The Biggest Property Concerns When Buying an Older Home


Investing in a new property requires ample consideration, time, and financial investment. To ensure that such an investment is made with the utmost consideration, a variety of factors must first be evaluated. Location is a major concern: homes that are closer to key communal amenities ultimately generate a better quality of life situations (whether that be for you or for a tenant – in which case, the monthly rental price can be increased).

Ultimately, older homes can be a desirable option in the housing market due to a variety of cost-effective and location-based factors. However, older homes have a litany of potential concerns to assess before making a purchase.

Keep reading to learn about the biggest property concerns before purchasing an older home.


One of the most expensive home improvement projects in general is addressing roofing concerns. As homes age, not only do the essential exterior components of a roof (such as shingles) wear down, but the structural components of a roof can falter, too. Depending on the age and the amount of neglect to a home’s roof, repairs can cost anywhere from thousands to tens of thousands of dollars.

As such, assessing an older home’s roof condition via an expert such as Principles Building & Remodeling before committing is essential. A verified roof inspection can potentially save home buyers large sums of money in the near future.

Heating and Cooling

Older homes have unique struggles with ventilation. Whether it be old, drafty windows or a lack of modern HVAC installation, these costs can quickly add up if not considered prior to purchase.

In particular, the age of a home and its central heat and air conditioning unit can be a huge cost factor. The cost of an average HVAC unit can be upwards of $5,000: that doesn’t include potentials costs of installation or replacement of aging ductwork (or the indirect costs associated with internal heating and/or cooling options). Consider these elements carefully before making any purchase.

Wiring and Plumbing

Rewiring a home can be an exorbitant expenditure. Many older homes operate on outdated or potentially dangerous electrical wiring plans. As such, it can be very risky to purchase an older home (particularly those 50 years of age or more). The costs of rewiring an older home can easily exceed $10,000 – and may even be required depending on the local zoning laws and permitting processes.

Plumbing is another concern. Older pipes that may have since rusted can not only be cost liabilities but liabilities to health and well-being as well. Expect another $7,000 to $15,000 to replace aging plumbing in a home.


The fundamental viability of any older home rests – literally – on its foundation. As homes age, the foundations upon which they are built can erode, crack, or otherwise destabilize. An older home for a great price may seem like a bargain – until it becomes obvious that major foundation work is needed.

The costs associated with foundation repair and/or replacement can vary widely depending on the size of the home and the amount of damage but estimates between $4,000 and $20,000 are quite common. Don’t commit to a home purchase before verifying the state of the home’s foundation!

Older homes can sometimes be a great purchase given superior initial construction methods. However, there are problems to consider that may or may not be advertised upfront. Make sure to evaluate these four major concerns and verify their condition before committing to any purchase of an aging home.

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