Older houses are full of character and charm but can be both a renovator’s dream and nightmare. Purchasing an old house can bring with it a host of issues that are hidden under the surface that you will be required to fix at a potentially high expense. If you are considering buying an older house and are unsure what yo look for, here are 5 things to keep in mind when purchasing the property.


Asbestos was widely used for several decades as a building material before extensive research brought forth its highly carcinogenic properties. Quite often used in piping and tiling, in its solid form it poses a very little health risk. However once disturbed and it starts crumbling and is inhalable, that’s when the problems arise. Be on the lookout for anything that could contain asbestos such as tiling, insulation and piping. Always have it inspected by an expert if you are worried about the presence of asbestos.

Bad wiring

Wiring regulations changed with the times as new safety measures were put in place to prevent shoddy wiring and bad practices. That isn’t to say some wiring isn’t bad now, but the standards are much higher. Bad wiring can lead to burns, shocks and worse. The wiring doesn’t need to be bad, but the wires could become damaged over time. Ask the owners about any recent re-wiring work and electrical issues with the property. If it hasn’t been re-wired in the last 25 years, it may be worth considering having it done.

Water damage

Water damage causes serious problems, especially if left unchecked. Check for mould, damp, and standing water stains when you inspect the property as well as areas where water can gather such as a sump pump. If you need a new sump pump for the property then why not check out Tsurumi pumps on their website. Have a plumber check older pipes as they may not be up to today’s standards and can could be rusted, corroded or worse. Water damage will destroy your property right under your nose.

Bad insulation

A cold house is no fun for anyone. Many older houses simply were not built with today’s insulation standards and as a result, are expensive to heat and maintain. Speak to the owners and ask if any insulation work has ever been done on the property. If not, speak to a professional to see how likely it is that you can have the house insulated properly. It may not be an easy job but it is worth it. Improperly insulated houses will become unlivable in cold temperatures and you don’t want to be stuck with a massive heating bill.

Leaking roof

Along the same line as water damage, however, a leaking roof can be indicative of other issues. Birds, rodents and bugs can be coming through the leaking area and cause more problems on top of the leaks. Ask for loft and attic access before purchasing the property or have your surveyor check the area thoroughly. The last thing you want is to wake up to a leaking roof in a thunderstorm and find the local birds have taken refuge in your attic.

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