What to Watch for when Viewing an Older Home

viewing an older home

What to Watch for when Viewing an Older Home

Buying an older property in Ottawa definitely has its advantages. The neighbourhood will already be well-established, so you’ll be able to get a sense of the community. The trees will be grown. The area will have a defined character. Schools, shopping, transit will be in place. This combination of an older home and established community may be something you like, or even love. However, when you’re viewing an older home for sale in Ottawa, there are a few extra things you need to be sure to check.

Here are the most important:

  • Needed replacements. Nothing lasts forever. In any home, there are items that will eventually need to be replaced. The most common include roofing shingles, siding, furnace, water heater, air conditioner, windows, deck, and fencing. When viewing an older property, ask about the age of each of these items and also consider the quality of materials used, i.e. 3-tab shingles vs a architectural shingles. You’ll get an idea of upcoming replacement expenses.
  • Building issues. Homes were built differently decades ago than they are today. So, there may be issues that need to be addressed by a new owner. Some can be serious, such as water leakage, structural problems, old or substandard electrical and plumbing. Others, less so, such as old electrical outlets or insulation in that attic that needs to be updated to current standards. If there are issues like these, they’ll likely be identified during the professional home inspection. Important to select a home inspector with experience with the type of home, neighborhood and knowledge in areas you are concerned about.
  • Hazerdous materials. Asbestos may be found in some older homes in the vents, plaster, cement, to wrap pipes, ceilings and floor tiles, siding and in some vermiculite insulation. Not all vermiculite insulation contains asbestos but it should be tested to see if it does and what level. Lead may be in some paint in older homes pre 1976. In Canada, the first legislation to regulate the lead content of household paints came into being only in 1976.
  • Drafts. Drafts are common in older homes. Of course, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be fixed. Even modest infiltration of air through an old window or door with worn weather stripping could add hundreds of wasted dollars to your energy bill each year. Look for signs of drafts when viewing a home. The good news is, the majority of these issues can be fixed easily. Don’t let them dissuade you from buying an older home you otherwise like.

As experienced Realtors® in Kanata, Ottawa and surrounding areas, we are here to answer all your questions! We will inform you about the present market and the value of comparable homes in the neighborhood(s) you are interested in. We have the expertise and contacts to assist you with your home purchase!