If you’re house hunting, you might have many things on your “must-have” list. The must-have list is what you absolutely require in a home. You should also have a list of features you’d like the house to have, but you feel like you can do without them.
The list of features on your must-have list might be in all homes, or perhaps you can only find them in certain ones. For instance, some of your must-haves might only be evident in newer homes and not so much older ones.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the difficulties and benefits if you buy an older home. Old houses can be problematic in certain ways, but they can also possess charms that you don’t often see in recent designs.
Older House Benefits
We’ll start by talking about the positives if you buy an older home. You might be able to find homes that are a hundred years old in some instances, or you might even buy one from the middle of the 1800s.
One thing that’s nice about older homes is that they often exhibit architectural styles that designers don’t use anymore. For instance, you might find a home with Gothic Revival touches. You may purchase an old Victorian or one in the Greek Revival style.
These homes often have elaborate features, more than just custom hinges and smaller touches. You might find ones with a dumbwaiter or stairs that the servants used to use. You may purchase one with fold-down tables, niches for rotary phones, or wainscotting styles that are real conversation starters.
Older House Drawbacks
As enjoyable as it is to show off your old house that exemplifies the style and sensibilities of a bygone era, you can run into some problems with older homes that are worth mentioning. For one thing, some older homes don’t have garages, or if they do, the garage or carport might be falling apart. You may have to build one or rebuild the existing one, an expenditure of thousands of dollars.
Old homes often have long, narrow staircases. They can creak horribly, and they’re also not much fun for older adults. You might feel okay about all those steep stairs if you’re a younger person, but when you get to retirement age, that might be ample reason for you to move.
What Are Some Other Common Older House Problems?
Older homes often get pretty drafty. The HVAC system you might have may be woefully inefficient, especially if your bedroom is up on the second or third floor.
During the summer, the upper rooms might remain hot, even if your central air cools the lower rooms sufficiently. Those upper floors may stay cold in the winter, even if you buy a new furnace. You may need to get some expensive new ductwork installed to combat the problem.
Older homes with unfinished basements often attract rats, mice, and other pests. Large attics often house squirrels or even raccoons or opossums in some parts of the country.
The walls of older homes are sometimes quite thin as well. You can hear what’s happening in the house next to yours if they have a similar style home, and they can listen to what you’re up to.
Should You Get an Older Home?
Getting an older home can be an impractical decision since you’ll probably have to keep spending more and more money on it as time passes. The more improvements you make, it often seems like the more new issues arise that you must address.
On the other hand, old homes often have character, and new ones seem homogenized and boring. If you happen to reside in a neighborhood with a homeowner’s association and all the houses and lawns look precisely the same, you might not care for that very much.
The reality is that newer homes often have more modern features and fewer problems. Old houses can eat into your annual household budget because you may need to dedicate more money to plumbing and electrical issues with each passing year.
Everyone must make their own decision as to whether they want newer, less problematic homes or older ones that have more character but are fixer-uppers. If you love doing DIY projects, you might want an older home for that reason.
In the end, you should choose based on which home has the most features you require, regardless of when the architect initially built it.