After you've decided to purchase an older home, there are a lot of things you'll need to consider to avoid ending up in a home that you'll regret buying. Whether an older home is the best fit for you due to wanting to live in a specific neighborhood or the lower price compared to new construction, there are several red flags to keep an eye on as you begin touring homes for sale.
Poorly Done Landscaping
As you visit homes for sale or simply browse listings online, paying attention to the state of the landscaping can make a big difference in whether the home seems to be a good match or not. If the landscaping looks rough or bare, you'll need to decide whether this kind of project would be something that you're interested in.
You'll also want to avoid buying a home where the landscaping could lack proper drainage or be uneven and difficult to flatten without major work later.
Lack of Energy-Efficiency
For most homeowners, energy-efficiency is a top priority due to how much they save on their utilities each month and potential tax write-offs for upgrades they make. As you look at different homes for sale that were built decades ago, there's a good chance that the homeowner didn't add any features with energy-efficiency in mind.
Looking for updates features that won't consume as much energy, such as the kitchen appliances, lighting, and even the heating and cooling system, can often save you money compared to trying to repair or maintain outdated systems.
Inadequate Records for the Home
Once you've become serious enough about a potential home for sale, you'll want to check if the homeowner kept adequate records of both the ownership and any work that's been done on it. From knowing how many times the home has changed owners to the major remodeling work that has been done over the years, these records can tell you a lot about how well the home was cared for.
The records should also contain any information on repair work that's been done or other issues that may not be apparent, such as water damage or break-ins.
With the intention to buy an older home, there are a lot of potential red flags you'll need to be conscious of so that you don't make the mistake of buying a home that will need a ton of work. Knowing what to look for and what to avoid can help considerably in getting a home that you'll want.
To learn more about single-family homes, contact a real estate agent in your area.