Buying an old house is a dream for many people. The verandas, wrap-around porches, hardwood floors and beautiful sweeping staircases of the old plantation-style homes are the stuff of fantasies. The reality may be much different, based on when the house was built. If you are thinking of buying an older home, there are a few things you will need to consider that could be much more than you bargained for.


Chances are, you may have already considered electrical upgrades Montgomery into your budget. After all, there weren’t cellphones, tablets, laptops and other electronics to keep charged back in the early 1900s or before. But have you considered that electrical codes change every few years and this house may not be up to code on anything? If the home was left vacant for a significant period of time, rodents or insects could also have damaged some of the electrical wiring. Make sure to have a qualified electrician check all the wiring before you decide to buy or you could lose your new home to a fire.


If you feel off-balance while walking through the house, chances are you have a foundation problem. Look for uneven floors, doors or windows that stick or seem not to fit their frames and cracks in the walls. Some homes may have the same symptoms but are made with a pier and beam foundation. Both types of foundations can be corrected, but some may be much more than others. Have a structural engineer examine the home before making the purchase.

Hazardous Materials

Several building materials are now known to be hazardous that you may have to have removed from an older home. Most people are aware that lead was commonly used in pipes, paint and roofing materials before more was discovered about the dangers. Asbestos was a routinely used insulation material in walls, attics and around pipes, as was fiberglass. Wood was sometimes treated with arsenic to prevent damage from insects. Having hazardous materials removed can get expensive, depending on how extensively they were used.

Air Conditioning and Heating

It is not uncommon to find that older homes had no air conditioning. Attic fans were popular to draw in air from outside when temperatures where hot. Some homes may have furnaces that may not be up to code. When planning to renovate an old house, consult a qualified air conditioning and heating company to see exactly what it would take to make the home comfortable. It may be a considerable part of your renovation budget.