The older homes still exist because they are sturdy and have good bones. Though you may have to make some repairs, you can depend on the quality of older homes.
Con: Historical society restriction on remodels
Depending on how old your home is and its history, you may be limited in what you can do with it. Your local historical society may not allow remodeling or certain colors of painting. The home seller should let you know if the home is on the historical list but if you suspect that it may be, you should always check before you buy. Historical societies also usually have stipulations on how a home needs to be kept up as well. Make sure you are prepared to put in the effort and adhere to the rules if you buy a historic home.
Pro: Unique features
Fireplaces, wood built-ins and hardwood floors are just a few of the charming surprises you may find if you buy an older home. Depending on when it was built, your home can have all kinds of neat details. You just won’t get the character of an older house with anything built recently, even if you had it custom-built. These kinds of things make a house unique and make it a home.
There are many pros and cons to buying an older home. With consideration, you can decide whether an older home will be a good fit for your family. If you have questions about selling your home, reach out to Ben. He has been helping Indianapolis residents sell their homes for cash since 2012, and he can help you too.