In and around the Boston area, you can find a wide variety of older homes for sale. You might admire a home built in 1940 or an estate from 1870.
If you have the opportunity to purchase an older home, or even a historic property, here are four issues to consider.
1. Lead paint question
Lead paint is a concern with older homes. The government banned it in 1978 but builders were aware of the ravages of lead poisoning long before that. Even a home built in the ‘40s may be free of lead paint, which is usually visible on floors, around windows, doors or trim. If you are concerned, it is best to hire a certified lead inspector to investigate.
2. Heating problems
Old homes often have old heating systems, which can boost your heating bill significantly during cold New England winters. On a historic home, original windows may not do much to fend off the cold, but you might want to keep them for the sake of authenticity.
3. Foundation issues
The older the home, the more likely foundation or structural problems exist. You should engage the services of an experienced home inspector who knows the area. Depending on the inspector’s findings, you may want to spare yourself the expense of repairs and look at other properties.
4. Psychological impact
You may want to know if the older home you like is “psychologically impacted.” The question here relates to whether there was a homicide, suicide, or felony connected with this property, or if it was ever the site of an alleged supernatural phenomenon. The seller is not obligated to divulge such information, but you may ask. Your attorney could also perform a title search, which might provide clues as to the background of the property.