Thursday, March 8, 2012

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

Purchasing an older home can have many advantages. Not only are older homes typically less expensive than new homes, but they are also generally located within well-established neighborhoods with plenty of nearby retail and dining opportunities. Furthermore, older homes frequently offer mature landscape and older trees that often cannot be found when purchasing new construction. On the other hand, there are some potential downsides to purchasing an older home. Whether looking at Boston or Bethesda homes for sale, before you make the decision to buy an older home, it is important to have a solid understanding of what to expect before you make a purchase.
Does the Home Have the Upgrades You’re Looking For?
While an older home may be less expensive to purchase than an older home, you may find that the home needs to undergo many upgrades before it meets your standards. The cost of replacing appliances, upgrading faucets and changing out cabinets in order to create a more modern look can be quite costly. The same is true of the plumbing and electrical systems, which may need to be replaced in order to improve efficiency or to reduce potential health and safety risks.
Is the Home Energy-Efficient?
In many cases, older homes are not nearly as energy-efficient as new homes. Not only do they have less energy-efficient systems in place, but the aging process often reduces the efficiency of appliances and other features. As such, you may find that you need to replace the windows in order to improve energy efficiency or that appliances and plumbing items need to be replaced in order to waste less water, gas and electricity.
When Do Major Items Need to Be Replaced?
Even if you are willing to deal with out-of-date features and appliances or even if you are not too
concerned about energy-efficiency, you may find that several parts of the home need to be replaced shortly after purchasing the home. While the roof may still be in decent shape, for example, you will likely need to replace it far sooner than you would if you were to purchase a new home. The same is true of major appliances, such as your heating and cooling system. More than likely, these items will not need to be replaced within the first few years. Still, since these items generally are not new when purchasing an older home, you will likely need to replace them within the next ten years or so.
The bottom line is that, while an older home may be less expensive than a new home when you first purchase it, you will likely need to invest more money into your older home. Therefore, you need to take these factors into consideration when deciding on the type of home you wish to purchase.

No comments: