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Making an old house your new home can be an exciting experience. Older homes are often more affordable, and have character and history that gives them a romantic feel. Some people might also buy old homes with the intention of fixing them up and making them their own. While there are many good reasons to buy an old house, it’s also important to understand what you’re getting into. Old homes come littered with problems, and the last thing you want is to be footing massive, unexpected bills for issues you didn’t know were present. Here are some common issues with old houses to consider.

Electrical Problems

One of the most common issues with old houses is the electrical wiring. Not only can the electrical systems been inefficient and out of date, they may also pose a risk of electrical fires or electrocutions if wires or other components are damaged. Many old houses also don’t have grounding outlets, which is important in avoiding power surges and their potential consequences.


Asbestos was a commonly used flame retardant that is now understood to cause cancer when its fibers are airborne. For this reason, asbestos is almost never used nowadays. However, many old houses still contain asbestos. Given its toxic nature, it is especially important to have old houses checked for asbestos. Most general home inspections don’t include asbestos inspections, so it’s good to incorporate that cost into buying the home.

Lead Paint

Lead based paints were also very common at one time, and another component of old homes that are worth investigating. The lead in paint can be highly toxic, especially to young children. The good news is that replacing lead paint is typically not overly difficult or expensive, depending on how much lead paint was used in the house.


Roof damage is big red flag in any house, because roof repairs can be costly and complicated. Since older homes are far more likely to have worn out roofs, they should always be inspected with care. Luckily, most home inspections will include an inspection of the roof and attic. The inspection can tell you if there are leaks or cracks, and give you an idea as to the status of the roof.

Pests and Insects

One of the worst things that can happen after you’ve bought a new home is to discover there is an infestation of pests or insects. Infestations are not only costly, they also require you to leave the residence for long periods of time, and can even cause damage to the house. Inspections for infestations are not part of most home inspections, so this is another aspect you’ll want to hire another professional for.


If you do have old electrical or plumbing systems in your house, this could also impact your insurance. Since these old systems are considered a higher risk to house damage, insurance companies may not cover unexpected disasters caused by either of these systems. Committing to an old house will require you to weigh the costs of replacing old systems with the risks they might pose.

Get The Full Story

At Ideal Inspections, our goal is to make sure that our clients know exactly what they’re buying. We’re full certified home inspectors with plenty of experience under our belt. Believe us, we’ve seen it all. While an old house can be a great investment, there is always the risk of running into unexpected issues. Contact us today to book an inspection and we’ll ensure that you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.