You did it! You finally bought your home!
You survived the endless open houses. You did the voodoo dance that helped you find neighborhoods that you could afford in the best school districts. Your tax write-offs did not sink your chance for a mortgage. After all the stress you went through, just trying to buy your home, you just want to get your furniture arranged and relax.
There is still a problem. In the name of “saving money,” you bought someone else’s old house. While homeowners do not have to worry about using Pennywise’s favorite sewer or upsetting ancient spirits — we hope — old houses have several frightening things to deal with.
The Air Quality in Used Homes
Mold is gross and causes all sorts of health problems if the spores get into the air. Older homes frequently have mold problems lurking under carpets and nooks that can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000 to get rid of.
Older houses have much lower air quality than new homes that can cause asthma attacks and trigger allergies. You and your family deserve a home that will not make you sick.
Asbestos and Other Harmful Materials
That cute home in that charming historic neighborhood has all sorts of lurking issues that affect your family’s health. If you are thinking about closing on a home built before 1980, you need to have an inspector look the property over for harmful materials like lead paint and asbestos.
Asbestos was used as a fire retardant in 80 percent of homes built before 1980 and can lead to lung cancer and mesothelioma. This material is hard to detect and hard to get rid of. Lead paint can cause problems with children and pets and can become airborne when the paint starts flaking.
Weird Stuff Left Behind by the Former Owner
People leave behind all sorts of weird stuff in old houses. Homeowners who move into their used homes have found everything from an ancient well to creepy notes to thousands of snakes in their used homes. Nobody knows why previous homeowners leave behind their junk, but dealing with it while trying to move in can be a real pain.
Your Utility Bill
Newly built homes are up to 30 percent more energy efficient than a house built just 10 years ago. Abysmal — or non-existent — insulation, low-quality materials and outdated building practices make it hard to keep an old house comfortable without blowing the budget on central heating and air conditioning.
Homeowners that care about the environment, or simply want to lower their utility bills, have to spend tens of thousands of dollars reinsulating their home, installing energy-efficient appliances and putting in energy efficient windows — all features that come standard in new homes.
Remember the low-quality materials used to build older houses that can make you sick and raise your utility bill? Well, they also make your home more expensive to maintain. Even if you do not need major repairs, like replacing the roof or resealing the foundation, the increased need for routine maintenance on your house adds up.
Older houses also have more problems with their roofs, plumbing, electrical systems and foundations. Old houses tend to have more leaks and ones still boasting original appliances need costly replacements.
Remodeling a home is one of the most terrifying things a family can take part in. This expensive, stressful, time-consuming project frequently leads to divorce.
When remolding an older house, homeowners have to deal with everything from dated design — remember avocado Formica countertops — to more intensive projects like gutting the entire home to make it work for today’s modern families.
Older houses cannot keep up with the needs of modern families. This is especially apparent when it comes to managing the outlets in an older house. Finding an available outlet to charge a phone or tablet is not easy when they all are in use.
New homes have outlets where you want them and many even feature charging stations by kitchen islands or foyers, allowing your family to avoid squabbling over charging a device or plugging in a lamp.
Old houses can be weird and dirty, even if they are not haunted. Before buying one, make sure you have a third-party home inspector go over the entire house with a fine-toothed comb. You can skip all the old house exorcisms when you buy a brand new home in a neighborhood that you love. When you’re ready for your new home, search NewHomeSource.
After graduating in 2016 from The University of Texas with a degree in English, Sanda Brown became a content writer for the BDX with a focus on website copy and content marketing.
At the BDX, Sanda helps write and edit articles on NewHomeSource.com, writes website copy for builders, and manages a team of freelancers that work on additional content needs.