Monday, November 7, 2011

BUYING A HOME: What to Expect When Purchasing an Older Home

Purchasing an older home can be a good decision. Not only can it help you save money, but it might also be your only option if you are interested in living in a certain neighborhood. Of course, older homes can also offer a certain kind of charm that cannot be achieved in newer homes and many offer mature trees and other well-established landscaping features. Before making a purchase, however, it is important to have a better idea of what to expect when buying an older home.
Performing Maintenance
When purchasing an older home, it is important to keep in mind that you will likely have more maintenance costs than you would if you purchased a new home. While there are no guarantees that a new home will not have problems, you are more likely to experience issues with an older home. Even routine maintenance issues, such as replacing your furnace or roof, are more likely to be an issue with an older home. Therefore, while you will usually save money when purchasing an older home, be aware that the money you save upfront may still need to be put into your home in terms of maintenance costs.
Addressing Safety Issues
Many older homes have certain safety issues that need to be addressed. When purchasing a new home, for example, you can be sure the wiring and plumbing will be in compliance with the most current safety codes. Older homes, on the other hand, may be grandfathered into the new codes. Therefore, if you want to ensure your home is as safe as possible, you may need to do
some major work to get it up to code. As is the case with many Austin homes for sale and elsewhere, it is quite common in older neighborhoods for very few homes to already be up to code.
Making Upgrades
Even if your home is up to code and does not require any immediate maintenance, you may discover that the home needs some upgrades in order to compliment your lifestyle. Many older homes, for example, do not offer dishwashers, garbage disposals or other appliances that are commonly found in newer homes. Similarly, the home may not have energy-efficient windows, appliances or other desirable features. If you want to enjoy these amenities or other popular features, you will need to invest in your home in order to make the necessary upgrades.
For many people, purchasing an older home is the right decision. Before you decide to go this route, however, it is important to explore all of your options and to examine the pros and cons of each in order to determine which option is right for you.

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