Many people love the look of an older home. Older homes, depending on the year built, can exude a character and grand presence often not found in most of the modern homes built today. Many people are willing to purchase a ‘fixer upper’ entirely for the many enticing features the home may have to offer, including: crown moulding, natural wood beams and trim.
What buyers should be aware of however, is that just as cars require regular checkups and tend to run down as they age, so too do houses. It is important for home buyers to be aware of what to look for and what to check when they are purchasing an older home. If the home has not had regular annual checkups, chances are repairs are required somewhere on the inside and/or the exterior of the home. It is important to have a professional home inspector evaluate your home’s condition before you sink money into a possible lifetime of repairs.
As a professional Home Inspector, here is a list of items I would inspect in and around your home:
Many homes built between 1900 and 1965 installed galvanized iron pipes. These pipes commonly develop mineral build up as the iron and zinc inside the pipe react to the minerals in the water. This slows down the natural flow of the water and will cause backups resulting in blocked toilets and dribbling taps.
Your house foundation settlement may have shifted or cracked due to environmental stress. A shift in the settlement could result in broken pipes, and sticking doors and windows.
You may notice the floors in an old house begin to sag after time. It is important to check that support beams are safe and sturdy, and any alterations done to the home were done properly.
Far too often, people think they can do their own wiring. Unprofessional wiring can result in a lack of electrical flow to the house and major safety hazards. The wiring found in many older houses are often not up to today’s standards. The electrical requirements of yesterday are simply not what they are today! It’s important to have them professional installed.
We are ever more conscious about energy conservation today than many years ago when your older home was built. It is important to ensure proper insulation, and efficient lighting (at the very least) is installed.
It is also very important to recognize the signs of poor ventilation. Homes that have been sealed off too much may experience mildew and mould problems. It is important to have a professional look at your home and install the proper insulation to both conserve energy and breathe.
It is important to have your heating system checked for improper installation and deterioration. Homes that do not have a proper heating system installed may be subject to deadly carbon monoxide gases or high heating bills.