Buying An Older Home?
You’ve heard some people talk about their experiences of buying a house that turned out to be a money pit. There was even a movie made that illustrated all the bad things that could happen to a home while the ink hasn’t even dried out yet on the settlement papers!
Some houses have that wow factor we’ve been looking for, and most of them are old homes, some even historic. It is easy to get charmed by these beauties, Victorian, plantation and craftsman styles. The problem is, if you do not invest in building inspection, you might as well position yourself as a principal employer of Adelaide tradies!
In an old home, most of the mechanical systems would have been added several years after its construction – if there was even some kind of provision for these necessities. If you buy the house as is, it would mean that you would be doing much of the updating. Let’s look at these areas that could result in significant headaches should you decide against hiring a professional building inspector:
More than likely, the roof and the roofing support system are not what the house had originally. There is a wide array of roofing materials, all with their life expectancies and regular maintenance requirements. Many old houses have multiple additions with different types and ages of the various roofs. Like the plumbing system, the individual sections only get replaced as needed.
In old homes, you can find a mix of old and new plumbing materials. The expert inspector knows to look for clogged and corroded iron and lead pipes. Your inspector looks for cast iron drain pipes as well since they corrode from the inside and could have sustained damage through the years. Unless the home was renovated in its entirety recently, you could almost count on updating some of the plumbing and fixtures.
Knob and tube wiring was in use when electricity was added to homes, generally around the 1920s to ’30s and mainly for lighting. Upon the advent of modern appliances, electrical systems saw some modifications to accommodate the added electrical load. Your inspector knows to check out fuseboxes and note installation blunders, past or present if any.
Heating and Air Conditioning
Central heating systems would be retrofits to old homes and saw conversions such as to oil or gas which vented into unlined chimneys and flues. Again, only the trained eye of a professional building inspector can tell you if you need to dole out some money to correct these. Perhaps updating to a modern system might be the better consideration as it will reduce future costs for heating and maintenance.
Your inspector will also tell you about hidden hazards like hand railing and other features that will not pass current building codes. Although these things would be inexpensive to fix, identifying these hazards is what is crucial, and you can trust that your building inspector will include these in your report as well.
You might need some smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. A thorough home inspection must not overlook concerns that could affect your health like asbestos and lead, expensive as they are to correct or remove.
There you go – you now have a pretty good idea what a thorough home inspector can identify. He can offer you advise as well on how to fix the issues involved in buying an old home. The home inspection report summarises the findings as well as give you the names of the tradies they work with and trust to do the repairs.
The main thing is finding the right one to do the job. At Premium Pre-Purchase Inspections, you can trust us to help you sort out all the issues you could potentially face. You can then make an informed decision whether to buy that old house that has got you charmed and dreamy!