There are plenty of reasons why someone would opt to buy an older house. Whether it’s the charm of an age that has passed, the architectural style it was built in or just the lower price that allow you the budget to reshape the house you have into the home you want. However, buying an older house is a bit trickier than just buying a regular newly built home, and there are more things that you should be keeping an eye on while you’re first looking at the house.
The first thing on your list should always be to conduct a Property Condition Assessment to inspect the structural stability of the home. Sometimes, old homes can have improper foundations, or they could be built out of materials that have corroded over time. If you see that the house is supported by a wooden structure, or that the walls are sloped, you should consult an expert to see if the house is safe to live in. If you feel a slope on the floor (and you can easily check this by dropping a marble), it means that the foundation might have shifted and that the whole house is sloped, which isn’t dangerous by itself, but can point to much bigger problems that might be happening underground.
We didn’t know as much about the harmful effects of lead when we were building these beautiful old houses, so the homes are covered from lead-based paints from top to bottom, which can be detrimental to your health. This is especially important if you have a child, because lead can affect them even more. If children are in contact with lead during their growth, it can severely impact their development, in some cases completely and irreversibly ruining their health.
While it’s extremely useful for its anti-flammable abilities – which is why it was used so often in the past – asbestos, when airborne and inhaled, leads to an extremely deadly form of cancer. A lot of old homes have had asbestos removed, but not all of them, and while it’s banned by law to build with it, there isn’t actually any law preventing from still being in the houses. A lot of countries such as Australia, are filled with beautiful historic homes, but which are laced with deadly materials such as asbestos. The only sure way to know is to test for it, so if you’re looking for a home on the Australian southeastern coast, you want to call experts for asbestos testing from Melbourne to come and see whether your home actually contains any asbestos, and to advise you on how to best remove it.
In addition to asbestos, you should also conduct a radon testing with the help of professional radon mitigation services to eliminate harmful radon gas.
Some houses were built before residential electricity was even invented, and a lot of homes were never meant to support as much power usage as we consume today. When looking at a house, make sure you bring an electrician to take a look as well. Changing so much of the wiring can rack up the cost really fast, and you want to calculate that in the cost and your budget. Think about how many people will be living in the house and tell them how many outlets you’ll need and how much energy you need. Even if there is plenty of wiring throughout the house, it might have been done in a way that is unsafe for the amount of electricity we use today.
Buying a home is a beautiful experience and a big step, so before you make it, you want to make sure that you are aware of all the added costs and money you’ll have to put out to make the home stable and safe to live in, on top of making it look good and comfortable.