Many old homes offer beautiful period features, character and tall ceilings, which could make you fall head over heels in love with a property. Yet, restoring an old house can be both expensive and time consuming. It’s therefore essential to make an informed choice before you invest in a period property. Read the six considerations to make before buying an old house.
The Resale Value
If you have the budget, time and passion for a large project, we recommend investing in an old house that requires a lot of work. It might require much TLC to restore the property, but it will help to generate more equity. Buying a property in average condition won’t leave much room to add value to your home. You must therefore aim to buy a house with both your head and heart.
The Right Lighting
Whether you buy an old or a new property, we recommend you think carefully about natural light. Identify which way the back garden is facing; for example, a south or west facing garden is best for welcoming sun throughout the day or during the evening. If you invest in a property that faces north, it’s possible to gain access to both east and west light by orientating an extension, or you can add windows to the side of your new home.
Alter the Design
Is an old property in desperate need of some TLC? It’s possible to update the design to create an open-plan living space. For instance, does every room match your requirements? If not, you can either tear down a wall or embark on an extension. You can simply find a builder who can transform a space to create a larger living room or new bedroom.
The Garden Size
Many people renovating an old property are often keen to expand on the existing design, especially if it’s on the smaller size. If you plan to add an extension, it’s wise to consider how much garden will remain once the construction work is complete. This is important if you have young children who will want to run and play in the outdoor area, or if you hope to enjoy some alfresco dining.
Old properties’ foundations are often prone to deterioration following drain leakage. It’s therefore essential to improve a home’s structure with underpinning. Check if a property has received underpinning before you invest in the building. For instance, engineering documentation can prove if the old property has been underpinned. Don’t forget to look for cracks in the door heads and windows, as this is often a sign that a property requires underpinning.
Retain period features to prevent an old home from losing its charm, such as a period fireplace, staircase, cornicing, slide sash windows or terrazzo floors. Yet, many homeowners can lose a home’s character once they start insulating or modernizing the space. Turn to a specialist to recreate an old design for lost cornicing, and you can also hire a joiner to reproduce sash windows.
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