Older homes can certainly be charming, especially when you can add your own personal touch to make them your own. However, buying an older home means dealing with problems that date back a long time. It might seem like everything is fine on the surface, but those old walls could hold some damaging secrets that can turn the place into a nightmare for you. Buying one isn’t always a bad choice, but there are a few problems you may find in an older home, and you need to know whether you want to deal with them or move onto a different house.
The last thing you want to deal with after moving into a new place is a plumbing disaster. Numerous issues can pop up in an older plumbing system:
- Outdated piping material breaking down
- Tree growth invading into outdoor lines
- Stubborn, built-up clogs in the pipes
- Pipes that have shifted and sustained damage over time
Plumbing problems like these don’t go away on their own, and they are difficult to deal with unless you know what you’re doing. Calling in a water and sewer line expert can ensure that your house’s plumbing is up to code.
Electrical wiring has come a long way in the past few decades. Many older homes have inefficient or even dangerous wiring. Your house might be a wiring hazard without you even realizing it. Knob-and-tube wiring, specifically, needs an electrician to come and take a look at it since it can be unsafe if the previous owner didn’t maintain it correctly. Rewiring an entire house does take some time and money, so consider this possibility before you put in an offer.
This broad category encompasses many dangerous materials that could be in your old house right under your nose. If the house you want is a couple of decades old, you’ll want to call in an inspector to check for a few of these issues:
- Asbestos-based insulation in the walls and ceilings
- Dangerous levels of radon gas in the house
- Spots of mold or mildew and their sources
- Lead-based paint
One expensive problem you may find in an older home is a failed or failing foundation. An uneven foundation can lead to a wide variety of problems. Uneven flooring, cracked walls, unsealed windows and doors—these problems all stem from a failed foundation earlier in the house’s life. You can repair this problem, but it might cost you more than you’d want to pay.