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Buying an Old House: The Pros and Cons

Real Estate / 10 Nov 2020

Thinking of buying a house with some history? Here are some of the pros and cons that you’ll need to consider when choosing such a property.

Pro #1: Character

A major reason that people are drawn to older houses is their sense of character. Older houses tend to possess historic features such as fireplaces and wooden beams that tell a story. They may have quirky embellishments and renovations added by previous owners. Unlike newer properties, they have a more unique style to them and feel more lived in.

Pro #2: Location

Older properties tend to be based in better locations than newer properties. Such properties were built when land was more readily available – they’re less likely to be found on the outskirts of a city and more likely to be found in a central established neighbourhood. You could find that there are more amenities in the area and that there’s a strong local community. This may not be the case when moving to a newer property on the edge of town.

Pro #3: Space

Newer properties are often built with cost in mind on smaller areas of land. As a result they tend to be less spacious than a lot of older properties. If you’re looking for a home with large bedrooms and greater amounts of square footage, you’ll find that older properties more frequently fit the bill.

Con #1: Cost

Older houses are more costly in just about every way. They are often more expensive to buy than newer properties of the same size and you won’t have any cost-saving incentives that offered when buying a new build. They tend to be less energy-efficient, leading to higher utility bills. On top of this, they suffer from more frequent wear and tear, leading to greater maintenance costs. The fact that they may gain more value over time is about the only advantage.

Con #2: Customisation

Very old homes may be classed as listed buildings – which could mean that there are restrictions in place when it comes to making improvements. Newer properties will not be bound by these restrictions, allowing you to personalise them more freely. A new build could offer complete customisation – developers may allow you to choose from various models of home that you can view in the form of display homes as exemplified by these JG King display homes. You may even be able to make small personalised improvements during the building process such as choosing to have a certain room carpeted or even customising your kitchen layout to meet your needs.

Con #3: Upkeep

Maintaining an older home could cost you a lot of your time and energy – not just your money. On top of making constant repairs, you may find yourself having to more frequently deal with problems like pests or mold. Some homeowners may be willing to accept this, but others may find that it causes too much stress – a newer property is likely to require less TLC making it possibly more suitable for someone living an already busy lifestyle or restricted lifestyle. This guide at Compass offers some tips on maintaining an older home.

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