Approximately 15 million homes are sitting abandoned across the United States right now. Many of these houses are simply vacation homes not currently in use, and others have yet to be sold or rented.
But plenty of these abandoned residences are typical old run-down houses. You have your pick of old homes throughout the country, but is buying one worth the trouble?
You probably assume a lot of effort goes into an old house after purchase—depending on the state of decay or age, you’d be right. An abandoned home can be a lot of work after purchase.
But should you still consider buying an old house despite the possible disadvantages? Read on if you’d like to know whether buying a run-down home is the right move for you.
Old vs. Run-Down
Although we use the term “old run-down house,” it’s probably a good idea to distinguish between an old house and a run-down house. An old house is one that’s been abandoned for a long time.
For example, a two-story home built in the 1970s is an old house. A run-down house is in a state of disrepair. A house constructed in 2017 but is currently dilapidated qualifies as run-down.
You can find most modern homes in poor condition due to various factors. For example, run-down homes can be abandoned houses, but all abandoned houses aren’t necessarily run-down.
Pros and Cons of Run-Down and Old Homes
The differences between run-down and old homes may seem superficial, but there is a reason we’re discussing them. Buying each type of house has its pros and cons. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of run-down homes first.
Pros of Buying Run-Down Homes
The upside to purchasing a run-down home is that you’re not likely to see much competition from other buyers. Renovating a run-down house in a good neighborhood may also increase the home’s value.
Cons to Buying Run-Down Homes
One issue with purchasing an abandoned home is determining if it’s empty. Being vacant doesn’t mean the house doesn’t belong to someone.
You may have to launch a lengthy title search to find the home’s current owner. Once you discover the owner, contact may still be problematic. In addition, repair costs can get pricy.
Many people want a move-in ready house and won’t want to pay for repairs. You can expect anything from HVAC issues to plumbing and roofing problems. Damage from water, fires, and vandalism is also a concern.
Pros of Purchasing an Old Home
One good thing about buying an old house is that it’s likely cheaper than anything new on the market. More contemporary homes have modern amenities you’re paying for, so it makes sense older residences cost less.
As a quick aside, you can earn money if you’re looking to sell your old home. This is because some businesses pay you to sell them your old house. Check this page for more details.
Something you may not have expected about older homes is that they utilize more durable materials and construction. For example, the hardwood framing rotted slower than the modern him-fir wood used in modern homes.
Older houses used more robust materials for their walls also. Lathe and plaster walls were also more durable than the drywall found in various newer residences.
Cons of Purchasing an Old Home
Something you shouldn’t expect when you buy an old home, though, is energy-efficient insulation. Windows were single-pane, fragile, and less capable of cold air and heat conservation.
You can expect to spend more money heating and cooling your older house. You can retrofit your home with more energy-efficient insulation and HVAC systems, which can become expensive.
Want to Buy an Old Run Down House?
There are a few things to consider before buying an old run-down house. Firstly, “old” and “run down” can be mutually exclusive regarding homes. A residence doesn’t have to be old to be run down.
Secondly, run-down and old houses are likely cheaper than modern, ready-to-move-in homes but may require extensive repair and updating.
Consider checking out more of our content if you find this article interesting. There’s plenty more to read on our website.
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