The Pros and Cons of Older Homes
One of the most important decisions when buying a Jersey Shore home is whether to buy new or pre-owned. Just like used cars, older homes can represent a better value for homebuyers when small repair needs and outdated designs help drive down overall cost. Older homes may also have unique benefits, including superior build quality and distinctive style.
The question is; what can you do to ensure that an old home still represents a good value?
Experts unanimously agreed that a thorough inspection is a necessity when considering an older home purchase. When getting an inspection, look for a qualified inspector, preferably one who has experience with the specific type of home you are interested in.
Make sure that you are prepared for all the possible work that needs to be done. Pay whatever it takes to get a highly trained inspector. Think of it as ‘peace of mind’ insurance.
Remember that older home inspections should include an examination of the foundation, roof, sewer lines, electrical equipment and plumbing. Furthermore, you should ask the inspector to check for any outdated hazardous materials including asbestos in insulation and lead in old paint.
Another consideration; when a prospective home has big recent renovations, make sure to request the names of all companies involved with the work and then check the reputations of those companies. Also, ask about transferable warranties for services provided or products installed.
The detail-rich architecture of an older home is a blessing and a curse when planning for design. Some homeowners may find that they are wedged into a specific design style, just because a home is a craftsman or Victorian.
Consider your ideal interior design when looking at possible homes and imagine how that home fits your preferences. Even though many older homes are design specific, some are just as neutral as new homes. Your choice of an older home should either provide a blank slate, capable of being manipulated into several design styles, or it should match the design you have in mind.
Use the results of your thorough inspection to estimate the costs of necessary repairs. Compare these costs with the value of the home and you’ll have a much clearer idea of whether that home is right for you, your family and your budget.
Keep in mind many of the upgrades you consider will ultimately increase the value of your home.
In addition, you may also want to consider the cost of replacing systems and appliances which are not necessarily broken, but are functioning at very low efficiencies. Most new homes are built to strict energy efficiency standards, saving you money on utilities bills, especially on heating, cooling and electricity.
It’s easy to remember home inspections and major repair considerations when looking at homes, but you’ll also want to consider the little things. For example, many older homes were built with smaller doorways, staircases and hallways that may make it difficult to navigate when moving in oversized modern furniture (couches, tables, beds, etc.).
Older homes may also have limited storage space. You’ll want to consider creative solutions to any storage problems that your potential home may have.
If you’re on the fence about an older home, you may want to think about some of the overlooked benefits. For instance, older homes were often built on larger lots and thus come with more space and privacy when compared with dense, new home developments. Within those larger yards are bigger mature trees that can add landscaping character and cool shade in the summer.
Your home is granted status as a historic property, you may qualify for rebates and discounts on purchases made to help restore that home. There are many opportunities to purchase historic properties on the Jersey Shore.
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