There are many great reasons to purchase an older home. Old homes are generally built with high-quality materials and have already withstood the test of time. When exploring the housing market, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the most common concerns in older homes before deciding to buy.

Concerns in Older Homes: Worn and Damaged Roofing

One of the most common concerns in older homes is roof wear and tear. Different roofing materials have various lifespans, and homeowner maintenance also impacts their longevity. Things like natural disasters and weather may also lead to accelerated wear and tear that requires repair or replacement before you can move in. A professional home inspector will assess the roof and let you know any issues ahead of time.

Dangerous Building Materials

While some of the building materials used to construct older homes are higher quality than what is available today, some are hazardous and aren’t used in construction any longer. Asbestos and lead paint are two of the more common materials used in the past that are known to be hazardous today.  Many homes built before 1978 have lead paint on the walls, lead in the pipes, and hidden asbestos. Older homes require testing to determine if they contain hazardous building materials. 

Outdated Electrical Wiring

Electrical fires are one of the most common types of house fires and are severe concerns in older homes. If the past homeowner did not upgrade things like the breaker box, wiring, or plugs, you could be placing modern electrical demands on a house simply not built for that level of usage. Your home inspector will highlight potential problems for you, like outlets that are not grounded and have two prongs, outdated circuit breakers, or a lack of GFCI protection.

Plumbing Concerns in Older Homes

Lead is not just present in paint in older homes. It may also be found in the pipes. When pipes are corroded and naturally decay over time, the pipe material can leech into your water. This could mean high levels of copper in the water or high levels of lead. Have the water tested and pipes inspected. 

Before 1995, polybutylene pipes were standard in houses. Now they have been outlawed because they are prone to bursting. Find out if the pipes are polybutylene before purchasing an older home. 

While an older home can be a great investment, it’s important to know its potential shortcomings. This way, issues won’t catch you off guard.

Inspect It Neil offers home inspections to customers in New Jersey. If you’re buying or selling a home, contact us to request an appointment.