Some Pros and Cons of Buying an Older Property

Not everyone has the income to purchase a brand new or off-plan property and usually have to look at older properties to get a start on the property ladder.






Buying an older property as your first home has some benefits since it might be cheaper than a new home build and cost you less than an off-plan development, but there are some downsides to buying an older property and it is so easy to overlook a few of the details we list below.





Proper Inspection

You would think that a property that has withstood the test of time for many years would be a safe bet, but that isn't the case. What many tend to overlook is that, when a property is older, so is the electrical wiring and plumbing. You also cannot overlook the fact that wood rots over time and floors and roofing might be suspect and need to be replaced.




When viewing an older property, don't just consider cosmetic details such as walls, trim and woodwork, make sure you do a more thorough inspection that includes looking in the attic for damage to roof trusses and roofing material and get down on your needs to lift carpets or floor coverings if the property has wooden floors.



Marks or stains on a ceiling are a sure sign of roof leaks.





Both a damaged roof or damaged flooring could run into thousands of rands to repair and that's not even including the fact that you won't be able to live in the property until the work is completed.









Harmful Materials

Depending on the age of the property and how much care and attention it has received over the years, you may also be looking at lead paint on the walls that has been painted over and not removed, resulting in layers and layers of paint being applied over the top of the lead paint. That's a definite no-no and the paint will need to be carefully stripped from the walls under strictly monitored conditions to prevent inhalation.




Another harmful material to consider that might be hiding in an older home is asbestos. A known carcinogen - cancer-causing element - asbestos can only be removed by specialists or a professional organisation that deals with asbestos removal.









Outdated Supply

Electrical wiring installations and old water pipes can be a source of concern, especially in older homes Where necessary updates have not been made and the wiring or plumbing is outdated, you will have to rip out and replace before you can move in.





Not could illegal, faulty or old wiring cause harm to your family it is also a fire hazard. Today's properties are built to specifications and guidelines governing all aspects of a home and you should know and understand the implications of having to remove and replace either electrical or plumbing supply - or even both.



The Bottom Line

If you do nothing else, arrange for a home inspection before you sign any contracts. Many of the problems of buying an older property could have been prevented by knowing beforehand what you might encounter. What started as a bargain can so easily end up as your biggest nightmare if you do not properly inspect or have the property inspected on your behalf. 





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