Buying an old house? If you are looking for a house with solid bones and a classic feel, read these quotes by expert REALTORS® before putting in an offer. An older home brings with it charm and craftsmanship but be aware that it will have its own set of challenges when it comes to maintenance, upkeep, and hidden costs.
The following top Brantford real estate agents have some sound advice about buying older homes. Their advice will make your buying experience more smoother and have a better outcome.
“Budget for Renovations” – Kate Broddick
“Budget Extra Money for Renovations. Older homes are built quite sturdy. They wouldn’t have lasted this long if they were built without a solid foundation. Although they’re strong and sturdy, they can be more expensive when it comes to minor renovations. It’s important to budget for potential issues.” – Agent Kate Broddick
Tearing down a wall or ceiling is a great way to improve an older home’s layout. But it’s important to get good advice on the home’s structure before you start knocking down and rebuilding. Building codes a hundred years ago were quite different than they are today, so a professional engineer or contractor will know what’s needed to keep your home standing strong for another hundred years.
“Be Cautious with Older Building Materials” – Mary Carvalho
“Older homes (and even those built up to 1990) may have things like asbestos or vermiculite hidden in floor tiles or insulation. It’s important to get these properly abated by a professional.” – Agent Mary Carvalho
You never know what you’re going to find behind a wall until you’re in the middle of a renovation. You may find lead pipes, cracked clay piping, or knob & tube wiring. If you’re set on buying an old house, we advise you to budget at least an extra $20,000 for contingencies. Your home inspector will be able to give you a good idea of what your home might need to be safe and sound to live in.
“Check Zoning Restrictions” – Ally Vanderharst
“Check for Zoning Restrictions. Some older historic homes come with restrictions in terms of alterations that can be made. I advise that you make sure to check with the Building and Planning Department in your area before putting any money into raw materials.” – Agent Ally VanderHarst
Some older homes have limitations when it comes to changing the structure, fencing, or even interior layout of a house. Checking in with a planner before making an offer will help you get a clear picture of any limitations you may encounter. The real estate agent you work with will be able to provide this information to you quite easily.
“Take a Team Approach” – Rebecca Johnson
“Make Sure to Take a Team Approach. When buying an older house you should always surround yourself with a team of experts to ensure you are making smart investment decisions. Your team should include everyone from a contractor and inspector, to a lawyer, city planner, or historical expert. Don’t do it alone!” – Agent Rebecca Johnson
Make sure the team you surround yourself with has plenty of experience with both old and historic homes and that they can answer your important questions. While your prospective home may have great bones, you want to make sure by checking the wiring, plumbing, roofing, heating and types of building materials that could end up costing you a lot in the long run.
“Budget for Higher Insurance” – Nicole Slade
“Budget for Insurance Premiums. Homeowner’s insurance is based on risk. Insurance providers are aware of the expensive issues older houses can present and wrap those potential costs into your monthly premiums.” – Agent Nicole Slade
Just as you need to budget in advance for unforeseen repairs, you should also budget for extra home owner’s insurance. Start collecting quotes early so you know what to expect. This will help you make an informed financial decision and help you get the best deal possible.
“Look for Ways to Improve Efficiency” – Stacey Wills
“Many older homes have single pane windows and low-efficiency sources of heating. Look for ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency and you will end up saving money in the long run.” – Broker Stacey Wills
When you’re making upgrades to the home’s finishes, don’t forget to look for things that will improve your monthly bills too! Your home’s HVAC system, windows & doors offer lots of room for savings if you repair and replace these items efficiently.
“Make Safety a Priority” – Jess Brennan
“Bring your century home up to today’s standards with new & functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. They’re easy to add and will give you peace of mind.” – Agent Jess Brennan
Today, houses are required to have at least one working smoke alarm on each level of the home. But the more the merrier! Remember to put in fresh batteries regularly. Smoke alarms should be completely replaced every ten years, whereas carbon monoxide detectors should be changed every seven years.
“Partner With a REALTOR®” – Lisa Sly
“Make Sure to Partner with the Right REALTOR®. Older houses can be amazing investments. If you are considering purchasing an older house, make sure you partner with an agent that has first hand experience in the area and can guide you through the buying process. Play it smart and hire a REALTOR®.” – Agent Lisa Sly
An old home can be an amazing investment but it’s important to be aware of associated costs. It’s your agent’s job to help you navigate the homes on the market and find one that fits with your lifestyle, goals, and budget. An agent will have experience with other older homes in the area and be able to give you important details, like average home prices in the area and recently sold homes.
Older homes are incredible works of art. Their architecture, character and floorplans are so appealing to many home buyers. Knowing what to expect when you dive into this kind of home ownership can seem daunting, but believe me, it’s fun too!
If you are in the market for an older home, you can trust Brantford’s #1 REALTOR® and team since 2015. We will guide in finding your dream home and help you make the best decisions that will definitely pay off.