What to Look for When a Home is 20 Years Old

The older the home you look for, the more careful you need to be in your research. Of course, if you can avoid any of the major issues that crop up in 20 year old constructions, you can come away with a fantastic home that is comfortable, easy to modify and in an established neighborhood with good schools, plenty of trees, and a solid maintenance history.

The Stuff to Watch Out For

When a home reaches 20 years old, there are quite a few problems you’re likely to run into. Consider the fact that the furnace, air conditioner, and roof are all designed to last at least 20 years. That means that unless they were highly maintained and regularly inspected they may be ready for replacement right about now.

So, when looking at homes, have any prospective purchases fully inspected for things like dry rot, termites, old furnaces and air conditioners and so on. You are also likely to run into older bathrooms and kitchens that need to be updated. For most people this is simply an inconvenience, but for those on a tight budget it can be a deal breaker.

What You Should Want

Of course, there are a lot of benefits of an older home if you can find them. Specifically in the 20 year old timeframe, you’ll find that trees have matured, the yard is well established and if the neighborhood is good, local schools will have plenty of support in the community. These are all factors you should take into consideration when looking for an older home.

Maintenance is something you won’t be able to avoid, especially if the home you’re looking at was not well cared for by the previous owners. However, after a couple of years, even an older home can be worked into tip top shape so that nothing will break or give out unexpectedly. Much like a used car, if you do your research well ahead of time, you can be sure you get a home that won’t have any “breakdowns” for a few years to come.

And for those out there who like to customize, keep in mind that older homes are much easier to change. Newer homes are built on prefabricated slabs that make it nearly impossible to remodel or change them, especially in highly regulated areas. Older homes are easier to remodel and often have plenty of space in which to do so.