In today's dynamic and busy housing market, getting to buy a house is a dream come true for millions of people. After all, having a place of your own is amazing. You no longer have to worry about dealing with unpredictable landlords. Aside from that, you get to invest in real estate, which is a safe and overall great investment decision.
However, it is not always possible to purchase a newly built house that still smells of fresh paint, as such houses tend to come at hefty prices. Because of that, you might have started considering buying an old house.
Some realtors try to discourage people from such an investment and deem it too risky. Luckily, the risk can be considerably lowered if you know what to look out for and how to inspect any old property. It is like checking how much is inheritance tax - you simply need to do your research. With that being said, continue reading the article below and learn what to pay attention to when buying an old house!
When buying an old house, it is crucial to inspect the floor and make sure that it is solid and in good condition. If you end up buying a house with a defective floor, you might have to replace the floor entirely and face some complicated structural problems along the way.
First of all, it is important to make sure that there are no holes. If the house has lots of tiny holes on the floors and you can notice small piles of wood dust around them, it can be a sign that there is a serious powderpost beetle problem in the house. On top of that, you should also check whether any floorboards or tiles are missing. If so, you need to be aware that finding a perfect match might be impossible due to the fact that they might have been bought ages ago.
Sagging floors are another common problem that many old houses face. Causes include wood-eating insects, wood rot caused by water leaks or undersized beams, and soil settlement. Repairing a sagging floor costs between $1,000 and $10,000, so if the house you are touring has a lot of uneven and sagging floors, it might be better to view another property.
The walls are the next important thing that you need to inspect when buying an old house, as defective walls are one of the most common issues in buildings constructed a long time ago.
So, if you notice cracks on the walls, be sure to check them out to see whether they are cosmetic or structural. Cosmetic cracks, which are thin and shallow, can easily be fixed and usually should not concern you, but when it comes to deep and wide structural cracks, it is best to get a professional opinion before you purchase the property.
In addition, it is crucial to check the walls for mold and dampness. Purchasing a house with a mold problem can not only empty your bank account but also leave you with serious respiratory problems.
You can find out a lot about the quality of the roof by simply looking at it. If you notice a few missing tiles or that some of them have been replaced with new ones, you should ask your realtor to explain why it was done. It is worth noting that roof leaks can be a huge problem and cause a lot of damage to your property. Therefore, it is essential to check for any signs of leaks coming from the roof.
When viewing old houses, keep in mind that their roofs are often covered with shingles which can rot due to moisture damage. Rotting shingles can crumble to pieces in your hands or easily tear. If the shingles on the house that you are viewing are rotting, it is very likely that the rest of the roof's structure has already been damaged, which usually equals expensive repairs.
Last but not least, you need to ensure that there are no cracks in the foundation of the house. If you notice thin and short cracks that are barely visible, there is no need to worry. However, cracks that are wider than one-tenth of an inch are a reason to be concerned. The same goes for cracks that are considerably wider on one end.
These types of cracks can signify serious foundation issues that will need to be addressed as soon as possible to ensure that the rest of the hose is structurally sound. The cause of these issues can range from normal wear and tear to seismic activity, wet soil, or tree roots from nearby trees. If you are worried about potential foundation issues, it is in a good sense to hire a structural engineer to inspect the damage and help you figure out how much fixing it would cost.
Buying an old house can be both an exciting and a challenging experience. As with any other big purchase, you need to be aware of what you should be paying attention to before making a decision. You will need to take a good look at the floors, walls, and roof, as well as assess any potential foundation issues.
By inspecting everything listed in the article above, you should be able to avoid the unpleasant experience of having to deal with lengthy and costly renovations. To make sure that you do not miss anything, it is always a great idea to hire a professional home inspector to take care of it for you. Good luck and happy house-hunting!