When you are buying a new house you have all sorts of guarantees and warranties. But many people look to buy an older property. They may like the sense of character an older property provides. They may like a particular style. It could be that they want to add value to a house. An older property is the way to go for a great project.
However, older buildings do need to be looked at carefully. The risk is very much with the buyer and you’ll need to be on the lookout for any likely issues. These could flare up in the future and once you have signed for your home, it will be your problem.
#1 Don’t accept anything at face value
Look at any ‘how to sell your house’ website. They will show you exactly what can be done to make a property presentable. It is a mind game and you are the contestant! Sellers will go to great lengths to make their home saleable. So look past the fresh paint and the manicured lawn. Don’t be swayed by the lovely cut flowers on the table. Look hard and look deep.
#2 Engage your inner cynic.
If your house is a little worn and threadbare so much the better. You are not buying an older house to move into a showroom. You will want to put your own mark on it. Be cynical, lift up the carpets and see what the condition of the floor is. Poke around. Inspect windows and doors for any signs of discoloration and leaks. You’ll need to get into the attic and the basement. Does this property have any history of flooding? Find out as much as you can about the story of the house.
#3 Deal with damp
Empty and unlived in houses can smell damp. That might just be a problem of air circulation. But it could be an issue with a persistent leak or water ingression. It might even concern the damp proof course. Visual evidence may well be mold or spores but these could be in places that you cannot see. Book an inspection with a professional company and find out how easy or difficult to will be to deal with any mold removal.
Continue your inspection on the exterior of the property. Have a look at the roof and the guttering. Gauge the condition of the downpipes, ensuring any water is being removed away from the house. At the same time look for any telltale cracks in the exterior.
No house is perfect. There will be settling in problems with new properties for example. An older property can have a lot going for it. You will be investing your money, hoping that you can undertake improvement. It makes sense though to know what you are letting yourself in for. It may be that being forearmed means you can get the price reduced. You may even be able to cover the cost of any work. That being done, you are ready to make the most of your new home.