Here’s what You Need to Know before you Buy an Older Property

May 16 2020
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Purchasing an older property SHOULD be daunting in its own way. Most people hugely underestimate the cost, time and effort it takes to bring an older property up to date. What I found with my grandma’s house, despite the blood sweat and the tears, is I would have had it no other way. I didn’t underestimate the cost, but I did understatement the amount of help I would have! But I wouldn’t have had it any other way, in the end, this place I got to make myself and that’s kinda amazing!

Before and after of my multi functional multi purpose entry and dining room that is also now doubling as my office and mudroom too! See how I transformed this space during a DIY do it yourself renovation, gutting my Grandma's 100 year old farmhouse and making it all new again!(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)

Taking on any kind of renovation project can be daunting to say the least. At the same time though, it is incredibly rewarding.

If you want some tips and advice that will help you to make the most out of your project, then you can find whatever you need to know, right here.

Get a Building Report

You should always try and commission a building report from a surveyor before you buy a property.

Do bear in mind though that a surveyor won’t be able to uncover any hidden problems and they will not be able to give you a good idea of the cost either.  It’s up to you to work out this kind of information so do keep that in mind.

Take Into account the Competition

If there is a lot of interest in a property, then there is a high chance that it will go to bids. Your estate agent will probably tell you when the bids are going to start and when you need to have your bid in by.

When you submit your bid, you may need to include a letter which states your final offer and you will also need to give them your solicitor’s details too. It pays to write a letter to the person who is selling the house so you can tell them why you are a good choice, that you have no chain or even that you have a big deposit.


It’s vital that you check to see if the property has any radiators. If you know that there are no radiators at all then now would be the time for you to think long and hard about your decision.

After all, putting radiators in a property can be very expensive and it does require a lot of work. If you want to try and stop this from affecting you too much then you need to get a proper quote so that you can calculate the cost of having heating put in.


Another expense that you need to think about when buying an older property is the roof. If you know that the roof is going to need some work, then don’t underestimate how much money you will need to put down for this.

For example, if the roof has been leaking, then it may be that you need to replace some of the beams and that you need to tend to some rot as well.


Lastly, old doors tend to let out a lot of heat. If you want to stop this from becoming an issue then you need to do whatever you can to calculate the cost of replacing the doors in advance. Impact doors are a very good choice and you would be surprised at what a difference they can make to your property.

If you are not sure if the property needs more doors or not, then checking the energy certificate might give you a basic idea so you can come out with a solid idea.

Purchasing an older property SHOULD be daunting in its own way. Most people hugely underestimate the cost, I love property it should be great!(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)


  1. May 16, 2020 at 9:00 am

    One really critical thing that wasn’t listed was the foundation of the house. Having a home inspector come in and look at that is really critical. Another really great idea if there is a furnace and or air conditioning is to have those inspected by a HVAC inspector. Home inspectors do not inspect furnaces and air conditioning. They dont have the expertise. We learned that the hard way when we bought an older house and had the home inspection done. Once winter hit we started having furnace problems and found out the furnace had a cracked internal section. It was not repairable and had to buy a whole new furnace, which was a huge expense. If we’d had an HVAC inspection we could have negotiated that into the cost of the house and had it repaired ahead of time! Having the water tested and checked for pressure is also great idea, that can be done by a plumber. Finding out generally what kind of shape your plumbing is in by a licensed plumber can be really helpful.

    • May 18, 2020 at 9:13 am

      Very true, thanks for the info Nancy!

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