House hunting is both fun and quite tedious, especially if you have a tight budget. This is one reason why ancestral homes are still a charmer in this day and age. Because if not for their personality, the price will definitely lure you in.
But before you close the sale on your not-so-new home, here are some qualities of old homes to help you weigh your options better:
The beauty of old houses is that it’s timeless. They’re not a fad or temporary popular demand. Like wine, houses from way back the 70s have a richer, more elegant way about them. They might be in a bit of disrepair, but with love and care, you can restore them back to their prime and even more.
As mentioned, old houses tend to be much cheaper than new houses, even with repairs included. And if you’re a handy person (or even have a license to do major repairs), then buying a fixer-upper is definitely for you. You’re free to upgrade and remodel as seen fit, increasing the property’s overall value, or you can keep its original look but refurbish it to sell the fact that it’s an older house.
Full of Personality
Old homes have such unique and intricate designs. From the exterior details to light fixtures, vintage and renaissance items are so full of character. Even after you’ve done repairs and renovations, you can still keep the design elements as well as some of the furniture of an old house. This gives you more opportunity to appreciate art on a daily basis, and it also allows you to exercise your design prowess in the renovation stage.
They Were Built To Last
The fact that old houses are still in the market is a testament to how long they can last. Sure, there may be parts of the house that need fixing, but usually, the foundation remains solid. The fact that the house can be sold despite its age is a testament to its endurance, and even appeal. Older houses were made with longevity and toughness in mind, and that’s a quality that’s still appreciated today.
Of course, being that it’s an old house there are potential downsides to it. Almost nothing is without its downsides, and here are some of the disadvantages of getting old houses.
Make Sure Repairs Are In Your Budget
Because you know you are getting a fixer-upper, you have to make sure that repairs are included in your budget. Get to know which repairs need major work so you’d know whether or not you’d need to hire professionals. Things like hiring a reliable reroofing company or planning out how to replace an entire wall due to disrepair need to be brought into the discussion so you get a clearer view of what you’re getting into.
Perhaps the most important factor here is that the repair and renovation costs shouldn’t outweigh the purchasing fee. And in the event that it does, it’s important to make sure that you can get a return on investment (through the value increase when everything is finished).
Asbestos and Other Toxic Material
Many old homes, especially the ones from the mid-century, contain a lot of dangerous chemicals that have long been outlawed. However, not every old home had the proper upgrading to have these dangerous chemicals removed. When purchasing an old house for the purposes of renovation, this is an important factor to consider. It would require extra investment in both time and finances for the buyer to fully update the house to modern standards.
Hiring professionals to inspect your home, make the necessary adjustments and repairs (and sometimes completely overhaul large parts of the property) can be quite the commitment, so make sure you’re ready for something like this.
Time Consuming Renovations
Sometimes, a fixer-upper might need more than one major renovation. You might need to redo the plumbing, replace the insulation, and update the electrical wiring. In this case, you have to be prepared to live in a construction zone. That means dust and debris everywhere, tools and equipment around the floor, and walking around ongoing repairs. Depending on how big the project is and whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring professional work, renovations can last up to months. This can be quite problematic, particularly if it’s your main residence.
There will be times at the beginning where you will feel like the limited livable space is stifling, but if you are willing to bear through that, the end results will make the hard work worth it.