Buying a house is an exciting period of time, and while most of the time you’ll have a list of wants and needs to help you narrow down the listings and find “the one” what many people fail to think of is the dangers that could be hiding within the walls of your dream home. Whether you love historical charm, a house with character, or your budget has simply placed you within an older home, there are a few key things that you should look for when considering purchasing an older home.

Related: 3 Common Misunderstandings When Buying a House

Homeowners Insurance

One thing that nearly all homeowners skip over is budgeting for their homeowner’s insurance and this is especially true with older homes as they generally come with greater risks which in turn, increases homeowner insurance premiums.

buying an older house with narrow doorsKitchen Appliances

Will they fit? Probably not something you thought of, however, many older homes have much narrower doorways than more modern homes, and while smaller appliances may have been added or updated within the kitchen, such as a small dishwasher, that double door fridge or chest freezer you were hoping for might not clear the doorway, a big problem, with a not so easy solution.

Historical Societies

This is a big one. If the home is located within a historical society, then you may want to take some time to consider what that truly means before going through with the purchase. In some cases, you are not allowed to update the home with certain materials/aesthetics and have to gain approval from the historical society first. Even small things such as the exterior color and appearance of your home is often limited.

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Roof & Windows

The two big “red flags” if you will of older homes. If the roof and windows have not yet been updated, they generally should be negotiated within the sale/purchase agreement to either be updated, repair/replacement credit at close of escrow, or the buyers should plan on replacing the two nearly immediately after the purchase as they will most likely be well past their lifetime expectancy and may lead to larger repairs or issues if left unattended.

While the charm, character, location or price could be all the selling points you need to call an older house your home, it is important to keep the above information in mind when touring properties so that you can make sure that you will love your purchase and won’t look back with regrets. As with all home purchases, make sure to voice your concerns to your real estate agent, ask questions, and work alongside them to ensure that you end up in the home of your dreams.

If you’re currently searching for a new home, have questions about the home buying process, are ready to sell your home, or if you have questions regarding Southwest Washington Real Estate, please feel free to contact our office at any time and we would be more than happy to assist you.