Period properties can be a fantastic buy. They’re usually large, airy and full of character. However, their age means that they can be ridden with problems; many of which will, without proper inspections, go unnoticed until the property is lived in. Here is a list of potential problems that it is vital to check for before buying a period property.
- Check for damp and rot – a very common problem in old houses that is not always easy to spot. The smell and visual presence of damp patches are the biggest giveaway, but the problem may be hidden so ensure to get the property professionally checked.
- Check for leaks in the roof and chimney.
- Observe how energy efficient the house is. Without the relevant work, big, old houses can be very energy inefficient. This means they can cost a lot of money to keep comfortable; especially in winter. Are the walls and loft insulated? Are the windows single or double glazed? Are there thick oak interior doors in place (great for retaining heat in individual rooms)? If there are oak doors, are they cut close to the floor to prevent drafts?
- Have a gas and electrical survey completed. The wiring in old buildings can be very unsafe since it may have been installed at a time when safety standards were much more relaxed than they are today. If you find out about any problems once you’re in the property, putting them right could cost thousands of pounds.
- Have the foundations checked; this is particularly important if you may wish to extend the property in the future.
- Leave aside a pot of cash for any unexpected work. You might find a crack, leak or damp patch that passed by all inspections. You might choose to replace tired looking doors with a set of period style oak interior doors. Chances are, when buying a period property it’s going to need some work or improvements, so ensure you’ve got the cash set aside.
- Read your building survey very carefully and if there’s anything you’re unsure about, ask questions.
Buying a period property might be the best purchase you ever make. Unlike new build homes, which may have questionable build quality and are renowned for losing a large percentage of their value very quickly; you can be sure that a period property, despite its flaws, is built well and will only lose value if the market says so.
Period properties are also very easy to ‘make your own’ without needing to lose any of their unique, character features. You can change the décor, install modern yet classic oak doors and choose between making the most of the original flooring or fitting, lush, cosy carpets.
. It is this period look that is very in vogue now and something that is only likely to grow in value over the coming years. A well decorated and lovingly executed décor can give you a property that soars in value. Investing in period property is a near guaranteed winner.
Jon Platy is a UK based content writer and is currently working with Principal Homebuyers – a company that offers tailor made solutions for selling property quickly.