The phrase “They don’t make ‘em like they used to” often applies to houses. Sometimes, newer homes don’t have the same charm and character of older models. However, the older the home, the more chances there are for problems that can cost you money in the long run. Check out a few of these areas before you move in to that old house.
Hire an Inspector
Obviously before purchasing a home, you should have a licensed and certified home inspector come in and take a look. Before hiring one, make sure you are asking these questions. A good inspector will cover all of your bases, but you can easily check the following areas of your home on your own. Check out these tips from our Zing Blog when searching for an inspector.
Your entire home rests on the foundation, so this should be the first area you check for yourself. The most obvious signs of trouble are visible cracks in the wall. They can appear around the outside, and if uncovered, on the inside. Check for water damage on the walls, floors and ceilings, which can indicate a crack. Large cracks can indicate that your home is shifting or under stress from harsh weather.
An older roof can show signs of distress. Inspecting the outside for any sags in is the easiest way to identify problems. A closer inspection of the roof to check for weather damage, holes or even too many layers of shingles can help you identify if the roof is unsafe. Go up in your attic to check the beams for damage, sags or even evidence of fire damage. Inside your house, water damage is a good indicator of roof problems. Our Zing Blog has a few roofing options, if you have no choice but to replace it.
Life without electricity is almost unimaginable, so a solid inspection of your electrical system is a must. Check all of your outlets for fire damage, the amount of prongs (a three prong outlet is grounded, which reduces the risk of electric shock) and see if they have reset buttons. Also, check out the house’s breaker for damage. If it has a fuse system, you should upgrade it to a more modern system.
Many old homes have pipes made of outdated materials, such as cast iron and lead. Check to make sure your pipes aren’t made of these materials, but also check any visible pipes for corrosion and evidence of leaks. Of course, test the water pressure to make sure that there aren’t any issues with blockage. For more information about the plumbing in your house, check out a previous Zing Blog post.
These are just a few major areas to inspect before you purchase an older home. The most important step is to hire a professional inspector before agreeing to purchase a home. Many of these repairs can cost you thousands of dollars and major headaches.
Have you ever purchased an older home? Share your experience in the comments below!