What to Expect When Buying an Old House

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38% of houses in the United States were built before the ‘70s. While most people love newly built homes, some home buyers in Boise are thrilled with the historic charm and antique character of old houses. The incredible craftsmanship of the ancient construction and design eras amplifies the appeal of these historic properties. If you are one of those antique fanatics, here are some pointers to remember before making a purchase:

Old houses smell

Years of water leaks, musty odors trapped in the air duct, and poor air circulation are some of the culprits of an “old house smell.” The mold and mildew build up over the years, combined with darkness and stagnant air, can produce a lingering odor. Musty house odor can be challenging to eliminate even with deep cleaning. You need to spend money on hiring professional cleaning services, updating the HVAC system, and doing expensive home upgrades. Replacing old duct works and removing outdated heating and ventilation system can be costly and time-consuming.

They have worn out and dangerous wiring

Some old houses still have the original wiring, which can be malfunctioning and can be a safety hazard. The early wiring system can become increasingly risky because they do not have safety switches and uses the knob and tube system. Most insurance companies do not provide coverage on houses with k&t wiring, so you might break the bank if the worst scenarios happen.

Old houses have damaged water pipes

Old houses that haven’t been occupied for decades are likely to have corrosive water pipes. The stagnant water deteriorates the pipes leading to low water pressure and leaks. This issue might require costly repairs and replacements.

Historic homes keep hidden threats

small home with a front lawn

Hazardous materials such as lead and asbestos lurk in older houses can put your family’s health at risk. In 1978, the federal government banned the use of lead-based paint because it was found out to cause poisoning. If you are buying a home that was built before this year, there is a high potential that lead-based paint was used.

Asbestos was also banned in the US during 1989, but it was widely used in home construction before the ban. While asbestos is harmless when it remains undisturbed, it can be dangerous if it breaks down due to home remodeling or natural deterioration. It can spread through tiny fibers in the air and can cause inflammation and scarring when trapped in the lungs. Excessive exposure to asbestos can also result in life-threatening diseases such as mesothelioma and other malignant illnesses.

You might have landscaping issues

While a towering old tree can provide a shady backyard, it can be a huge liability. You need to devote your afternoons and weekends to raking the leaves and pruning the branches. The roots can extend through your pipes, grounds, and even disrupt utility service lines. Extending roots might not only cause damage to your property but also cause problems to the surrounding structures.

Buying an old home is a personal decision. If you are a real fun of antiquity, the best thing to do is do extensive research of the property and employ experts to help you check the house beyond the surface.




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