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Thinking of Buying an Old Home? Here’s What You Need to Consider

Older or historic homes often have a charm about them that newer homes just can’t give you. If you’re the type who loves history and antiques, purchasing a vintage home may as well be a dream come true. While it does come with its own benefits, it’s important to remember that an older home comes with many responsibilities. From higher homeowner’s insurance to energy efficiency issues, here are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to buy or move into an old house.

Older Fixtures and Materials

If you decide to purchase an older home, don’t expect to find the newest fixtures, technologies, or materials. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In most cases, the custom-made crafts in older homes usually make for a more durable structure and are a sign that these types of homes were built to last. However, when it comes to heating, insulation, wiring, plumbing, and the like, leaving them be for too long can affect your quality of life. Oftentimes, you’ll have to spend to have these things repaired or even replaced, the costs of which can eventually add up.

Know when to save, repair, or replace your fixtures, and don’t worry about not being able to keep the vintage look of your house should you choose to replace anything. A quick visit to the hardware store will show you that parts, such as faucets, doorknobs, and handles, come in different styles that are sure to fit your home’s aesthetic.


Houses made in older times may not accommodate the needs of today’s households. Many older homes often include small bathrooms and bedrooms, which isn’t ideal if you’re more than three or four in your family and own a lot of clothes and other items. You may end up filling all the space with only half of your belongings. Unless you’re a minimalist or have a small household, you may need to remodel or expand your house. Before you make that deal, check to determine whether the space is big enough for your family.

Limited Renovations

While it is easier to get permits for older homes when it comes to making renovations, historical houses require additional steps before you can make modifications to the house. Some historic homes often have restrictions set in place, which help ensure the preservation of the home. If you’re planning to make some major changes to your home, you may not be able to do so. Whether you want to replace your roof due to leakage or expand the square footage of your home, you may have to speak with the building and planning department in your area.

Energy Inefficiency

While vintage-style windows add to a home’s charm, most old or historic homes are built without proper insulation, which can take a toll on your electric bills. Fortunately, you don’t need to have these beautiful windows removed to make your home more energy-efficient. Instead, consider adding storm windows or even weather-stripping your doors and windows to prevent any draft from getting in. This is especially helpful during the summer and winter months, as properly insulated homes will keep you from adjusting your thermostat often, saving you time and money.

Harmful Gases

At a time like this, air circulation and quality are important to stay healthy. This is why it’s important to inspect an old or historic home for toxic gases like radon and carbon monoxide, which are harmful to the human body. Long exposure to radon can cause lung cancer in nonsmokers. If you detect this in your home, it’s important to deal with it immediately with the help of a professional. Meanwhile, carbon monoxide is usually caused by gas leaking from certain appliances. This can cause shortness of breath, headaches, and in worse cases, death.

Before you move into an old home, have it tested for radon and carbon monoxide. You’ll thank yourself for doing so later.

Homeowner’s Insurance

One thing that aspiring homeowners forget to check on is homeowner’s insurance. Like any other insurance plan, homeowner’s insurance is generally based on risk. Older homes can cause several problems that can end up being costly, which is why most insurance providers include those risks when giving you a quote. While you have to budget for any repairs you may have to make in the future, it’s also important to consider how much your insurance policy can give you.

Get quotes from different insurance companies to get an idea about how much you’ll be paying so you can adjust your budget.

Buying a home is an exciting and emotional event that many aspire to experience. If you’re planning on buying an old or historic home, consider these points before doing so. Having a team of experts that include a real estate agent, engineer, contractor, and inspector can help you make more informed decisions. At the end of the day, it all comes down to what you want and what you can afford. Just remember to do your research and not rush into making your decision.

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