Older homes can often be bought at a much lower price than a more modern home. Most people looking to buy do not want to have the extra expense of repairs, remodeling and redecorating to bring the home up to their standards. If the buyer knows home construction and is able to do some or all the work, he may uncover a diamond in the rough.
Many times older homes have original hardwood flooring underneath carpeting. These old floors can be brought back to life by sanding, staining, and applying a good varnish coat. Years of use by multiple owners may leave the original floors nearly unrecognizable. Some people paint the flooring in their attempt to bring a different color into the room, and the paint can be difficult to remove completely. There may also be remnants of carpet padding stuck to the floor, which will need to be thoroughly cleaned off. Probably the worst scenario is one or more layers of old linoleum or vinyl glued to the floor with linoleum cement. It will take a lot of scraping and solvent to get rid of that kind of a mess, but focusing on the beautiful hardwood floor to be gained makes the project worthwhile.
The walls in an older home can be covered with a variety of wallpaper, paint, and paneling. Removing paneling is not that difficult, nor is it much of a problem to repaint the walls. Old wallpaper can be a different story, and it can take days of soaking and peeling to reveal the original wall. Once all the wall coverings are gone the wall underneath may be so damaged the only choice is to install drywall. Drywall is not all that expensive and it is relatively easy to install if the homeowner has some experience with it. It might be the best choice to hire a professional if the homeowner is not sure how to do the job.
The inside of the house is not the only area to consider. Once the floors, walls and ceilings are updated the outside may need some attention. Many times older homes were sided with wood and if the siding was not maintained adequately it may need replacing. This project is not inexpensive but new siding can make an old home look new. If energy-efficient windows and doors are also installed at the same time, the house will not only look new but will cost much less to heat and cool.
There are times when an older home is purchased with the intention of remodeling it and increasing the value. Unless the buyer has lots of experience with construction, the cost of updating the home can be more than the added value. A realistic plan of needed changes and the costs involved should be made before this type of project is taken on.
Even though an old house can seem to be a hopeless mess, some of them can be rescued and transformed into a thing of beauty. The information in this article can help guide a prospective buyer in making a decision whether or not to purchase that old house.