So, you’ve found an old house on the market, it’s the perfect price, and it just needs a little TLC, time, and effort and it’ll be the perfect space for your family to move in. If you get a really good property, you may not even need to do a total overhaul and it could be pretty much ready for occupancy. That said, depending on its age, you’ll want to make sure you get some routine maintenance done so that you don’t end up with unwanted surprises that can make living in your new-old home quite an inconvenient experience.
If your property has seen some years, make sure you do these first:
First, you want to see if the HVAC has been maintained well at all. Depending on its age, you may need to upgrade it. A total upgrade can be a pricey endeavor, so if you think the existent system is pretty workable, just make sure to get it tuned and cleaned properly. You can get filter replacements, air duct cleaning, visual checks, and debris clean-up to make sure that everything is in working order and you don’t have an inefficient system that is not only energy-hungry but also costly to have on.
Part of this inspection would also be to see if parts are unsalvageable and if it can still properly maintain good ventilation and temperatures throughout the house. There could also be a build-up of allergens, irritants, and even contaminants from pests.
That brings us to the next check, which is your pest inspection. Whether the home was previously occupied or not, it’s a good measure to take anyway, especially in older homes. Imagine getting the surprise of your life when you realize you’ve got a hidden nest of rats or some termites ruining the place right under your nose.
If the house hasn’t been lived in for a while, this can be even more crucial as pests will start getting comfortable since they think they won’t be bothered much. Then, even if you move in, they won’t disperse because you carry along with you fresh food sources.
Older homes also have some building quirks you’ll want to look into, like crevices and cubbies that are all too welcoming for unwanted critters.
New paint job
There’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint to breathe some new life into any space. This is a great way to establish this new chapter for you in the home, and you can create a color palette that updates things nicely. It’s simply better to start afresh instead of sticking to old, faded paint jobs that may have chips and marks from the years.
On top of that, you’ll also want to consider the age of the paint. If it’s more than 20 years old, you’ll want to double-check and ensure that they are not lead-based. This is more cause for a total overhaul in paint because those pose many health risks that you don’t want, not even counting the main worry of getting lead poisoning. Make sure to clear out the old paint completely, because there could be traces even underneath if it was just painted over.
This is one of the most important factors to look into when moving into an older home, particularly if it was built at any time before the 1980s. Old wiring may not serve the purposes you need in today’s modern age, and it could lack the voltage and positioning you require depending on how you want to set up the home. Even though you could still legally use some old wiring (if it’s not obsolete), it can be very dangerous if it is already too worn. And, it might not even be functional if it’s got damage.
If you’re not looking to completely rewire the house, then simply make sure that there are no exposed splices, missing or cracked insulation, or amps that are too large for the system. You may want to consider grounding and checking the level of safety these old circuits have.
Check all the flooring, as you may want to consider updating everything. Aside from the aesthetic value of changing your flooring, this also gives you a chance to check for any defects and sinking in the foundation. It’s also a safer bet to update this so that you don’t run the risk of having asbestos-ridden flooring that could harm you significantly.
Another practical aspect is that wear and tear can make the flooring weaker and less durable to external impact. Simply think of placing a desk and immediately cracking tile or having a leak that completely weakens a rotten wood base.
It may seem like a lot of work, but it’s a worthy investment to make sure the property you move into is livable for many years to come.