Older Homes Come With Unique Problems

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Many home buyers prefer the charm and craftsmanship in older homes.

Older homes generally have lower purchase prices than newer homes and are likely to be in established neighborhoods.

They tend to have mature landscaping and tall trees that provide shade from our 90-plus-degree summers.

In addition, they may have large, welcoming fireplaces and appeal not found in newer dwellings.

However, older homes come with their own set of issues.

Many people purchase an older home with the intention of remodeling it in order to make the home more comfortable and possibly to raise the home value.

The question of remodeling often relates to time or money.

When we purchased our second primary home, and being much younger, we intended to do most of the remodeling ourselves.

Working weekends and vacations, we had almost finished the project seven years later when we sold the home.

For others who have more money than time and energy, a real estate agent can recommend a licensed contractor who specializes in remodeling.

When figuring your home budget, you may want to take into account that higher maintenance and repair expenses might be a factor in older properties.

For example, our second home that was built in 1969 did not have any insulation in the walls, and a minimal amount in the ceiling.

The choice was to pay higher utility bills or bite the bullet and add insulation.

We added insulation and drastically reduced our heating and cooling costs.

This also eliminated the draftiness of the home, and added to the resale value.

If you intend to remodel, another consideration is zoning and HOA (Home Owner Association) regulations.

Older homes may come with restrictions including roof height and setbacks.

You should carefully check the HOA rules and confer with the appropriate building officials.

In some areas of the country, the older, established neighborhoods bring higher dollars than the some of the new cookie cutter neighborhoods.

You have probably been in quaint little towns with charming downtown areas.

These types of towns are particularly prevalent in the Midwest, with homes near the town squares that were built in the early 1900s.

These older, restored homes near the downtown area can bring a large price and may be in higher demand than the typical suburban home, even though they may be considered to have dysfunctional floor plans and living space by today’s standards.

Ray Pugel is a designated broker with Coldwell Banker Bishop Realty. Contact him at (928) 474-2216.

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