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What to Be Aware of When Looking to Buy an Older Home

Many people adore the charm and history that older homes have, but they’re also concerned about the potential issues that accompany older homes. Lead paint, old electrical wiring, and mold are things you should be aware of when you’re purchasing an older home. It’s helpful to know what to expect and how to handle these issues.

Potentially Hazardous Materials

Asbestos, lead paint, and polybutylene pipes are potentially hazardous materials commonly found in older homes. Asbestos is a harmful mineral fiber that was used in the 20th century for roofing and construction purposes. Homes built before 1978 can contain lead paint. Often, older homes were painted with lead paint, which can be very harmful and lead to serious illness or injuries. This type of paint is the leading cause of lead poisoning and other life-threatening illnesses in children and adults. Polybutylene pipes affect your home’s water quality and deteriorate from the inside out. These pipes will begin to leak and cause water damage. An inspection from a professional home inspector can help you to identify the presence of any of these issues.

Electrical Wiring

If a home is between 39 and 101 years old, there’s a chance it hasn’t been inspected since it was built. One of the most common causes of residential fires ispoorly installed or otherwise faulty wiring. Signs you may have faulty electrical wiring in your home include flickering lights, frequent power outages, warm or hot outlets, and switches, unusual burning smells and a variety of other indications. If you have to use extension cords continuously, this is another sign faulty wiring is an issue. The use of extension cords is meant to be a temporary fix for using more than one device at once.


Mold is more prevalent in older homes than newer ones because older homes have more weather exposure and have aged longer than newer homes. In previous years, builders used poor insulation and ventilation practices, which created the perfectenvironment for mold growth. Mold thrives in damp, dark locations. Signs of mold growth in the home include water leaks, water damage, rust, warping of drywall and wood, musty odor, condensation and the deterioration of the surroundings, such as peeling wallpaper and chipping paint.

Purchasing a home is exciting whether the home is new or old. There are a lot of perks associated with buying an older home, and there are also a few downfalls. Before you purchase your home, have it inspected by a professional to avoid future issues.

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