Buying an old place: limitations and opportunities

A few days ago, they sent me a questionnaire, from, asking me to fill it in, as a contribution to an article that, about the opportunities that old houses offer, they are thinking about writing. We understand that when we talk about an old floor, we refer not only to a house that is […]
Old House, Able Building Inspections

A few days ago, they sent me a questionnaire, from, asking me to fill it in, as a contribution to an article that, about the opportunities that old houses offer, they are thinking about writing.

We understand that when we talk about an old floor, we refer not only to a house that is considerably old (older than 30 years), we are also referring to that it has not been rehabilitated by the property for sale. That is to say, that with small repairs, it is basically in the original conditions or, at least, that it has not been rehabilitated in the last 30 years.

If you are looking for real quality inspections of the building you want to buy, we will be able to carry out a study of the situation, do not hesitate to contact Able Building Inspections.

  1. What are the advantages of buying an old apartment in front of a newly built one?

Normally the best location / price ratio. The oldest places are usually closer to the old towns, so they benefit from better services (quantity and proximity) due to the urban model in which they were built (compact, complex and integrating), front to new homes that are usually found in areas that are less well served by public transport, with fewer services in terms of quantity and typology.

The main problem of old houses is that they are usually linked to the architectural barriers that affect the disabled.

Another negative aspect can be associated with the settlement of marginal population, taking advantage of the existence of unoccupied homes for years, and even the poor state of buildings that have not been properly maintained. This circumstance usually occurs in some downtown neighbourhoods only in large cities, a consequence inherited from the old Urban Leasing Law.

From the economic point of view, older houses tend to correspond to lower financial burdens (in the form of mortgages), which allows a negotiation between owner and buyer more independent, without having to rely on the participation of the lender. That usually places its negotiation limit – in front of a buyer-user – in the amount of the debt, regardless of whether it accesses the subrogation thereof.

  1. Would these same advantages be maintained if the floor was 20 years ago than it was 30 or 50 years ago?

In most cases, naturally depending on the size of the population, as well as its demographic development in recent decades, greater seniority corresponds to a better location, as well as lower mortgage burdens, which allows better negotiation Purchase prices.

  1. Deflect two myths: are old houses in general better built than new ones? Are they usually smaller than new construction?

The constructive quality of the old houses in very varied, finding homes with magnificent qualities, speaking in comparison with the current ones, built in the 20s and 30s, and very low-quality houses built in the 60s. And vice versa.

The quality has been very linked, usually, to the urban quality, at least in the 70s and 80s.

In any case, in an old house should be considered its state of preservation, the adequacy of its facilities to the current comfort and quality requirements and – this aspect is very important – the state of conservation of the building in which it is located.

  1. Old floors tend to be more central, what do buyers currently prefer: better location or more space to live?

My experience in this regard is limited, but we have been able to observe that generally, if it is linked to a good public transport (preferably metropolitan rail and / or commuter rail), greater areas are chosen.

  1. What aspects should be taken into account before buying an old floor? (Moisture problems, structural, spills, installations, reforms, etc.)

Previously commented that it is key that the building in which the house is located is in perfect condition, having successfully passed the I.T.E. If it has not been overcome, the costs, both economic and comfortable – due to the consequences of the execution of the works – will be assessed and will be weighed if they are compensated in the purchase price and in the degree of final satisfaction.

Regarding the state of the dwelling, its conservation status should be taken into account, which is not only the “decoration” – which is better or worse painted, etc. – that should be associated with the age of the water, electricity, service connections, etc., having as a valid criterion that they should be renewed, at most, every 30 years, if you do not want to enter into a dynamic of permanent repairs, usually they suppose an accumulated amount, in money and inconveniences, superior to the necessary reform.

In the old floors it can also be very important to check the possible debts with the community of owners, with the water, gas, electricity companies, with the municipal and regional haciendas, as well as if there was some type of disciplinary file in the area of ​​urban planning.

  1. Do you think it would be advisable to hire an architect, appraiser or surveyor to make a report on the condition of the old apartment before buying it?

Personally, we understand that you should not undertake the purchase of an old home if you do not have the advice of a professional in reforms, able to detect deficiencies and evaluate costs. We could find ourselves immersed in a ruin that would destroy our economy and our physical and mental health. Unless the buyer possesses such knowledge.

  1. Are there more possibilities to apply a discount to the price of old places? What percentage of maximum discount could be discounted on the price of the house?

Given that we are facing a high-risk commercial operation, which requires a minimum of knowledge, by the buyer, and important investments, after the sale, the number of potential buyers is quite small, so the seller finds few opportunities to close the operation. This necessarily facilitates the possibilities of reducing prices, which is also required given the amount of subsequent investments. The negotiation must contemplate the estimated amount of these subsequent investments, with a certain margin to the upside, given the uncertainty that always exists in this type of works, where it is not just discovered all the problems until you start chopping floors ceilings and walls.

In any case, the possibility of negotiation, as in any type of sale, is conditioned by the need of the seller and the amount of the possible mortgage, which in these cases, by its own trajectory, is usually small, if any.

Finally, as in any purchase that does not consist in acquiring a property owned by a financial institution, it is advisable to have a very secure financing, apart from the real estate guarantee itself, which will be of little use at the present time, so that grant a mortgage.

At Able Building Inspections we are specialists in the inspection of buildings that have been affected over time. With over 23 years of experience inspecting buildings and helping people make the smartest choice when looking to purchase a house.