BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES FLORIDA NETWORK REALTY
Claudia Berger-Ayer, BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES FLORIDA NETWORK REALTYPhone: (904) 704-6079
Email: [email protected]

3 Things You Should Know Before Buying an Older Home

by Claudia Berger-Ayer 05/03/2020

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

For those who embrace a sense of nostalgic charm, older homes have an undeniable allure. The yesteryear designs and attention to detail are often absent in new construction. As attractive as the idea of living in a glorious Victorian or period home may be, it’s also imperative that you take an extra-long look at older homes. While it’s true that many homes age like fine wine, some can turn to vinegar as well. Consider answering these three things before putting down 20 percent, securing a mortgage, and signing off at the closing.  

1: Older Homes Enjoy Better Quality Construction, But . . .

There’s a funny thing about the word “but,” that should prompt potential homeowners to sharpen their focus. It’s generally true that many older homes were routinely constructed with sturdier materials that are now considered “high-end.” In fact, structures built from the 1860s to 1920 employed lumber that is both thicker, and stronger by the square inch. The reason is that older homes utilized “slow-growth” timbers. Today’s wood generally comes from “fast-growth” trees. The wood density is vastly stronger in slow-growth, which is one reason many have stood the test of time. Now here’s the “but.”

Your ability to find slow-growth lumber would take a Herculean effort. That’s why it’s essential to understand that you may not be able to restore an older home to its original glory, only emulate it.

2: Homeowners Insurance Can Be Tricky With Older Homes

Take a moment and think about how you plan to approach your homeowners insurance to satisfy the lending requirements. Most people want to secure the least expensive policy, as long as it covers total replacement costs in the event of a natural disaster or fire. Therein lies the rub, “total replacement costs.”

A substantial difference exists between current building costs, and the revenue required to build a new version of your period home. The lumber already mentioned may not exist, and its modern-equivalent is generally considered a high-end material. Now add in unique architectural attributes, and you likely have a structure with a replacement value that far exceeds the average new construction costs.

In terms of your homeowners policy, it’s up to you to secure a quote from a construction outfit that specializes in older homes. Using that measure, your premium is likely to uptick. But unless you get full coverage, the coverage is likely to fall far short.

3: Older Homes Are Less Usually Expensive

Whether you have a passion for older houses or just want to purchase the maximum affordable living space, there’s plenty of good news. It may seem almost counterintuitive to old-home lovers, but the market tends to devalue them, much like automobiles. That depreciation can be a substantial perk as long as the house remains structurally sound and relatively unblemished.

Most people come to the real estate market with a set spending budget. The older home can deliver increased living space as well as a robust ambiance for less than its new-home counterpart. For those who simply adore older homes, it’s a lot like buying a fine wine or rare painting at a discount. What’s of primary importance when purchasing an older home is to follow through with a determined inspection that identifies any potential issues and conduct thorough due diligence before closing.

About the Author
Author

Claudia Berger-Ayer

I am a bilingual English/German Real Estate agent and I provide full time real estate service for multi and single family homes. My expertise include certified buyers representation for relocations buyers, investment properties, resale purchase and first time home buyers as well as new construction specialist in Jacksonville and its surroundings. As a listing agent I leverage Berkshire Hathaway marketing strategies and resources as well as my knowledge as a Certified Real Estate Negotiator to touch all marketing options of exposure and maximize the seller’s net worth. My professional Real Estate experience also include extensive knowledge about short sales and foreclosure bid and purchase process. My strong leadership skills were developed due to my extensive national and international work experience within the United States and as flight attendant/On Board leader working for the German Air Force in Cologne Germany, Lufthansa AG in Munich, Berlin, and Frankfurt Germany, and Delta Air Lines Inc. in Boston and New York. So I understand the challenges and uncertainties relocation clients face. Living in Jacksonville Florida the last 19 years I call this my home and love the beauty of Northeast Florida. Sehr geehrter Immobilien Kunden, bitte schreiben Sie mir eine kurze e-mail und ich kann Ihnen gerne mehr Information von Jacksonville Florida zusenden! Ich lebe seit 18 Jahren hier in dieser wunderschoenen Stadt direkt am atlantischen Ozean und kenne alle Nachbarschaften fuer Einfamilienhaeuser and Eigentumswohnungen.