Posted on 18th May 2022

6 Things to Look Out For When Buying An Old House

Old House

Buying property can be a challenge for anyone, especially if you’re looking for old, dated, or dilapidated buildings. Old houses may be packed with history and charm but they do come with their own set of challenges. From safety to aesthetics there are plenty of things to consider when buying an old house. 

Whether you’re looking to invest in some old property or find your dream house, you’ve come to the right place! Here’s everything you need to know about buying an old property, what to look for and what to look out for. Keep these 6 things in mind and find the perfect old property to give a new life to!


1. Find the right people for the job

It’s easy to buy an old house, but it can take a whole village to get it back into shape. Once you’ve found the house, your first step is to find people with the right expertise to take it from there. From real estate agents to inspectors and repairmen, everyone on your team needs to know what they’re doing. Whether you want to revamp the roof or foundation, working with a good renovation company with friendly service does wonders. Without the right team on the job, you’ll be no closer to getting to your dream house, whatever state it’s in.


2. There’s a reason for low prices

The price of a house can tell you more about the property besides its worth. Old properties can be expensive, so if you come across a deal that’s too good to be true, it usually is. Very cheap properties can be a sign that the property is not worth it. Damages that are too far gone, unsafe or unstable building equipment or an immense amount of needed repairs is usually the reason behind it. Buying a budget vintage property may seem like a good idea, but the cost of repairs and refurbishing quickly adds up. 


3. Hazardous building materials

Older properties may have a gorgeous vintage aesthetic, but they can also come with harmful building materials. Before 1978 lead-based paint and asbestos were often used in homes. Make sure to have a qualified inspector check the place for them. If found, these materials need to be removed, which can make things more expensive. Check for any deteriorating or cracked paint, crumbling drywall and siding, and the year the home was built. Keep this in mind before settling on any vintage property.


4. Toxic gasses

Aside from building materials, there are other hazards to keep an eye out for when buying old properties. Toxic gasses like radon and carbon monoxide can be found in older homes and are dangerous. The poisonous gas carbon monoxide can cause anything from dizziness to death. Although not toxic, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for nonsmokers. Both gasses are odorless, colorless, and tasteless which means you’ll need a professional inspector to find them. 


5. Outdated electrical and plumbing

Vintage properties are charming, but they come with inconvenient, inefficient, and outdated fixtures. Outdated electrical and plumbing systems are the most common problems found in older houses. Older electrical systems need to be completely updated if you want to avoid massive energy loss or a fire hazard. Everything from service panels to circuit breakers to outlets and wires needs to be swapped out. Older plumbing systems could be ruined by overgrown roots from nearby trees and may be coated in poisonous paint. Be on the lookout for lead-painted, corroded, or damaged water pipes when selecting a home.


6. Outdated features, fixtures, and layouts

Last but not least, keep in mind that you may have to lower your aesthetic expectations when it comes to older properties. Old houses typically don’t have open-floor concept plans or modern fixtures. The wallpapers, tiles, floors, windows, and other fixtures are often outdated and need a revamp. Don’t let this discourage you, as you can achieve any look or aesthetic, it just takes a little more creativity, funds, and elbow grease. When looking for a vintage home, look for potential instead of what’s already there, as you’ll have to replace most of it anyway.

So there you have it! If you’re in the market for buying an old house, keep an eye out for these 6 things. Look for the best and most qualified professionals for the job to make sure things run smoothly. Be wary of properties with a low price tag, as this can indicate problems with the house. Look out for asbestos and lead paint and make sure to test the air for argon and carbon monoxide before sealing the deal. 


Assess the damages in the electrical and plumbing systems, and see what you can salvage. Last but not least, approach each building with an open mind. Remember that you’ll probably have to replace and change most of the features, fixtures, and layouts. Good luck and happy vintage home hunting!