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What To Look When Buying an Older Home ?

What To Look When Buying an Older Home ?


David Doe

Published in

Real Estate

05 Jan 2022

Purchasing a home in Canada, whether it is your first home, a starter home, a condo, an older fixer-upper with great bones, or a newly built luxury condo, is an exciting experience. However, depending on how old the home you want to buy is, there will be things to consider and keep in mind that are different than if you were looking to buy a newer home, one that has just been built or one that is under construction !

If you are considering purchasing an older home, you should have money set aside for repairs, upgrades, and additional home inspections as needed. In other words, and this cannot be overstated, you should consider having professionals inspect your home's major systems so you can get a sense of how well it is maintained on the inside. It's important to note that this list of tips for buying older homes to look for when purchasing an older home isn't exhaustive; it's intended to help you think about what you should be looking for and is only a starting point !

Wiring For Knobs & Tubes

From the 1880s to the 1940s, knob and tube wiring, also known as open wiring, was a method of electrical wiring used in residential homes. Standard electrical wiring methods and practices have evolved since this time. This indicates that the knob and tube wiring has been removed. However, knob and tube wiring are still available for maintenance purposes. Knob and tube wiring is considered safe in some cases, but not in others, given the amount of power that many modern-day devices require. If your home has knob and tube wiring, you may find that many insurance companies will refuse to provide coverage or renew coverage for homes with knob and tube wiring. Insurance companies may require homeowners to completely replace all electrical knob and tube wiring before insuring a home in some cases !


According to, asbestos is a naturally occurring material that can be twisted into a fluffy consistency. Asbestos fibres are soft and flexible but heat, electricity, and corrosion-resistant. These properties make helpful asbestos, but they also make asbestos exposure extremely dangerous. Asbestos can cause various diseases, including cancers such as Mesothelioma, and is banned in many countries !

Asbestos can be found in multiple products, including home insulation, cement, drywall compounds, paints, sealants, and adhesives. Vinyl asbestos tiles, asbestos cement, asbestos roofing felt, asbestos reinforced plastics, asbestos adhesives, sealants, and coatings may all be found in older homes. If you're considering purchasing an older home and are concerned about the presence of asbestos, you must entrust the evaluation and removal of any asbestos-containing materials to trained and certified asbestos abatement professionals !

Mice, Termites, and Other Creatures

Another risk of buying an older home, particularly in Ontario, is the risk of termites, as the province has a large number of termite infestations. Termite colonies can quickly devastate a home. Mice and other living animals you do not wish to share your home are also threats. If you're not sure whether you're at risk, have pest control and termite professionals inspect your home before closing to assess the situation !

Plumbing, Drainage, Mould, Or Moisture-Related Problems

You may want to hire a professional plumber to inspect your sewer system to see if it is in good working order, depending on how old your home is. Things may appear to be in good working order on the outside, but you should have a trained professional inspect the pipes to see if there is anything that could leak or any potential moisture-related issues that could lead to mildew, mould, and other problems !

Water Supply Lines And Lead Pipes

Lead pipes are common in older homes; depending on the age of your home, you should have your pipes checked to see if they are lead pipes. If your house was built before the 1950s, you should assume it has lead water pipes unless you have proof to the contrary. In fact, until the 1980s, lead soldering was used to connect copper pipes. Lead pipes aren't always dangerous, but high levels of lead in water and paint can be hazardous and lead to lead poisoning, which can be fatal !


Many older homes did not have insulated walls; instead, open cavities were used to allow the house to breathe. This was done because builders understand that moisture is the most severe problem in any home and that allowing water to seep into the walls would result in a slew of problems. However, if they built homes that were not as tightly constructed as they are today, homes would dry out quickly due to the looseness in the building structure !

However, insulating homes built before modern insulation technology was developed poses some difficulties. Start with the attic and crawl spaces when insulating an older home, and consider weather-stripping doors, adding heavy drapes, and other options !

Lead-based Paint

Lead paint could be present in any home built before 1978. Because lead paint can flake off and become toxic dust with microparticles, it can be extremely dangerous and unhealthy. If you're concerned about lead paint in your home, you can hire a lead paint expert to come in and inspect it to see if there's a problem !

Slanted Floors

Another thing to watch out for is sloping floors, which can occur in older homes where the floors have warped. While sloping floors aren't as severe as, say, lead paint, they are something you might come across in an older home !


It's important to remember that huge closets, or walk-in closets, are a relatively new trend in homes. If you're looking at older, historic houses, don't be surprised if they lack closet space. Many items would have been stored in trunks, chests of drawers, or hooks on the wall in previous eras. And because hangers were not invented until the late 1800s, closets of different ages are much smaller than closets today !

Purchasing a home is a significant decision, and you should be as prepared as possible for any eventuality. By all means, don't skip the home inspection. As previously stated, you may even consider hiring professionals in various fields to assess the state of multiple areas and systems in your home. You will have an easier time finding an older home in a specific neighbourhood, in a particular style, with x, y, z, and other features if you are clear about tips buying older homes and what you want. And, if you've read this article and believe you're ready to take on the challenges of owning and living in an older home, contact Guglu Homes !

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