Home Inspectors are extraordinarily thorough these days. If you havent bought or sold a home in a while, you may be surprised just how thorough they are. Additionally, living in a town of older homes, we all need to anticipate that at some point old becomes too old and when that happens, the seller at that time will be left bearing the cost to replace.
For example, if you are living in a 25-30 year old home with its original roof, the roof is likely too old. Back in the 80s, 50 year roofs were not popular and so if your roof was installed then, it is likely near the end of its useful life. Mortgage companies will often want to see no less than five years of life left in a roof before they will agree to place the mortgage on a property. If your roof is at or near the end of its useful life, if at all possible it is probably better to put on a new roof before selling. This will help garner a higher price and will avoid the headaches that come with bad news on the inspection. The same can be said for old furnaces, water heaters and other components. If you own them at the tail end of their lives, expect to bear the cost of replacing them, either pre-listing or as a credit to the eventual buyer. Hopefully, you will have owned your home long enough to be entitled to some appreciation that can be applied toward the replacement costs.
Our oldest homes often have components that are simply no longer acceptable to the buying public. If you own a home with knob and tube wiring, you should expect to bear the cost of replacing it. Yes, it has been there forever and worked without incident in most cases, but its old very old and most insurance companies will no longer insure homes with knob and tube wiring. It has to go and if you are the unfortunate owner at the time it is discovered, the bill will most likely be yours (if you want to sell, that is). The same can be said for iron pipes supplying water to a home. Copper, or plastic, piping is what a home should be plumbed with. Iron develops a layer of rust on the inside of the pipe to which stuff adhere to, causing the pipe to slowly close over time. This will cause a diminished water supply to the home. Again, if your pipes are so closed that you are experiencing a noticeable decrease in water supply, the pipes will all need to be replace and you will be expected the pay the bill.
Need some help figuring out which components are so old that they are likely to hold up your sale? Feel free to give me a call and we can walk through your home together and take a careful look.