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Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Bought an Old House

By Guest Author | July 21, 2015

Anyone who appreciates good antiques can understand the nostalgic echo of older houses, whose walls are filled with history. It seems wonderful to quickly buy one of these beautiful houses as soon as the opportunity arises, right? Well, think again. A thorough investigation is needed before buying an older home because the pretty facade may be hiding signs of decay that require concrete repair.


Image credit: cocoparisienne via

There are many things I wish someone had told me before I jumped into buying an old property, but unfortunately, there was no one. That’s why I’m going to mention few things that you should consider before deciding whether an older house fits into your lifestyle.

Buying an old house requires modification

Today, the majority of homeowners want a large open space in their house with spacious closets, comfortable bathrooms and bedrooms. Unfortunately, this was not the desire of the owners a few centuries ago. Most of the older houses have a small bathroom (two if you're lucky), a couple of small rooms and often lack space for closets and storage. No matter how thrilled you are with an old house, if it is not comfortable, your family will quickly overload the space. There will be little room for clothing and closets, and soon you will dream about a big bathroom. Buying old home will certainly require some modifications and extensions. This is a cost you should be aware of before buying.

Old house insurance is often more expensive

Insurance is something that many customers forget to put in their list of expenses. Insurance is expensive and very important, regardless of the type of home you buy. However, insuring an old home can be even more expensive. Old houses come with more risk, and insurance companies are not willing to pay for unseen circumstances.

Replacing the windows and roof is a priority

The roof and windows. These are two corrections that need to be done first and should be a priority. Every roof that is older than 10-15 years needs to be replaced sooner or later by professional roofing contractors. Older roofs leak and get destroyed, and thus lose their insulating properties. Older windows usually have very low insulating properties and bring in summer heat and winter cold. Before buying your loved antique home, put these two corrections at the top of your list.

Before buying, check what can actually be changed

Some older homes and neighborhoods have restrictions regarding the type and style of modifications that can be done. These types of restrictions can seriously inhibit your freedom when remodeling your house. It would be awkward to find out the limits when you have already bought a house, and then be forced to keep the house the way it is.

Old houses are built to last, but require a lot of costly repairs

The use of older technologies and building materials is not always a bad thing. Simply, the old houses are built to last. Unfortunately, there still are some issues. Technologically speaking, a lot of expensive repairs could stand in your way of a relaxing life in a new home. Old installations can prove to be a great danger of fire and flooding, and you should by all means check your domestic plumbing and installations before you make your decision. You don’t want rust coming out of your pipes or no running water at all, either.

The refurbishment of the house with new installations, windows and water supply network can cost a fortune. All potential spending must be considered before buying an older home. Even if it seems that the home is in good condition - it is still old, and unfortunate situations might catch you unprepared.

If you feel ready, invest in an old home, think positively, but keep a realistic attitude. Assume that everything will go wrong and that the replacement of many things will be necessary. If you think this way, you will be pleasantly surprised if nothing bad happens in the end.

About the author: Zoe Clark is a house decorator and a DIY enthusiast from a land down under. She has a a tender spot in her heart for everything vintage. You can find her blogging at Smooth decorator.

  • One comment on “Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Bought an Old House”

    1. I'm on the right track. Thanks for giving this kind of tips. These facts about old house is a great information. I got this bookmarked, I'm sure I can use this as a reference someday. You also got a tweet from me.

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