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If some of the beautiful older homes in Des Moines are appealing to you in your home search, there are some important things you’ll need to pay additional attention to. These homes can be full of charm and character, but they can also be full of unexpected and expensive challenges if buyers aren’t prepared. So, what do Des Moines buyers need to look out for when considering one of these properties? Let’s take at some key areas to pay attention to:
You’ll want to know what materials were used in the construction of the home. Two that should definitely be on your radar are asbestos and lead paint. These are things that can pose potential health risks, and they’re not always easy for buyers to spot. A good home inspector should be able to help you, but it’s important to voice these questions and determine if you have a plan to manage these challenges or not.
You’ll also want to pay close attention to the foundation and the roof. Damage in these areas can quickly spark a chain reaction of damage to other areas of your home, and they can be costly to repair. Again, talking to your inspector and paying attention to these things yourself as you tour the home can help you get a better sense of what you’re looking at. If you’ll need a new roof, that’s a cost you’ll need to factor into your budget.
Electric and plumbing in older homes should also be checked to ensure they’re safe and up to date. For example, if you’re seeing outlets with two holes instead of three, these won’t support things like most laptop chargers or appliances. And while adaptors are available, they’re not always the safest route to choose. If you’ll need to do any rewiring or make any changes to the plumbing, these can be costly projects that may influence how much you’re willing to pay for the home.
Finally, you’ll want to think about the energy efficiency of the home. Have the windows and doors been updated recently? Would you have an option to use solar if that’s something that interests you? Getting a sense of where the house stands currently and the options that would or would not be available to you as an owner is an important part of the decision-making process.
This article isn’t meant to dissuade you from looking at older homes. These charming properties can be dream homes for many buyers as long as they go in with as much information as possible.
If you’d like to get pre-approved for a mortgage, or if you need a recommendation for an experienced, local Realtor, please reach out to us. We’re always happy to help.