According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the typical owner-occupied home was built in 1976—43 years ago. This means that many of the homes available to home buyers today will be at least that old if not older. As you might expect, buying a home this old requires a great deal of thought and careful research. While older homes can sometimes be more affordable than newer homes and usually posses a certain charm, they can also be a challenge to own. How do you decide if an older home is worth it? Consider our list of pros and cons:
Advantages of Buying an Older Home
• Lower cost: This is the feature that many people find to be the most attractive about older homes. Additionally, buying an older, less expensive home means that people tend to be able to pay off their mortgage sooner and have more money for the other costs associated with home ownership.
• Location: Just as newly constructed homes tend to be built away from city centers, older homes tend to be located closer to the center of towns. That means that shops, schools and other businesses and institutions can be far easier to reach either by car or on foot.
• Strong investment potential: Older homes, as it so happens, make strong investments. This is especially the case if you find buyers who are into homes with rare architecture or vintage design. Thus, you will usually have a good chance of making a profit on your purchase.
Disadvantages of Buying an Older Home
• Less energy efficient: Older homes tend to have windows and doors that are not as efficient at keeping in heat as newer homes. Moreover, older homes tend to have old or little insulation. These kinds of defects can result in a huge loss of heat in the winter and higher heating bills.
• Subject to contain building code violations: Older homes tend to have heating systems or inefficient plumbing that can put them in danger of being in noncompliance with modern building codes. Thus, it can be quite costly to have the heating, wiring, plumbing, etc., in them updated.
• Older homes can come with “imperfections”: For example, an older home that is located near trees can have roots that threaten its foundation, its plumbing system, etc. Such foundation repair can be and usually is quite expensive. Additionally, older homes tend to come with other flaws that require handymen and other professionals to correct.
In short, an older house can offer benefits—and character—that a modern home doesn’t have. However, to truly avoid the potential pitfalls of owning one you must fully vet and inspect any older property you are considering. You also need to confer with a realtor who can help place you into the right home. As a Westlake realtor, I would be happy to show you any Westlake Village homes for sale that are in excellent condition and that are located in thriving neighborhoods.