Older properties can be great investments. Not only do they tend to be well-located, but they have a lot of character to them, which can be ideal for attracting tenants or buyers. There are of course a few things to be wary of when investing in older property such as possible wear and tear and lower energy efficiency. Here are just a few considerations worth making before you buy an older property.
Consider a home inspection
A home inspection helps to spot any hidden defects with a property that could result in expensive future repairs. By uncovering these defects, you can protect yourself from making a bad investment. Home inspections should be done before buying any kind of property – whether it’s a home or an investment, a new property or an old property. They’re particularly important before buying an older property because the risk of wear and tear is much greater. Always hire a chartered surveyor to carry out a home inspection.
Look into planning permission
Older properties may have restrictions in place that prevent you from adding certain renovations. This could be in order to preserve certain historical features. There are consultancy services out there such as Andrew Long and Associates that can help to guide you through this type of planning permission. This could similarly be worth looking into before you buy a property.
Consider energy-efficient upgrades
When investing in older property, it may be mandatory (or certainly recommended) that you make a few energy-efficiency upgrades. Older properties as a rule aren’t as energy-efficient which can lead to unnecessary running costs for the next owner or tenant, as well as having a negative impact on the environment. Energy-efficient upgrades could include adding insulation, installing solar panels or finding a way to recycle water.
Be wary of mould and pests
Mould and pests are two dangers that are common in older properties. While a home inspection may be able to spot signs of these, they could still develop at a later stage without the right maintenance in place. Mould tends to be the result of too much moisture and lack of light. There are lots of ways to prevent this fungus including adding extractor fans to humid rooms and fixing leaks. As for pests like mice, make sure that all cracks and entrances are sealed up.
Don’t sacrifice character when renovating
A home’s ‘character’ is hard to define. It tends to be an appeal in the quirky historical features that a home may have such as original floorboards or an ornate bannister fitted by a previous owner. When renovating your property, it’s important not to destroy any of these potential signs of character. Erasing it could devalue the home and it make it less attractive to buyers. This guide at The Spruce offers more information on identifying character in an old home.
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