4 Questions to Ask Before Buying an Older Home

If you are thinking of purchasing an older home, it is important that you ask the right questions so that you can know whether or not a particular property is a good investment. The information you learn can possibly save you from putting money down on a property that has problems that will cause you headaches in the future. Your agent will guide you through this as well as your inspector. Here are four questions that you should ask about any old home you want to buy.

Is the Home in a Fire or Flood Zone?

Both old and new homes may be located in areas that are prone to floods and wildfires. An older home, in particular, has a greater chance of sustaining major damage in the event of a natural disaster. If you do decide to buy a home in a danger zone anyway, you will want to purchase insurance that will cover a lot of the damage should a disaster strike. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a tool that you can use to find out if a particular home is located in a flood zone.

What is the Pest Situation Like?

With older homes, that often means older wood and other such materials. Many pests, such as cockroaches and termites, tend to be attracted to older wood. Of course, this can be influenced by the local climate as humidity and excessive moisture can affect their attraction as well. So you should ask about whether or not the real estate agent or seller knows anything about the history of pests in the house and in the neighborhood. You should then make sure that proper measures have been taken to prevent any such pests or be prepared to take those measures yourself. One such measure would be to have the home repainted but with an insecticide paint additive added into the paint.

What is the Roof’s Quality?

A roof that is damaged or structurally flawed can result in costly repairs in the future and may even make an older home unsafe to occupy. It is wise to find out when the last roof inspection was performed and get a detailed report of the findings. You can also hire an inspector, such as one from Burke’s Roofing, to check out the roof’s quality. If you do end up buying the home and need to invest money in roof repairs, you can always call a professional roofing company to do the work.

Was the Home Built Before 1978?

Homes that were built before 1978 may have lead-based paint and materials that contain asbestos. If you have a child who chews on any surface with lead-based paint, he or she may get sick from lead poisoning. Asbestos is a known carcinogen that can cause certain forms of lung cancer if high amounts of particles are inhaled. If testing reveals the presence of lead or asbestos, you can try to remediate the situation by hiring contractors, or you may want to look elsewhere for another home.

Buying an older home comes with some unique challenges, and you can avoid certain problems if you ask the right questions. You may be able to prevent serious health hazards and financial hardships if you receive all the important information about an old home before you decide to purchase it.

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