6 Sins of Old Homes

Friday, October 5, 2018
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The search for the perfect home isn't an easy one. The variety of properties available on the market, from a tiny apartment in a buzzing city center to a cute bungalow in the suburbs, from an old mansion filled with dust and stories on the outskirt of town to a stone cottage on a hill, makes it difficult to narrow down what exactly you want in a home.

The answer might be surprising for many, but one of the key criteria for home buyers is the homeliness of a house. Admittedly, it doesn’t mean that factors such as budget, location, and the number of bedrooms have no impact on the final decision. They definitely matter and are essential to the final decision. However, when given a choice between a brand new property that has just been built and an old house that has seen several generations growing up, first-time buyers are more likely to pick the old house.

Since it’s been lived in, there is the assumption that the property has already passed the test of homeliness. If people have been happy there in the past, it's likely that new homeowners are will build a happy nest on the same spot. Old homes are full of charm and character which contributes to the homeliness. However, there are risks that come with the purchase of an old property.

1. They are a little too welcoming
Old homes, and especially if they have been left empty for an extended period of time, can put you in the awkward position of having to share your very walls with unwanted intruders. Small rodents, bees, wasps, bugs and even bats – depending on the area – can move into an inhabited property. While some unexpected guests might be rapidly put off by the noise of you moving in or the human presence as you begin to take your marks in your new home, and decide to leave, some might be more difficult to get rid of without a professional team of experts. ABC pest control can help get just bout anything out of your home, including roaches, rodents, termites and even bed bugs. But as a general rule of the thumb, it’s a good idea to investigate an empty house with a specialist, so that you know what to expect.

2. They make lots of weird noises
Nobody likes to stay alone in an old home at night, especially with Halloween just around the corner. Why? Because old houses can be talkative when you least expect it. They use creaking and banging noises to remind that they are old, and when you’re decorating the garden with carved pumpkins and floating ghosts, it’s easy to feel a little nervous about the scary sounds in your house. But don’t worry. More often than not, these odd noises have a perfectly reasonable explanation. Rattling pipes could be linked to water pressure or air trapped in the plumbing. If your house still has heavy metal pipes, the noises might appear more intense. Creaking sounds from the floor tend to be floorboards expanding or contracting as the temperature varies.

3. They are freezing cold in winter
If you’re moving to your old home, prepare yourself to have a cold winter. Older structures, unless they’ve been recently renovated, tend to feel chilly regardless of how much you turn up the heating. It doesn’t mean the heating system doesn’t work – but it’s worth checking also as your heating solution might also need updating. It generally points towards a loss of heat. In other words, old houses suffer from poor insulation. If you want to save on heating costs and spend the winter without a icicles hanging from your nose, you need to add insulation to your attic, basement, and walls. You might also need to upgrade your old heating system as it can be tricky to retrofit a modern system in an old structure. And finally, the windows might need to be replaced, especially if they let a cold draft in.

4. Old Homes Aren't Smart
The hype of modern housing nowadays is all about smart homes. A click from your smartphone and you can set the heating while you’re still at the office. The fridge can keep track of its content and order by itself. Some models can even self-adjust to peak of energy usage. And finally, you can bake your favorite pasta dish by letting your smartphone control your smart oven. In short, smart homes are the future. While there might be a lot of unnecessary features, it’s fair to say that a smart home can help you to save on your energy bills in the long term. But most smart tech is tricky and costly to implement in an old house. Additionally, one of the main advantages of smart homes is that they give people with limited mobility a chance of leading an independent life, which is something your old house is too ‘stupid’ to do.

5. Maintenance Costs Are High
When you buy an old property, you will have to renovate it to some extent. Whether you need to repair damages or to upgrade some of its features, renovation is an essential maintaining factor for an old property. Ultimately, you will be looking at several thousands of dollars, but on average you can be looking at $300,000 to $500,000 for a medium-sized house.

6. They Can Have Too Much Personality
Old homes are full of personality. Victorian houses, for instance, often have elements of gothic, second Empire and Shingle styles as they’ve experienced different homeowners and periods. Each style from gothic to 1970s patterns is a precious testimony from the past. As a result, new homeowners can become worried that changing style might erase its peculiar personality. But if you don’t make your mark, the house will never feel homely to you.

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