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Should You Buy an Old Home?

Mike Kalis, CEO of Marketplace Homes, shares some of the expenses you should know when looking to buy older homes. The verdict? Do your research before jumping in.

By
QDT Editor
August 24, 2015

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Older homes are charming. This charm led me to purchase an 1880s-era house, and this charm is probably what attracted so many rodents to its basement. Yes, my old house was all kinds of quaint ... 

Old homes tend to be cheaper than new ones, which is a huge part of their appeal. But this discount comes at a price. Keeping your eyes open throughout the homebuying process will prevent you from making a decision you’ll regret once the charm begins to wear off.

Here are some of the expenses you can expect to face after purchasing an old home:

  • Energy inefficiency: You won’t find many energy-saving features in old homes, and your energy bills will likely be through the roof, which might be why it’s leaking, but we’ll get to that later. Sometimes, you’ll pull back the siding and notice there’s no insulation whatsoever.
    Also, look out for condensation on the windows. This is a telltale sign that they aren’t insulating the home very well. On blustery days, you’ll be riffing Bette Midler while singing about the wind beneath your shingles, and when your utility bills come in, you’ll be hearing the cha-ching of cash registers, like the introduction of that Pink Floyd song.
     
  • Broken infrastructures: When things get old, they break. Don’t be ready to simply replace appliances like your furnace, water heater, or stove; expect to also have to deal with a leaky roof, flooding basement, or cracked foundation. These major fixes can run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
     
  • Redecorating urges: The house belonged to someone else for 100 years—it only makes sense that you’ll want to personalize it. You’re going to want to make the carpet to be your carpet and the paint to be your color. And if your kitchen looks like it’s straight off the set of “Leave It to Beaver,” you might want new cabinets and countertops.  

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