Top 5 issues with buying an older home

You’ll rarely find anyone telling you that buying a brand new car is a good idea. In many ways, the same is true with a home but for very different reasons. New homes won’t necessarily lose their value as quickly as a new car but new builds are often quite cold and clinical when compared to more vintage options. Older homes boast a timeless character and an aesthetic that it’s almost impossible to truly replicate today. But sometimes, older homes can have hidden issues and it’s important to know what they might be before you pull the trigger.

1. Old windows

While it has become quite standard in the majority of homes built in the last few decades, most older homes won’t have double glazing as standard unless you want a bedroom without a window and there’s a chance there will be cracks and gaps in the joints of the window too. Indeed, double glazing didn’t become a compulsory standard until 2002 in the UK. Windows are where you’ll be losing most of your heat so it’s something you’ll want to jump on as soon as possible.

2. Heating

You might have noticed the news doing the rounds recently about the government offering grants for homes willing to invest in heat pumps. This underlines the fact that we’ve come a very long way in the last 20 years when it comes to how we heat our homes. Replacing your combination boiler can have a positive effect on your energy bills if it is old and takes a while to heat up your home. Not only this, you might also have to replace the bathtub and other basic luxuries.

3. Foundation issues

The foundations are quite literally what holds everything up and if there’s a problem then it can be incredibly expensive to fix in an old home. Issues can range from smaller cracks to damaged support footings which can be very costly to fix. Look for uneven floors, doors that won’t close, cracks in the exterior and interior walls and stiff windows. These are all potential signs that there’s something wrong with the home’s foundations.

4. Plumbing issues

Lead paint is a potential worry, of course. But it’s not the only lead you should worry about. Fragments of lead from old lead piping can end up in your drinking water which could end up poisoning you. Not only that but lead pipes also corrode faster than more modern alternatives.

5. Lack of insulation

Insulation is how our homes are able to retain and distribute heat which is vital in the winter months, particularly given the rising price of energy. Good insulation needs to be present in the wall cavities, floorboards and loft, so make sure to check these areas yourself if shopping for an older home or ask the current owner.

Kimberly Tran

Kimberly Tran brings a wealth of knowledge from her 15 years in architecture and urban planning. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a Master's in Urban Planning. She began her career in a top architectural firm before transitioning to property development. Joining our team in 2020, she has since been a driving force in exploring innovative living spaces. Kimberly balances her professional life with a passion for landscape photography and volunteering in community redevelopment programs.

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