The high cost of brand-new homes has buyers looking at older houses as viable options. These usually are sold at a lower cost because of the various repairs that you have to make. It can be a good purchase if you know what you are doing. So when you do buy an old home, you know there are some important elements that you have to change before you move in. Knowing what you need to look out for can save you a lot of time and money in the future.
If the house you bought is older than the 1970s, then the house likely has asbestos in it. Asbestos was a wonder material in the early 20th century and was popular in homes for its various properties, mainly its ability to stop heat and fire. This made it a favorite for fire-proofing and insulating homes.
The problem is that it is a highly carcinogenic substance. Scientific studies link it to higher incidents of cancer, especially in those exposed to it. People can develop lung, stomach, and larynx cancer from absorbing it into their bodies.
It is a good thing that when people used asbestos in their homes, it was usually inside the walls. You are technically safe as long as you do not disturb the material. But you cannot guarantee that so you might need to call in hazardous material disposal companies. They will be able to remove the asbestos safely. They can even advise you on how to replace it in your current home since you will likely be missing insulation and more.
Another concern you should have is the house’s energy efficiency. In the past, energy efficiency was not that high of a concern. This is especially when it comes to comfortable temperatures. When people needed heating or cooling, they just turned up or down the thermostat. Nowadays, energy is much more expensive, so you do not want to be bleeding money every month paying your HVAC bills.
There are several things that you can do to remedy the situation. For example, some window companies specialize in replacing antique windows. Antique windows may look great, but they can be very drafty. Their age affects them terribly, and you may notice cracks in the frame. You want windows that will keep the heat in when necessary. Additionally, replacing your windows can allow you to install bigger and wider ones. These can provide natural light during the day, which will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Additionally, if your home has an older HVAC system, then it is time to replace it. Modern HVAC units are much more efficient and will save you more money. They can pay for themselves as long as you plan to live in the house for a long time.
Old houses are proof that good work can last the test of time. A well-made home can still be habitable after decades. But materials have their limits. If you got a big discount for an old home, there are likely structural problems in the house that needs fixing. Several things could be wrong.
The worst thing could be a problem with the house’s foundation. If you notice that the floor is uneven or that doors and windows don’t close properly, then there may be problems with the foundation. It may be sagging or finally giving way after years of supporting the house. This can be bad for your new home, but a good contractor can handle it. A skilled structural engineer can take a look at what’s wrong and suggest a fix. If the problem is minor, then $1,000 should be enough to resolve it, but the repairs can get expensive.
Besides the foundation, other parts of the house might also be in trouble. You should always check the roof of the home for leaks. Older homes usually need a roof replacement depending on the material used for the roof. Asphalt shingles only last around several decades. A thorough inspection will reveal what work you need to do on the roof.
An old house can be a great purchase, but you need to invest in it to be habitable again. You should make calculations if you plan to buy an older home since it can get expensive to update everything to moderns standards. You should only go ahead with your purchase if the numbers show that it is possible within your budget. It may take time and effort, but your antique home can be worth it.
Meta title: Dangers From The Past: Know How Houses Can Be Dangerous
Meta description: Buying an old house is an affordable way to purchase a home. But there are several hidden dangers and problems in these old places that you have to be on the lookout for and resolve.