Buying an old house is an attractive prospect for many people. An old home built decades – or even hundreds of years – ago has so much character and history that other modern properties lack.
However, it might also bring you a lot of issues that you have to take care of before you move in. So, before you sign the contract and make the purchase final, here are some things that you first have to do.
Electrical System Check
For you and your family’s safety, get yourself an electrical inspection report. Usually, a licensed electrician or engineer will come to the property and assess whether the electrical system throughout the house is up to standards.
The electrical wiring is one aspect that needs to be checked for deterioration. An exposed wire can create sparks that may cause a shock or a house fire. In short, it is very dangerous, so it has to be spotted and fixed as soon as possible.
The electrical service panels and circuit breakers should also be looked at by a professional. Failing panels and breakers, like wiring, can cause shocks and house fires. In addition, it may lead to power failure.
You may add more electrical outlets for your gadgets and smart home devices.
Hunt for Termite Damage
Homes that have wooden and wood-like components are prone to become feeding and breeding grounds for termites. Although they look good, you may want to search for signs of the little critters.
Anything from sagging floors to pinpoint holes in the drywall could point to the existence of termites within the property. If you go ahead with the purchase despite the possible infestation, call a pest control service to eliminate the colony. Then, to prevent them from returning, get treated lumber that is toxic to termites to refurbish your home. Install water drainage around your house where puddles tend to appear.
Signs of Plumbing Problem
Signs of plumbing problems are hard to miss. You can see them on the ceiling creating a nasty brown spot or on the wall making the wallpaper peel. You can even smell them: a distinct musky scent that may make you sneeze.
Before you make the purchase, ask the homeowner what materials were used in the drain pipes. High-quality brass and copper can last for more than 50 years, but steel may deteriorate after only 20 years.
Old pipes may fail and cause flooding throughout your house. This will make the property uninhabitable and will be expensive to repair.
Moreover, faulty plumbing will cause water damage to your walls that will be unsightly and lead to the growth of mold.
Hazardous Building Materials
Toxic materials such as lead and asbestos have been used in buildings until recently. Lead, which is bad for young children, has been in use in outdoor paint up to around the late ‘70s. Asbestos is known to cause respiratory problems was banned in the late ‘80s.
If the property was built before the ‘70s, it might be worth it to hire a professional to remove lead from the house and protect young children from possible exposure. Asbestos tucked within the walls will not cause harm unless you plan on knocking it down to expand a room.
Before you buy an old home, make sure to inspect the entire property thoroughly. You need to be prepared for hidden costs for repairs down the line.