The thrill of living in an older home can be appealing to a buyer. You are assured the owner has taken care of their property. Older homes have better structure and stunning finishes. Kenya has quite a number of older homes built since the 1950s. However, we will be discussing houses built after 1990.
Imagine a 10yr old house, despite any maintenance or update, issues are bound to arise. Therefore, you need to be aware of what to look for before buying an older home. If problems start showing up after the sell, you will have to incur your own cost.
Condition of foundation
Eventually, nature catches up with even the perfect foundations. Older homes are prone to a variety of foundation and structural problems, such as major cracks or unevenness in the slab or perimeter foundation wall; corrosion, dry rot, or moisture damage.
Moreover, these issues are practically common and tend to appear sooner in places with a lot of soil moisture and unstable bedrock. Alert homeowners will notice this and abandon the home due to the maintenance being costly. Signs of foundation or structural problems include doors that jam or fail to latch, visible wall cracks that grow over time, cracked tile or concrete floors, persistently stuck windows and floors that are clearly off-level.
Older homes Roof Problems
Older homes tend to have older, possibly deteriorating roofs. This presents numerous problems, including pest infestations, interior water damage, and less effective insulation. Problems from a bad roof can cost thousands of shillings to fix and may not be covered by homeowners insurance.
Warning signs of potential roof issues include missing or damaged shingles, crumbling roof cement, bowed or sagging gutters and persistent moisture around the house
Electrical issues can be categorized as safety and convenience.
The lifespan of electrical wiring is limited by the insulation. If the wiring was installed 10 years ago, the wire might be exposed. This means the insulation has deteriorated which leads to the risk of an electrical fire, shocks, short circuits and increase of power failure.
Most older homes lack a sufficient number of electrical outlets to deal with the increase in our electrical devices. In a basic Kenyan home, outlets need to be at least 4.
Do remember, that water damage, fire, pest infestation, and other unusual events can harm some or all of an electrical system’s components, necessitating repair or replacement long before they reach their life expectancy
Older homes Plumbing issues
Have you checked the drainage system? Are all the taps running water? Do you really need that bathtub?
You should ask yourself such questions when viewing an older house. Older homes don’t have up to date drainage or they have aged til they no longer function. Ask the seller what type the drainage pipes the house has. Most homes have plastic, this burst easily and need absolute care or even replacing. Additionally, if the house is located in a vegetative area, roots will be a problem. Tree roots work their way into older drainage pipes under or outside the home’s foundation, busting through pipe joints.
Older homes Insurance costs
You should ask about the seller about their mortgage and if it has been paid in full. Sometimes, owners want to sell in order to pay the mortgage off.
Older homes have old electrical or plumbing systems, you may find it difficult or expensive to get homeowners insurance. Many policies won’t cover damage caused by old, worn out systems. In order to get insurance, you will have to renovate the home and this will cost a hefty sum.
Condition of walls and floors
In older homes, the walls and floors may have cracks, this is normal. Nonetheless, the cracks should be very small while hardly visible.
Big cracks are a major no-no, this means there is a problem with the foundation and roof. Also, check the ceiling, ensure the timber boards are intact and pest free. Rodents tend to camp up there. Wooden planks may have come loose, meaning a whole floor is needed. Check all this out before settling for the house.
State of the kitchen and bathrooms
These are the hearts of the household. Unfortunately, most older homes have missing tiles. A sink tap not working. The drainage is blocked. All these issues should be on your checklist. Have the owner remould them before moving in or you will suffer.
When going to view an older home, have this checklist in mind. This will ensure you avoid making a bad deal and living in a house you regret buying.
Visit Kenya Homes to see houses once occupied but in great shape. We offer you solutions, not promises.