What to Think About When Buying an Older Property

When you look at properties to buy, you might feel a little disheartened – everything is so expensive, and trying to get your foot on the property ladder is difficult. However, there are some options open to you if you don’t mind some hard work and research, and one of these options is to buy an older property, ideally one that needs a little fixing up.

These properties will usually be a lot cheaper than ones that are ready to move into, and although you’ll need to do some work before you can live there (unless you don’t mind disruption and mess and want to live there while the work is being done), it can be well worth it. Of course, you’ll need to do a lot of research first, just to make sure it’s the right choice. With that in mind, here are some of the things you’ll need to think about when buying an older property.

Older Materials

It stands to reason that when you buy an older property, the materials used to build it and decorate it will be older too. This is not always a negative; some of these older materials are extremely hard-wearing and can look wonderful. Some, however, are actually dangerous – asbestos is a prime example. You may also find that the insulation, windows, doors and roof are also very old and could do with updating.

The first thing to do is have a home report carried out, as this will tell you if you have any hazardous materials in your property. If you do, they will need to be removed by an expert. You’ll also need to factor in any costs associated with replacing a damaged roof or drafty windows and upgrading the insulation. Remember, the property might be cheap because there is a lot of money that needs to be spent on it, and it’s wise to know this before committing to anything.

Energy Costs

Even if the materials used to build your older property were made to last (after all, this is why we still see so many older houses on the market today), that doesn’t mean they were made with energy efficiency in mind. In fact, it’s unlikely this was a consideration at all, especially if you are buying a property that’s more than fifty years old.

Research the energy costs of that particular property – find out what the current owners are paying in electricity, for example, and in heating bills. You should also determine what the Wi-Fi and phone signals are like; this could be a problem, as could a lack of available broadband if you intend to work from home.

In some cases, this can all be updated and fixed. Boosters can improve signals, and broadband can be installed almost everywhere. When it comes to energy efficiency, you might consider installing a flueless gas fireplace to replace the energy-hungry one currently in the property. You can also improve the insulation and even add elements such as solar panels to ensure your home is more energy-efficient.

Homeowners’ Insurance

Finally, you’ll need to consider your homeowners’ insurance. In some cases, this will be more expensive when you have an older property because there is more that could go wrong. This is particularly true if there is old wiring in place. Get some quotes for this in advance so you know you can budget for it within the household expenses.

Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.

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