Unfortunately, many of the new homes being built today lack both character and charm. This is something you can still find in a lot of older homes, but many of them are rundown. So, before you invest in one of them, there are 5 questions you’ll definitely want to get answers to.
Photo by Grant MacDonald
1. Does the home have a solid foundation?
Foundation issues are common in rundown homes. Unfortunately, they also take a lot of money to fix. So, the first place you should look is in the basement for signs of shifting or cracking, as well as mold. It’s a good idea to get a professional opinion on this from a company like Stratum too. This way you’ll know if there are any serious problems. Once you take a look at the basement and find it’s in good condition you can then feel safe to look at the living room, bedrooms, and other parts of the home.
2. How old is the electrical wiring?
A lot of rundown homes still have knob and tube wiring. While this electrical wiring does work, it’s also more likely to start a fire, especially in the attic where it’s covered by insulation. Evidence that this type of wiring is present is also found in the basement. If you detect signs of outdated wiring, you must consider the price of updating it. This is a big, costly job.
3. How old is the plumbing?
Even if the wiring isn’t outdated, the plumbing may still be outdated. Here you’ll want to look for cast-iron pipes, which you’ll need to replace since minerals build up inside of them (a sign of this is low water pressure) and the pipes themselves also grow corroded.
4. What type of heating does the home have?
While you may think that old radiators add a touch of character to the home you’re interested in purchasing, they are a very expensive way to heat a home. So, when you see them, make sure you pause for a moment to consider how much fuel oil you’ll need to heat your home throughout the cold winter months. Even if these aren’t present, you’ll still want to see how old the home’s furnace is because they’re expensive to replace.
5. What shape is the roof in?
Another really expensive item to fix in old, rundown homes is the roof. This is why you’ll want to take a close look at it and check the attic carefully for any leaks too. If the roof is over 10 or 15-years-old, then it’s quite probable you’ll need to replace it sometime while you’re living in the home. So, make sure you tack this extra cost on as well.
Once you have the answers to these questions you’re ready to make an informed decision whether or not this rundown property is worth purchasing. Hopefully, this will help you find a great historic home that’s worthy of a little attention to make it into a beautiful home for you and your family to live in.