Buying An Older Home? Here's What You Should Know

Posted on: 15 June 2015

Whether you're a first time home buyer or just in the market for a different house, many older homes are for sale throughout the United States. Older homes often have a charm and uniqueness that most newer models lack. This can be very appealing to a lot of buyers. But with an old house comes some potential pitfalls and potential problems that all home buyers should be on the lookout for before they put in an offer.

Electrical Wiring

Many older homes may have what's known as knob and tube wiring. This is a very old form of electrical wiring that is no longer used, and normally will not pass an inspection if service or upgrades are needed. Sellers do not have to disclose that their home has knob and tube wiring, but a home inspector will most likely notice it and point it out. This kind of electrical wiring can pose a potential fire hazard, so it's recommended that it be upgraded to modern standards as soon as possible.

Building Materials

In older houses, the types of building material used were much different than they are today. Plaster was a popular form of material used for walls and ceilings instead of drywall. While plaster is beautiful, it can easily crack, peel, and crumble. The pipes in an older home's plumbing were typically made of iron instead of copper, which can be prone to rusting and can cause leaking or other issues. Floors were often made with wood planks instead of carpet or tile. Some of these materials are just a matter of aesthetic choice, but some like the pipes can be a problem if not inspected or corrected.

The Layouts Were Different

Today's modern home is typically an open floor plan with huge walk-in closets in the master bedroom. Old houses were a bit different. Rooms were usually separated, and the kitchen and main living spaces were almost always completely separated. Closets were very small, yet windows were often plentiful and larger in size. It really is a matter of personal taste, but if you have your heart set on that open floor plan and a huge closet, you'll either need to consider doing a remodel or looking for a bit newer model home.

Charm is Plentiful

A true benefit of purchasing an older home in a well established neighborhood is the charm. These neighborhoods are often full of beautiful older trees and each house seems to have its own individual personality. If you decide to buy an older home, even if you want to change a few things, remember that the unconventional style it's built with helps to give your home its unique appeal. For more information, visit