While you may not find 100-year-old Victorian mansions or antebellum estates in Mesa and Scottsdale, we do have older homes around here. Some people like the charm of an older home; something they can put their own spin on or preserve a piece of the past. If you’re looking for an older home on purpose, there are some things you might not know about purchasing this type of property. Here are 10 things you probably don’t know about buying an older home.
#1. An older home comes with older building materials.
Okay, this is fairly obvious. Clearly, if you are buying an older home, everything around that home will be older as well including technology, finishes, and building materials. But, that’s the charm of an older home, which is why some people choose to buy this type of property, and this is not necessarily a bad thing. Custom, handcrafted qualities of an older home typically mean long-lasting value and a durable structure. However, that nostalgic charm can come with some issues. This could mean older plumbing, wiring, heating and cooling, windows, roofing, and insulation, so it’s important to have an inspector evaluate the integrity and stability of all of these items.
#2. Older homes have character you just can’t buy today.
Unless you are creating a home from scratch, from the ground up, and customizing everything, most homes in subdivisions will have some sort of cookie-cutter look. So, this is why older homes are appealing to a lot of buyers. There are some amazing custom builders that can build out exactly what you want, but nothing will be the tree-lined street, quaint neighborhood, and mature landscaping of an older home in a nostalgic neighborhood.
#3. You may have to do some remodeling.
With those older materials, outdated and out of code substances. You may love the aesthetics of the home, but because it’s not up to code, it could pose a hazard and a safety issue. Most older homes will require some sort of remodeling or even an expansion so this is something to consider ahead of time.
#4. Homeowner’s insurance may be more.
Home insurance companies may charge more for an older home based on the level of risk. Replacements may be more expensive due to the materials and finishes used. Older homes naturally come with more risks such as fire hazards, old plumbing, and foundation issues so be sure to check with your homeowner’s insurance on regulations and requirements.
#5. Roofs and windows are the top two updates of an older home.
Chances are, if the roof is older than about 10 to 15 years, it will need to be replaced. Older windows are typically single pane with very little insulating properties and around here, you’ll want to keep that air conditioning inside working at full blast.
#6. It’s a great mix of old and new.
Some older homes have been completely renovated with older features being restored to perfection. However, some have an odd sense of mix with a standup shower next to a clawfoot tub. You may or may not like this but it’s something to be aware of that you’ll likely find in older homes.
#7. You can remodel an older home to make it more contemporary.
There is no hard and fast rule to how modern you can make your home. The mix of old and new can be wonderful so throw out the rules and let it be an amalgamation of your dream home with both modern and vintage.
#8. If it is on the National Register of Historic Places, you may need a permit to remodel.
Most of the time buyers know what they’re buying if the home is registered as a Historical Home, but you’ll need to contact the historical society if you plan on remodeling this type of home, even if you’re unsure if it’s registered.
#9. Appliances may or may not fit.
Newer appliances are much larger than older ones so the space for the refrigerator, range, dishwasher (if there even is a space for one) may not fit at all so it’s important to have your measurements ready to go if you’re planning on bringing your old appliances over.
#10. Learn to love an older home.
If you’re planning on buying an older home you have to embrace the difficulties and pleasures of owning that older home. Complete modernization can be done but is that something you really want to do? You fell in love with the home because of its older materials, finishes, and vintage appeal to changing it too much may turn it into a home you no longer want. Remodel only what you have to and think about keeping some of the historic appeal.
Buying an older home is not for the faint of heart but it can be extremely rewarding. Embracing vintage and restoring the nostalgic will keep history alive, not just in your home, but in the neighborhood as well.
Contact my office today to learn more about older homes in Mesa Arizona and surrounding communities.