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Pre-War Building? Pros and Cons of Older Homes

Posted by admin on March 14, 2017
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When you live in a city like Redlands or Riverside, there are a lot of historic homes. These homes have a certain charm but are they better than buying new? It may be a matter of taste, but what are the actual benefits if any? A house built before the 20’s is a prewar building, a house built after, obviously isn’t. A prewar building is one that was built before World War II, and mainly prior to 1929, since there were few residential buildings built during the 1930s. Buildings are less than 20 stories and usually have large rooms, mouldings, hardwood floors, and high ceilings. The term is appliedemailnly to apartment buildings not actual residences. That much, most New Yorkers who have apartment-hunted probably know because they will run into this term a lot. It applies to the entire country but is most prevalent in New York because it was a booming city at the time. People actually search these buildings out. Prewar buyers face better odds of finding the right apartment if they focus on specific neighborhoods, like the Upper West Side and the West Village, where the older buildings predominate.

Here are some pros and cons to buying older homes. One con is having outdated building code compliance and other maintenance. Homes with old heating systems or inefficient plumbing can be in such bad shape that they do not comply with modern building codes. It is a good idea to take a careful look at each system in an older home (heating, wiring, plumbing, air conditioning, etc.) to make sure they are modern, efficient and safe. Replacing these systems can be expensive. Chimneys may need realignment or need to be fitted with draft excluders. Even older windows may need to be replaced.

One good thing, that we don’t really think about when buying an older home is 3 simple words that all real estate agents know: ocation, location, location. Older homes are often built closer to the center of town, making it easy to walk to local shops, schools and other amenities. If you happen to find an old house out of town, it could still have local shops, schools and other amenities within walking distance. Since you usually pay less for an older home, you get better downtown access with less cost. You will probably pay less for an older home, but not always as it usually depends on condition and location, but generally, a modern house of the same size and in the same area costs more than an older one.

Another good thing about older homes is they are usually a long-term investment (if upkeep isn’t too pricey). Old houses are in limited supply. As some decay or are torn down, supply decreases even more. Yet, demand remains. When looking at an old house, take time to talk to people in the area with similar properties to see how much their homes have increased in value over the past decade. But a con is roots, yes, tree roots. Old houses often come with old trees, and root problems. Older, taller trees often have long, strong roots that grow in toward the foundations and plumbing systems beneath the home. Pipe replacement or foundation work can be expensive. There are so many things to consider when you are deciding if you want the convenience of a newer home, or the homely comfort of an older home. To each their own, but always do your research in any case.

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