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The hidden dangers when buying an older home

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Guest post from interior designer Cooper Klein.

There are numerous reasons people opt for buying an older home. Whether it’s that vintage feel, their architectural style or the often cheaper price, older homes are still in high demand.

However, you need to keep in mind that there are numerous things you need to watch for when buying an older home. Here are the most important ones.

Structural security

The first thing you need to inspect when checking out an older house is its structural stability. This is essential, as there’s really not much you can do if the very foundations of the home are in poor condition.

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Additionally, check to see if the house is sloped. You can do this by dropping a marble on the floor. If it starts to roll, it can indicate that the foundation of the house has shifted for some reason or the other, so you should definitely check to see what’s happening below the ground level.

The paint used

Next, if the house you’re looking to buy still has its original paint, chances are that that paint is full of lead. The fact of the matter is that we didn’t know a lot about the harmful effects lead exposure can have on our health back then, so the homes were most commonly covered in lead-based paint top to bottom.

Checking to see if there’s any lead-based paint in your home and hiring the right experts to take care of it becomes even more important if you have small children, as lead exposure can have severe detrimental effects on their growth and development.

Asbestos

The next hidden danger that most commonly lurks in the walls of old buildings is asbestos, especially if we’re talking about old homes in Australia.

This material was considered to be excellent for any type of insulation, before its harmful effects became known. If airborne and inhaled, asbestos greatly increases the risk of developing cancer, and so checking for it is incredibly important.

However, if you do end up finding asbestos in the home you’ve set your heart on, don’t despair. There are experts that conduct thorough asbestos testing and who can remove it safely, so that you can enjoy your new home without worrying.

The wiring

Another common issue in older homes is wiring. The reason behind this is the fact that some homes were built before residential electricity was even invented and the wiring that was later installed was not meant to support the amount of power usage we consume today.

Therefore, find experts to inspect and, if necessary, replace your wiring. In some countries, including Australia, tampering with electricity on your own is illegal, so make sure you avoid any inconveniences and potential accidents by hiring a professional to take care of this task.

Pests and rodents

Another problem most commonly related to older homes is pest or rodent infestation – and sometimes even both. That’s why you should look for signs of such a problem when inspecting an older home. If you find any evidence that the house is infested, inspect the damage and see what can be done about it.

The plumbing

Finally, you should inspect the condition of your pipes. Check to see if there are any damp areas in the house or if there is any mould or mildew. This can indicate that there’s something wrong with the pipes, such as a leak or crack.

If you notice anything, but you still really want that house, call in the experts to estimate if the damage is fixable and see how much it will cost you. However, do keep in mind that today, there are numerous alternatives when it comes to fixing the pipes, such as the non-invasive pipe relining, so inspect all of your options and choose the one that appears to be the best one for you.

Home buyers should keep in mind that, when buying an older home, you will invariably have to invest in various fixes and repairs. There’s not a single house on the market that is in tip-top shape, so be ready and prepare a budget in advance. And once all is said and done, enjoy your new old home.