The 5 Common Pitfalls of Buying a Secondhand House
Posted in: Commercial,Residential
On October 7, 2021

The previous year has seen a sudden increase in real estate sales. Many people, wary of the pandemic, decided to escape crowded cities and communities by purchasing their very first homes. The sudden drop in mortgage rates and interests on real estate property loans also helped stoke the fires.

According to research Americans are buying previously owned houses at steeper prices than new constructions. This is mostly because Americans believe that preowned houses are cheaper as they have already devalued a little. Unfortunately, buying a previously owned property has steep pitfalls that can end up costing you a lot more money.

If you’re considering a trustee sale of a property or joining a public auction, be aware of some pitfalls after your purchase.

Wood Damage

Buying a Pre-owned Home


Many houses in the United States combine wooden fixtures and components with cement and other materials. However, unless these wooden features are treated properly and regularly replaced, they can deteriorate at a much faster rate than the rest of the house.

When you buy a previously owned property, you should make it a part of your house hunting checklist to ask the seller which parts of the house are made of wood. This can help save you a lot of money when you have these components inspected.

Wooden features can be harboring termite colonies, be rotted through with mold or simply too old to handle the weight of the house. Be very careful when you are considering buying any used home that has a lot of wooden components.

Outdated Fixtures

Buying a Pre-owned Home


Depending on how old the house you plan on buying is, it can be anywhere between less than five years old to decades old. The thing with older homes is that their fixtures, piping and electrical wiring can all be very outdated and unfit for habitation.

For example, homes made before the 1980s can still have plenty of lead piping and fixtures that could inevitably poison your entire family. Some houses may have wiring and electrical fuse boxes that aren’t ready to handle the sheer number of electronic appliances modern Americans tend to accumulate. You may end up spending thousands of dollars upgrading these fixtures when you could have bought a new home with the same amount.

Roofing Issues

Buying a Pre-owned Home


The roof is probably the most exposed and easily damaged portion of any home, weathering everything from the pouring rain to the hottest times of the day. This means that your roof can be the first part of a house that receives extensive damages. This is especially true if you live in a location that experiences snowfall during winter months.

When buying a previously owned home, you may not be able to see the roof when you visit the open house because its so out of the way. This means that unless you ask specifically or be very thorough when you inspect the house, you could end up buying a house with a roof that’s ready to collapse in the next earthquake or heavy blizzard.

Insist on checking the attic and examining the support struts and the insulation. Any mold or wet spots could indicate that the roof is in need of serious repair.

Associated Fees

Buying a Pre-owned Home


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Buying a secondhand house can be generally cheaper than buying a brand-new home but what they don’t tell you is that there is a slew of associated costs in owning a used property.

For starters, you may want to pay for a thorough home inspection even before you finalize the sale of the property. Then there’s the cost of having carpenters, plumbers and electricians update everything from the pipes to the wiring. If you home is old enough, you may also want to hire pest control services to ensure that your home isn’t harboring cockroaches, termites or rats. 

If the house is also old enough, you may have to pay fees just to change anything about the property to avoid damaging its historicity.

Shady Past

Buying a Pre-owned Home


Finally, your new home may have baggage that you never intended on buying. One of the most common concerns people have when buying pre-owned property is that if someone has died inside it. But there are all sorts of events that could affect your sense of comfort as well as the viability of selling the house in the future.

Homes associated with crimes can be very devalued and houses with paranormal histories may be impossible to offload.

Previously owned properties can be very comfortable and secure homes. But be prepared for any challenges that come with owning older properties. Understanding the risks associated can help you make a more informed decision regarding your real estate purchases.

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