November 12, 2014

4 Common Problems to Consider When Buying an Older Home

Many homes on the re-sale market in Toronto were built in the early 1900’s when building practices and available materials were completely different from today’s standards. These solid and well built homes exist in established areas and offer the buyer exquisite design features and character that is difficult to replicate. Older homes are a great investment – but you need to be aware these properties can have problems that need to be rectified, including:

1 – Knob and Tube Wiring: Some older homes still have knob and tube wiring which is no longer accepted by home insurance companies. If you buy a home that has knob and tube it will have to be replaced with a modern grounded copper system.

2 – Galvanized and Lead Plumbing Systems: Galvanized pipes rust from the inside out and lead is a dangerous heavy metal. Older homes could have pipes that need be replaced with updated materials.

3 – Clay Sewage Outlet Pipe: There are homes that still have the original clay outlet pipe for sewage output to the municipal system. These clay pipes eventually break down and need to be replaced with a PVC pipe.

4 – Basement Problems: There was a time when the basement of a house was not considered to be a living space. There is a possibility that an older home may have a low basement or faulty weeping tiles. With a proper renovation, any basement can be turned into beautiful living environment.

It is important to have a knowledgeable home inspector complete a home inspection prior to finalizing putting your final stamp of approval on your agreement to purchase any home. The home inspection can be used as part of the negotiation process if major problems are identified.