When to Ask When Buying an Old Home

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There were well over 2,800 active real estate listings in Iowa as of April 2014, and many of them were old homes for sale. Old houses are often sought out by a particular buyer group because they love the charm and character they have.

Why buying old homes for sale is a great investment: If you’ve done a real estate search or two, you probably know that old houses generally cost less than new homes for sale. The median Iowa home price in April 2014 was $127,000, but old houses will most likely cost under this median. You will be able to get more house for less cost by purchasing an older home

What a real estate agent can do to help: Your real estate agent will be able to help you look up old homes for sale on real estate websites and determine what type of style is for you and what certain features you are looking for by providing you with evaluative information as well as help you negotiate a deal when buying a home.

Most importantly, they will tell you what types of questions to ask when buying an old home, as follows:

  • Is the Foundation Solid? Many old homes often have foundation issues simply because they are weathered more than new homes. Also, old homes do not have as sound a foundation because the technology was not as advanced in terms of precise measurements and materials. Check for cracks, slants, or shifting, as well as mold.
  • How old is the electrical?
  • How old is the plumbing? You don’t want to be purchasing a new home only to find out that the toilets don’t flush or your septic is on the fritz after the first week. Check to see if the house has original cast-iron pipes, because those will most likely need to be replaced. Look for mineral buildup on basement pipes as well.
  • How is the home heated? Radiators may add charm and character to an old house, but they are not very energy efficient nor effective in heating a house. Do some research on how much you will be spending to heat the place per month and determine whether or not it’s a good idea to switch to a central heating unit.
  • What condition is the roof in? Having a leaky roof is never a good thing, but buying an old house with a leaky roof is worse. Get a detailed history report of how old the roof is and what — if any — types of repairs or leaks it’s already had. Check the roof and attic carefully for any water damage or mold.
  • Always ask for any documents that pertain to any repairs made to the house before you purchase it; you may qualify for a discount or it could be under warranty. Old houses have character, and you want to keep them in tip-top shape. Find more: www.iowac21.com

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