The Old House Real Estate Conundrum

Buying Residential Properties on Emotion Rather Than Practicality

fixing up an old house tips House hunting can be a wonderful way to add a puzzle piece to your life as your real estate agent shows you properties that match your dream home. It may very well be that you are looking at older constructions and feel a wonderful sense of home every time you walk in one. If furnished, the bale might be set for Thanksgiving dinner even if it's August, and there's always the smell of fresh baked apple pie hanging in the air. These are distractions to add to your sense of comfort, and you should be focusing on the nitty gritty of buying the old house you are standing in. Its condition is what you should be aware of in order to ensure you don't put a spur of the moment down payment on someone else's problem.

Look to the Foundation
A careful walk around the exterior of the house will show any recent repairs or hidden issues like cracks in the foundation. Cracks indicate not wear and tear, but a shift and that means the house is moving. In a few years, you could be dealing with cockeyed doors and windows that simply won't shut without major renovations.

Don't Judge the Old House by its Clapboards
An old house just isn't the same with vinyl siding, but it's important to keep in mind the maintenance required on wooden clapboards. Roy can set in, and though the paint is holding it's own, the wood beneath could be in serious decay. If in doubt, knock at several places along the exterior, and if you hear a suspicious thud, discretely poke a pen knife into the wood. If it passes through, you should as well.

Drizzler on the Roof
The shingles may be new, but the support structure beneath them could have some serious problems. Average roofing will have between a four to ten year warranty for applied materials such as sheeting and shingles, but if the framing collapses, it doesn't matter one bit. Make it a priority to get into the attic and check the condition of the beams. If they're sketchy, walk away now. One heavy snowfall and your dreams could come tumbling down around you.

These are the top three items you should be looking at when buying an old house, and do your best to stiff arm the real estate agent trying to steer you away from a personal inspection. The old house you are looking at buying is a big enough financial obligation without having to pick up someone else's problem, so shop wisely.