When you visit an older home that's for sale, you're probably seeing it in the best possible light. People tend to go to great lengths to ensure that their home is attractive to potential buyers. If you're not careful, you might miss some of the warning signs that the home isn't a sensible choice for you and your family.
The best way to combat this is to know what warning signs are particularly important. If you make it a point to look for these specific signals, you'll be much more likely to catch potential problems on your visit.
Water Marks and Musty Odors
One of the most important things to catch in a home visit is evidence of mold. While your home inspection would likely catch any mold that you've missed, you'd probably like to catch it yourself before you put in an offer and hire an inspector. Unfortunately, mold tends to be difficult to spot in some circumstances.
That said, there are a few important signals that should alert you to the possibility of mold, including:
- Water marks around the seams in floors, walls, and ceiling
- Flaking and scaling interior paint
- Damp, musty odors
- Fresh paint used to cover any of these other signs
Any of these signals should prompt you to ask follow-up questions immediately. If you don't like the answers that you get, you might want to move on to another property.
Updated Plumbing and Wiring
Older plumbing setups often use steel pipes instead of modern copper configurations. In even worse cases, lead-lined pipes are present. These plumbing issues need attention and cost a lot of money to fix properly.
Electrical wiring is no different. Older electrical setups might include archaic electrical boxes and insufficient service for modern appliances. The easiest way to know if both the plumbing and wiring is sufficient is to ask when they were updated. If they haven't been updated, you'll need to inspect them yourself and get a quote on the repair before moving forward.
Windows were made differently in the past. Modern windows use a variety of new technologies to ensure energy efficiency and protection from the elements. Unfortunately, these improvements often require them to be a different size than their older counterparts.
This makes window replacement a major issue. Older homes require custom windows or significant alterations to their frames in order to utilize new windows. These expenses should be noted and considered while you make your decision.
Older homes are often well-built and full of character. That said, knowing what to look for when you're visiting one can go a long way toward helping you avoid a costly mistake. For more advice, speak to experts like Art Del Rey Realty Inc.