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5 Things to Consider When Buying an Older Home

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Whether you like the character of an older home or just like the lower price tag that often comes along with buying older houses, here are five things you should consider before you make an offer on that old charmer.

  1. Do you need to include the cost of repairs or updates in your loan? You may be able to work with your loan specialist in order to factor these kinds of costs into your loan. Buying an older home may mean there are plumbing and wiring issues that need to be addressed, as well as updates to appliances, paint, and flooring. While a loan for these kinds of repairs might not be able to be bundled into your mortgage, discuss with your lender if they would be willing to offer and additional loan to cover these costs. 
  1. Is this property protected by historical status? Some properties, because of how long they have been part of a neighborhood, might be awarded historical status. This status may limit the kinds of updates or repairs you are allowed to do the property. 
  1. What kinds of updates or repairs will it need? Some older homes may need no updates or repairs. While the exterior has that old world charm, the interior may be thoroughly updated and ready for move in. Other times, you may need a total renovation before you can live in the house. Most older houses fall somewhere on this scale. Carefully consider what types of repairs it will need, how much they will cost, and if you can do them or if you will need to hire someone else. 
  1. Do I want to keep this home’s character? When buying an older home, you have essentially two options: you can keep the character, or you can gut the place and just use the bones to create an entirely new house. If possible, try keeping the character of the house intact. It will make the property more valuable when you’re ready to sell.
  1. Will there be any hazards associated with renovations? Lead paint and asbestos insulation are serious concerns in older homes. If you are not prepared to handle these hazards, hire a remediation company to scrape off old paint and remove asbestos from walls and floors. Most home owners are required to disclose these sorts of hazards when they sell, so you should know whether or not the home you are considering buying contains them.
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