What you Need to Know When Buying an Old House

Read our blog post for our advice on buying an old house - everything you need to know.

What to note when buying an old house

The UK has a wealth of beautiful historic buildings encompassing village houses to castles, farmhouses to mansions (particularly 17th to 19th century townhouses and country mansions). When buying an old building you aren't just buying a home, but a piece of history, part of Britain's cultural heritage, and a unique building that represents the architects' and artisans' skills of a bygone age.

In the UK, the term ‘old house' usually refers to a building that's pre-1940, while homes built before 1914 are often referred to as period homes, for example Georgian, Victorian or Edwardian. If you want a property with charm and character; a building for renovation or conversion; outbuildings or a large plot of land; then you must usually buy an old property. The UK has a wealth of beautiful historic buildings encompassing village houses to castles, farmhouses to mansions (particularly 17th to 19th century townhouses and country mansions). When buying an old building you aren't just buying a home, but a piece of history, part of Britain's cultural heritage, and a unique building that represents the architects' and artisans' skills of a bygone age.

The advantages of an old house may include the following:

History, charm and character in abundance; Individuality and exclusivity; Interesting architectural features such as inglenook fireplaces, exposed beams, wood or slate floors, and beautiful plasterwork (look behind boarded up chimney breasts, wall and bath panelling, painted doors and floor coverings and you may unearth some period treasures just waiting to be discovered); A mature garden with fully-grown trees and a wealth of plants; An absence of teething troubles; A mature community with abundant shops and services; More space than new properties with higher ceilings and larger rooms; Outbuildings that can be converted into a self-contained studio or apartment, study, office or workshop; The possibility to expand or convert it for a different use; A large garden or plot of land; Good capital growth (rising in value faster than a new home); Easier to sell than a new home (‘rarity' value).

The disadvantages of old homes may include:

Out-of-date bathrooms and kitchens, bulky storage heaters or no central heating at all, poor security, poor insulation (high heating bills), lack of storage space, etc. Restoration, renovation or decoration may be necessary before you can move in; Large repair and maintenance bills, particularly if a house hasn't been lovingly cared for, and high running costs; Difficulty in obtaining a mortgage if the property needs major structural work; Hidden defects (you will have no guarantee, unlike a new home) such as dry rot, rising damp, subsidence or landslide, woodworm or other infestations - always have a survey done; Restrictive covenants or rights of way and if it's a listed building you will be severely restricted as to what you can do regarding ‘improvements'; Not being able to let it immediately if it needs updating; The possibility of being gazumped at any time before contracts are exchanged.

Our thanks to In the UK, the term ‘old house' usually refers to a building that's pre-1940, while homes built before 1914 are often referred to as period homes, for example Georgian, Victorian or Edwardian. If you want a property with charm and character; a building for renovation or conversion; outbuildings or a large plot of land; then you must usually buy an old property. The UK has a wealth of beautiful historic buildings encompassing village houses to castles, farmhouses to mansions (particularly 17th to 19th century townhouses and country mansions). When buying an old building you aren't just buying a home, but a piece of history, part of Britain's cultural heritage, and a unique building that represents the architects' and artisans' skills of a bygone age.

With thanks to BuyAssociation.