With home prices down as much as 50% from their peak several years ago, especially in certain real-estate markets, many people are deciding with good reason that now is the time to jump into homeownership or to invest in real estate. While living in a brand-new home has its perks, these newer homes often lack charm and personality.
This is why some people are drawn to older, historic homes, which are often oozing with character. The downside is that they can also be money pits and cause endless frustrations for homeowners. As the owner of a historic home myself, I’ll be the first to say that owning an old home isn’t for everyone. But in spite of the time and money I’ve poured into my 1910 Craftsman, I’d still much rather live here in than in a swanky new subdivision. So how do you know if owning a historic home is right for you? Here are five questions you should ask before you sign on the dotted line.
1. Is the foundation solid?
Old homes often have foundation issues, which are incredibly costly to fix. When you’re looking at a historic home, leave the living room and bedrooms for last. The most important information is down in the basement. First, check the foundation for signs of cracks or shifting. Also look for and test for mold in the home, as it can be a sign of a weak foundation and other problems. You’ll likely need to get a thorough home-inspection service to tell you for sure if the foundation is solid, but if you see signs of crumbling or cracks, it’s best to move on.
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