Image Courtesy of HGTV

It’s undeniable: older homes with good bones offer character that new builds just can’t compete with. But oftentimes that character comes with a cost, and you may be inheriting issues you never planned for. Knowing what to expect when choosing an older home can make the purchase feel like an adventure instead of a disaster.


While you may adore the charm of an older home, there are some design details that are just difficult to come to terms with. A closed off floor plan and the lack of closet or storage space are some of the most popular offenders. Consider these details and how your family will manage—incorporating the renovation cost into your budget from the beginning will help you minimize surprise blows to your wallet.

Home Insurance 

If you opt for an older home, your home insurance might be much pricier than you’d pay for a newer build. Providers are billing based on presumed risk, and naturally, an older home comes with a bit more risk attached. From old plumbing, to electrical, to crumbling foundation, you can bet your insurer will be taking the age of the home into account.

Typical Replacements

If your heart is set on an older home, it’s likely you’re signing up for two eventual replacements: windows and a new roof. Older windows (with that beautiful, wavy glass) are typically single pane, which means their insulation properties are next to nil. It will cost hundreds per window to replace. Additionally, roofs are one of the most costly home repairs, but one of the most likely you’ll face with an older home. Expect to replace both items, and prepare your budget accordingly. 

Ensuring a Fit

This is one you’ll be glad you thought of well before moving day: will your belongings actually fit into your older home? Narrow doorways of days gone by means your oversized sectional might not squeeze through. You’ll want to do careful measuring before assuming your tv, fridge, and other large items will fit in your historic space.

No Replacing Character

While there may be hurdles and costs associated with an older home that you wouldn’t have to worry about with a newer build, many homeowners find it all worth it. The charm and craftsmanship of an older home is irreplaceable; if you can choose to see the process of making it your own as an adventure, the work you put in will help you become a part of the historic home’s legacy.