How to know if Buying an Older Home is a Good Investment
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How to know if Buying an Older Home is a Good Investment

If you are looking for a new home, or you are even contemplating moving, have you thought about what type of home you would buy? While new construction comes with the benefit of everything being brand new, they also can lack charm, and craftsmanship that many older homes exude. If you are leaning towards buying an older home, but are concerned about how to tell if it is a good investment, here are tips to help. While the ultimate decision will be up to you, buying an older home may be the best investment you ever make.


  • Determine what is important to you: Depending on your lifestyle, your background and what you are looking for in a home can set your intentions for what you want from an older home. If you want a move-in ready home that doesn’t need any fixing-up or alterations, consider looking at older homes that have been renovated. While, many older homes may only need minor updates, like updating finishes and appliances. These in turn may be worth the great long8term investment and you may enjoy the craftsmanship of an older home as well.
  • Older homes components: An important part of considering an older home is understanding what the pros and cons are. The reality of owning an older home is that its components such as mechanical, electrical, plumbing, architectural and structural could have been there since the home was built, or they could have been replaced in renovating. While this can look like a con, having a home inspector research the components can determine if the home will need repairs, or if longevity of the components are in your home’s future. Either way, a good investment is knowing what you will need to put into the home to make it your dream home, that will in turn reward you.
  • How to give an older home a new life: Many people can see a “diamond in the rough”, meaning the current state of an older home may be a turn off, but the possibilities may be priceless. Consider this when thinking of buying older homes. Qualities like custom woodworking, built-ins, handcrafted exterior details, etc… may not be able to be duplicated in new construction. With a few do-it-yourself projects, or hiring a general contractor may turn any older home into a labor of love that will bring countless advantages and enjoyment for your children’s children to enjoy.
  • Older home neighborhoods: One area of buying older homes that people forget about is the neighborhoods that older homes have built a tradition in. In fact the term, “location, location, location” is still said today, and depending on where your older home is located, it may be worth more old, than a brand new home across town. Research older neighborhoods, and seek advice of neighbors and residents that have lived in the area for years or even generations. You may be surprised that the neighborhood camaraderie, mature landscaping, and established qualities may be more inviting than a brand new housing development.

The decision to buy a brand new home, or an older home comes with questions, but you should rest assured that thousands of other homeowners have had the same dilemmas. Weigh what is important in your family’s lifestyle and what the total investment will look like once you acquire the home. While the financial investment is one component, renovating, and/or acquiring the history of a home’s life is another. Whichever you decide, buying an older home can be as good as investment as buying brand new, just do your homework to make sure you feel comfortable with your decision.

Freshome reader’s do you live in an older home? What made you decide to live in it?

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  • old house_living room
  • old house_tudor style
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  • old-house_farmhouse-e1301936865206
  • old-house_-living-room-barn-e1301936731808
  • old-house_tudor-style-e1301937266408

2 comments

  • [...] How to know if Buying an Older Home is a Good Investment [...]

  • whitecollargreensoul April 18, 2011 at 01:34 AM Login to Reply →

    I live in a 110-year-old house. We just moved in last summer and though it’s been slightly challenging (old roof, asbestos vinyl tiles, no insulation etc) it’s been worth it. We chose the home first on location – we are very close to downtown, right near the harbour and in an area that is considered to be ‘up and coming’. The home itself is nothing spectacular (a simple two -storey brick victorian) but it has great spaces, big windows and tall ceilings. The room sizes are good and the layout works well, too. It also has great ‘potential’ – my most and least favourite word at the same time!
    – agata.