When that fabulous old house on the hill looms large in your thoughts, it's easy to get swept up in the nostalgia of the past. Whether it's memories of your youth or a longing for the days of yore, it's important to know what you could be getting into. While old houses most certainly have their charms, our REALTORS® know that it's important to look for warts, as well. That said, owning an older home is most certainly rewarding if you are willing to put in the work and resources required to maintain it.
- Buying Older Homes in the Region
There are many Mansfield and Ashland homes for sale that date back to the late 1800s. These old homes were built with hand tools, solid wood, and stone. They were built to last, and many have made their way into the present day.
As the years have passed, styles evolved, materials advanced, and lifestyles changed. This means when you buy an older home, you're likely to find many different eras represented within the rooms and behind the walls. You may find solid wood floors from the 1900s covered by linoleum from the 1950s. Sometimes, these are pleasant surprises that, with a little TLC and creativity, can significantly boost the ambiance and appearance of the home.
Other discoveries can be less positive and might include lead paint, asbestos, and pipes that have long since rusted out. If you plan to buy an older home, it is imperative to have a thorough home inspection to know the precise condition of the property and any structural issues you will need to address.
- Nail Down the Financing
When you finance an older home, you will want to factor in additional costs for renovations and repairs. Some of these may be wants, some are needs. For this reason, it's a good idea to get estimates for the work you want to do and factor these into securing an FHA 203(k) loan. These loans make it possible to secure the financing you'll need to make sure the roof won't leak, the floors won't squeak, and the pipes won't flood your basement.
- Research Restrictions & Easements
Many older homes have historic location designations and preservation easements. If that's the case, you will be limited on what you can do with the property. Before buying an old home, it is important to determine if these apply to the home and what the limitations are on renovations, additions, reconstruction, and even landscaping. In particular, find out all you can about the approval process and the steps needed to clear these undertakings with the overseeing authorities.
- Budget for Maintenance
It is a good idea to add a little extra padding to your estimated annual maintenance expenses. While older homes tend to be well-built, the older materials and fixtures become, the more maintenance they will require, and the more likely they are to fail. Further, if you are required to maintain a certain look or use specific materials by restrictions and easements, you can bet the replacements will be more expensive than many contemporary alternatives. The best way to prepare for this is to simply set a little extra aside each month to cover these expenses when they arise.
Would you like to see some of the beautiful charms of the region's older homes? Contact us, and it would be our pleasure to show you some of the hidden gems in Ashland and Mansfield.