How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes
Why is buying an old house sometimes the best choice?
Saturday, March 30, 2019
Although we have written extensively about the problems to look for when buying an older home, there are also a number of advantages:
Better location - Older homes are often close to shopping and entertainment districts, and give you a shorter commute to work.
More choices - The average age of a house in America is 37 years, and even older in the Northeast. There’s more neighborhoods and price ranges to pick from when you include older homes in your search.
Costs less than a new house - This is especially true if you buy a home in an era that is currently out of favor, like the 1970s or ‘40s.
Investment potential - If you choose a neighborhood that is on the upswing, with neighbors remodeling and improving the curb appeal of their homes, you have a better chance of price appreciation on resale, compared to competing with a developer’s new homes nearby in a young suburban neighborhood when you are ready to sell.
Lot size is usually larger - Although older houses are closer to the city center, the bigger lot size gives you a comfortable buffer from your neighbors and a real backyard.
More character - Towering trees and mature landscaping, along with the particular interior features that are a trademark of the era the house was built. They also have an authenticity that can’t be captured by putting a traditional facade on a new house. However, sometimes “character” is also a functional defect. See our blog post What is the difference between old house character and a defect? for more on this.
Often built better - Newer homes are tightly engineered, some would even say over-designed for energy efficiency, but vintage homes were built one at a time by craftsmen and have stood the test of time.
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To learn more strategies for getting the best possible home inspection, here’s a few of our other blog posts:
• How can I make sure I don't get screwed on my home inspection?
• Should I trust the Seller's Property Disclosure Statement?
• Can I do my own home inspection?
• How can homebuyers protect themselves against buying a house over a sinkhole?
• What makes a house fail the home inspection?
• The seller gave me a report from a previous home inspection. Should I use it or get my own inspector?
To read about issues related to homes of particular type or one built in a specific decade, visit one of these blog posts:
• What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1940s house?
• What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1950s house?
• What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1960s house?
• What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1970s house?
• What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1980s house?
• What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1990s house?
• What problems should I look for when buying a country house or rural property?
• What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been moved?
• What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been vacant or abandoned?
• What are the most common problems with older mobile homes?
Visit our HOME INSPECTION page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.
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