Holiday Home Times

Tips to buying an old home and renovating it

Though considered time consuming, renovating an old house gives the buyer scope to experiment and redesign according to his needs and style. Having said that, if constructing a house from scratch on your own could a pain, buying an old house and renovating it could be equally excruciating. However many home-seekers are now choosing to buy an old house and renovate it themselves.

Experts advice that if one is looking to buy an old home, she/ he should ideally look at the potential of the house rather than its minus points. If the potential of the house weighs more one should go ahead. Buying an old property gives the buyer ample scope to experiment and redesign it according to their taste. Living in a brand new home no doubt has its perks, but they are also often lacking in charm and personality. Older homes are, on the other hand, often oozing with character. However, owning an old home and renovating it isn’t for everyone. It requires skill and perseverance. You must have a clear plan as to how you are going to do it up.

But before you decide on buying and old home and make any payment here are some questions you should ask yourself:

1. Is the location right to buy an old house: If the house in a location that is teaming with real estate activities and is a prominent tourist destination with travelers looking at spending their vacation in a palatial house rather than a hotel room that it makes sense. Another area to look at is where the construction materials are being brought from to construct houses in the locality. For instance if it’s a mountainous location and construction materials are being brought from the city at the foothill, then it increases the cost of transportation. So a already constructed property makes sense.

2. Is the foundation solid: Old homes often have foundation issues, which are very costly to fix. When you are looking at an old property, leave the living room and bedrooms for last. The most important information you need to know is down in the basement. First, check the foundation for signs of cracks or shifting. Also detect and test for mold in the home, as it can be a sign of a weak foundation and other problems. You will likely need to get a thorough home inspection service to tell you for sure if the foundation is solid.

3. How old is the electric wiring: Many old homes still have the original knob and tube wiring. Although it works, it can pose a fire hazard. If the wiring of the house is outdated, then make sure you consider the cost of updating it. It’s a huge, expensive job.

4. How old is the plumbing: If the house still has the original cast-iron pipes, then you might need to replace them eventually because of mineral build up, corrosion, or leaks. Mineral buildup in the pipes can be detected by opening the taps in the bathrooms and kitchen. If very little water is coming out then it means that the pipes are old and clogged. Replacing pipes and laying a new plumbing system can cost quite a huge sum.

5. How is the roof: Replacing a roof is one of the most expensive home repairs. Not only does it takes time, it also costs a fortune. So make sure you check the roof carefully for leaks. If the roof is more than 10 to 15 years old, then you might need to replace it sometime during your ownership of the house. This is another potential cost you need to tack on.

Although owning an old home is fraught with potentially expensive repairs, don’t let that scare you off from considering buying one. There are several pros to owning an older home. The facts that they are typically incredibly well made, built with good, sturdy materials and strong craftsmanship are reasons enough to keep a home-buyer interested. They also usually contain beautiful old wooden floors, gorgeous trim and molding, heavy wooden doors, and cozy fireplaces that are usually not to be found in new homes.

For those who have already bought an old property and are on the verge of renovating it; just remember that a couple of structural changes and modifications can change the whole look of the house. Perhaps you will also need to make a few doors or windows to improve ventilation or get the balcony repaired to make it safer.

Home-buyers should remember that readymade, fully furnished homes are not the only option. Renovating old houses may take some effort, but it could work out cheaper. Besides, you could give it a personal touch. So what are you going to choose?