Older homes have their charms including unique architecture, design aspects and history. But they also provide a distinct set of challenges that can be daunting if not taken in to careful consideration. If you are considering purchasing a home that is at least fifty years old, be sure to consider the following major updates first.

Electrical Panel

A major component that needs to be updated is the home’s electrical panel. The older fuses should be replaced with breakers and all wiring should be updated to copper wiring. Electrical surges and outdated aluminum wiring pose a major fire hazard and must be replaced immediately.  All outlets should also be converted to three prong to have a grounding element to them. Without the third prong, these outlets pose a shock risk. Electrical work can be an immense (and oftentimes expensive) project to take on, but it is one thing simply has to be done.

Related: Did you know that Kansas City’s historic homes are some of the most interesting in the country? 

Plumbing

Another major element to consider is updated plumbing. Cast iron pipes were once inexpensive and the most popular choice for plumbing. Now when the pipes have corroded, it is a more expensive fix and something that often goes unnoticed as a leak slowly forms. Sewage lines are prone to backing up in the home, and as a homeowner this is your responsibility to fix. PVC is the most common material used as an inexpensive and long last material for plumbing. If a home has not been outfitted with PVC pipes, it is something to think about for the future.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency was overlooked when homes were being built way back when. Older single pane windows and roofs were not built to hold in heat. Insulation was not put in the same way and many homes are prone to heat loss. A home energy audit can be performed to tell you where your energy loss is coming from and how it can be upgraded to be more energy efficient.

Hazardous Paint

Asbestos and lead paint were used in nearly every home before it was proved how hazardous these materials were. Homes built before the 1970’s used these materials regularly. Asbestos was used for fireproofing and insulation. Lead was added to paint to decrease drying time and increase its longevity. Caution should be taken when doing a renovation that involves disturbing the asbestos or removing the paint. Both are known to cause cancer and should not be taken lightly.

As challenging as owning an older home may be, often times the charm outweighs the risk. These homes may require more TLC and sweat equity, but the results are often worth it.

* If you own an older home, you may need to consider a home improvement loan to complete some of the necessary updates.  Home improvement loans are specifically for homeowners that want to remodel or improve their home. You can easily and quickly find out your rate on our website. Get Your Rate Now.

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