If you can learn to look past dated style choices and clutter, buying an older home may allow you to live in a stylish, affordable piece of history. Keep in mind the following Do’s and Don’ts and you might find your dream home has been hiding right in front of your eyes.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Buying Old Houses
- Do take advantage of the convenient locations of older homes, which tend to be close to employer and amenity-rich downtown cores.
- Don’t overlook the ability to build equity quicker with a well-planned renovation of an older home.
- Do use your imagination to envision what the space could look like with minor cosmetic changes.
- Don’t get caught up in the style choices of the current homeowners. Look for good bones and expensive upgrades that will save money in the future, like a new roof, HVAC, and windows.
- Do disregard color patterns, wallpaper, and ill-advised murals, as a weekend with a paintbrush can easily address these style choices.
- Don’t get lost in the clutter—remember that the home will be emptied of all knick knacks, boxes and decor when you make it your own.
- Do find the charm that an older home has to offer—the unique features that you love and that give the home character that is not found in newer homes.
- Don’t let musty smells deter you, providing that a home inspection does not reveal a serious issues that may be contributing to it. New paint, carpet, and a weekend of open windows can take care of unpleasant odors.
- Do your research. Along with the charm of an older home comes the potential for significant issues, including asbestos, lead paint, electrical and plumbing issues, foundation weaknesses, pests, mold and mildew, and energy inefficiencies.
- Don’t skip the home inspection. This contingency should allow you to get out of the contract or negotiate repairs should there be a significant or dangerous issue discovered in the home. Beyond a standard home inspection, you may consider other specialized inspections, such as a termite inspector or roof evaluation.
- Do find a realtor with experience buying and selling older homes.
- Don’t hesitate to negotiate for needed repairs that will significantly impact your overall investment.
- Do protect your homeownership interest with title insurance. No one wants to pay for an optional expense they don’t need, but when it comes to protecting your investment in your home, it’s best to avoid the unnecessary risk of not buying title insurance. Best of all, an owner’s policy stays with you for the entire time you own your home, protecting you from old claims decades after you settle into your new home.
Whether you decide to buy an older house or look for something newer, your owner’s title insurance can give you the peace of mind knowing that your forever home will be just that. Ready to get started with Ohio Real Title Agency? Contact us today.