What Should You Focus On When Buying an Old House?

Traditional house in the cotswolds, England

For many people, getting to buy a house is literally a dream come true.

After all, having a place of your own can make you feel comfortable, secure, and in control of your life. You no longer have to worry about being evicted by a mean landlord and have invested in real estate, which is one of the safest things one can invest in. 

On top of that, living in a house close to the city center, such as a garden house located in the Midtown Modern residential development, can make it easier for you to get to work, make use of the local amenities, and meet up with friends and family members.

However, purchasing a house that has just been built is not always an option, as such houses tend to be incredibly expensive. In that kind of situation, you might feel tempted to buy an old house. Although such an investment is considered to be risky, it can be made considerably less so if you inspect an old property that you are interested in buying. Read on and learn what to focus on when buying an old house!

Walls

The walls of your new house can be a massive source of problems down the line. In fact, defective walls are one of the most common issues in older houses. Given how easy it is for water to seep through cracks in the thin layer of plaster that covers the said walls, checking for leaks and other water damage is definitely recommended when buying an old house.

Man repairing crack in wall.

In addition to that, you should check for dampness and mold. If you end up purchasing a house with a mold problem, it can end up being bad for your lungs. What is more, getting rid of it can be quite a hassle, with the most extreme cases requiring an extensive and expensive teardown of a number of walls.

Other than that, you should look for cracks, bowing, leaning, and bulging. If the house that you are interested in has cracked and bulging walls, it is a bad sign. It means that the walls are not stable and will need to be reinforced, which can be quite a time-consuming and costly process.

Flooring

The flooring of any house is also important, as its state can help you determine whether the foundation of the house is stable. If you can see bulging anywhere on the floor, it is a sign of serious structural damage.

Moreover, you should check whether any floorboards and tiles are missing. If that is the case, finding a few matching ones might turn out to be a much bigger problem than expected. It is often hard to find matching flooring options in modern stores, and replacing the entirety of the flooring is usually a pricey process, doubly so if you do not know how to do it and will need to hire a professional to take care of it for you.

Insulation

It might not seem like it, but insulation is something that you should definitely pay attention to when buying an old house. It is an often overlooked part of a home inspection, which is a shame, as it can have a huge impact on your future utility bills. 

Rock wool insulation fitted inside home.

Having a well-insulated house can greatly reduce the bills associated with heating your house in winter and cooling it in the summer. So, before making an offer on an old house, make sure that you know what kind of insulation it has and what state it is in. If the house is not well-insulated, but you really like it, you can always think about installing insulation after making a purchase.

One of the options that people go for most often is fiberglass insulation, as it is affordable and easy to install. However, if you want to be environmentally friendly, you can always go for materials like wool, cotton, denim, and aerogel. It is up to you!

Roof

When buying an old house, pay attention to its roof. You can begin by checking for leaks, peeling paint, and any other signs that might indicate that the roof is in bad condition and might have to be replaced.

Moreover, plenty of older homes have roofs covered with wood shingles, which are prone to rotting. If the house that you are thinking of buying is covered with such shingles, you are more likely to end up having to deal with water damage and mold in the near future, causing you to spend thousands of pounds on costly repairs.

Neighborhood

Last but not least, do not forget to check the neighborhood around the house that you are thinking about buying. If you want to be happy with the house that you are going to purchase, it is important that you do not move into an area that is known for being unsafe and unpleasant.

You can begin by checking the local crime rates, levels of air and noise pollution, and traffic density. If you end up being unable to find solid data on the internet, just take a walk around the neighborhood at different times of the day. Ideally, you should do it in the company of a trusted friend. It will make it easier for you to decide whether that neighborhood is worth moving into!

In Conclusion

As you can see, there are quite a few things that you need to check when buying an old house. Many people tend to focus on the external appearance of a house, but several other factors can have a huge impact on how living in a specific house will make you feel, including the state of its walls, flooring, insulation, and roof.

By inspecting each area listed here, you should be able to avoid having to deal with huge energy bills and costly house renovations, among other things. And if you are afraid that you will not be able to spot any signs of water damage or structural damage on your own, hiring a home inspector to do it for you is always a viable option. Good luck and fruitful house-hunting!

Written By
More from LDC
Gift Ideas For Creatives (A.K.A. The LDC Wishlist)
We’re a collective of London-based designers and creatives who, quite honestly, spend...
Read More