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Thinking of Buying an Older Home?

GreenTree Properties November 24, 2015

Someone with a keen eye and sense of vision can certainly be drawn to an older home–the chance to make it all their own, the adventure of renovations, and the grand reveal when it’s all done. It’s important to consider the old-house problems and to have an idea of what these might cost to repair. Some are minor and painless, others can be dangerous and costly. Consider a few items we look at when showing older homes:

Foundation Issues 

Is the floor uneven and buckling? Are the doors and windows sticky and failing to latch? Are there cracks in the drywall? By executing a quick exterior check, you may be able to spot signs of possible foundation issues. Hairline cracks in the concrete or driveways are not usually indicative of a major problem, but only an inspection by a structural engineer can tell you for sure. Repairs to the foundation can be as simple as $1,000 with a few days of work but can run substantially more.

Bad Roof

This one goes without saying, but water damage is poison to a home, so the soundness of a roof is critical. Replacing the roof may be high on your list of priorities after buying an older home, and rightfully so. Water stains on ceilings and walls aren’t always signs of roofing problems but could rather be signs of plumbing or window leaks. A quick inspection of the roof shingles or tiles can reveal any problems.

Outdated Features 

Popcorn ceilings served a great purpose back in the day. Today? Not so much. Removing popcorn can be a pricey job, and significantly longer and pricier should the popcorn contain asbestos. Other updates, such as paint, can be relatively easy and painless so long as there aren’t lead-based paints on the walls. Updating cabinets, plumbing and electrical can all run costs to modernize, as do cosmetic changes to surface materials.


You want the water to drain away from the house. Back in the old days, perimeter drainage wasn’t nearly what it is today. Issues don’t usually arise in a few years, but if you’re looking at a 50-year-old house where water can accumulate for long periods, you could be looking at a major problem. The drainage of older homes is likely pretty insufficient by today’s standards. Check the gutters and downspouts for perimeter drainage, if any. These issues can also cause mold. Mold isn’t always so visible, it can be hidden in the walls and attics. If you smell something funny, consider a thorough inspection by a professional.
The draw of an older home can be hard to resist. Getting a thorough inspection and getting repairs done right will not only help you sleep at night but also ensure the home’s positive future. As always, if you’re thinking of buying a new home, let us know, and we can help you sort out the issues and generate a plan that works.

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