In the second part of this two-part series, we are discussing the “con’s” of buying an older home.

In part one, we learned some of the great advantages and benefits of buying an older home.  Now we will take a closer look at some of the downsides.

Old homes are more complicated in many ways.  There’s a lot to consider when choosing between an old or newly built house.

Lack of Energy-efficiency

Energy efficient windows are just one of the features that became standard after the first energy crises of the 1970’s. Many very old houses that date before that era may not have added insulation, new windows and doors, or energy efficient heating and cooling systems. If you’re considering an old house that needs upgrading to be energy efficient, most of the tax credits for basic home repairs have expired.


Our lifestyles and our needs have changed a lot over the last 50 years, so older homes usually come with some hurdles with regard to our modern lifestyle. Bathrooms were smaller and few kitchens featured islands and eat-in areas. Some older homes have been remodeled to comply with modern tastes, but it can be a very expensive undertaking to enlarge bathrooms and kitchens.

Higher Cost to Maintain and Update

Keeping up with an older home is going to cost more than a newer home because of the age of the home and the materials it’s made with. It’s a good rule of thumb to budget 1% of your home’s value to annual maintenance. On an older home, I recommend budgeting 1.5%.

In addition, take a look at the plumbing, electrical and HVAC. If the home still has galvanized supply lines, a clay sewer line, knob and tube wiring, gravity furnace or original boiler, you may want to start budgeting for replacing them, depending on their current condition.

After reading the series, we hope to have provided some insight for you.  No one can make the decision if a new or old home is best for you, however, by doing your research before you begin to shop, you’ll be prepared to ask the right questions to help you find the house that’s right for you.