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Mary Alice Ruppert
REALTOR®, ABR, AHWD, CRB, ePro, GRI, SFR
Licensed Associate Broker
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July
26

Buying an Older Home - Long Island - Coach Realtors

For some people, there's something alluring and almost whimsical about living in an old house. It's the history, the craftsmanship, and the nostalgic factor that you can't find in a newer build. If you're looking for a home whose walls are filled with history, our REALTORS® can help you find the home of your dreams.

It's no secret that old houses carry a lot of charm and character. They just don't build them like they used to anymore. But for all their charms, buying an older house is a complicated affair. You must be prepared to spend more money long-term than your initial listing price. Even then, you might run into some issues.

Here are a few things you need to look out for when buying an old house.

What Counts As an Older Home?

Age is subjective when it comes to houses. As a general rule of thumb, an old house is one that's fifty years or older, and one built before 1920 is considered antique. But again, housing age is subjective – it's a condition based on numerous factors, including location, architectural style, and even local climate and geology.

For instance, houses in urban cores across the country, such as New York and Massachusetts, tend to be older, averaging over 50 years old.

To help you do your due diligence, here are the factors you need to consider when buying an older home.

  • Construction Style
    In most cases, the construction style of a home is an indicator of its quality. Prefabricated homes are generally constructed to lower quality standards than custom-built new homes. Homes constructed in the Tudor, Craftsman, Victorian, or Queen Anne styles are usually solidly built, more durable, and can handle several rounds of repairs and renovations.

  • Climate and Geology
    Certain climates can age a home. Houses in desert areas and places that experience extreme weather conditions tend to age faster. A house in Chicago will need repairs sooner than one in milder climates. Geological factors such as earthquakes, sinkholes, and high water tables can also accelerate the aging process. Homes in geologically active areas will require more repair and maintenance over their lifetime as such activities can lead to structural damage.

Things to Pay Attention to When Buying an Old House

If the age of a home is subjective, what are the factors you should pay attention to more? Here's a breakdown.

  • Foundation Issues
    When buying an old home, two inspections are better than one. A structural inspection can reveal the extent of foundation issues if any. These issues could range from small settlement cracks to damaged support footings. Look out for wall cracks, windows that won't open, and doors that won't latch. Such minor issues could indicate a larger, more inherent problem.

  • Lead and Asbestos
    Lead and asbestos are neurotoxic materials that were used in piping systems and insulations until relatively very recently. Lead is common in many pre-World War II plumbing systems and in paints made before 1978. Asbestos wasn't banned in residential applications until the late 1980s. In addition, you have to look out for toxic gases, such as Radon, that could severely impact air quality. These issues also necessitate a rigorous inspection process.

  • Previous Renovations
    Old homes have likely changed hands many times over. An inspection could highlight recent renovations and ensure that the house is up to code and industry standards. Some old and antique houses have been updated so many times that it's difficult to determine their age. Sometimes the only remaining original components are the foundation and exterior of the house.

Looking for Some Old School Charm?

Buying an old house has its challenges. With smart planning and the right realtor by your side, you can find a property that's well worth the hassle. Check out our Nassau County homes for sale and Suffolk County homes for sale to find vintage homes with some of that old-school charm. Contact us, and we can help you navigate the hurdles that come with buying an older home.

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 06/29/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 06/29/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of OneKey MLS (last updated Tue 06/28/2022 10:42:58 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Coach Realtors may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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