There are some beautiful older homes around the Baton Rouge neighborhoods. These affordable pieces of history can be stunning and stylish. Much like any piece of real estate it’s best to do some research before making an offer. Knowing what to look for when buying an older home isn’t as complicated as one may think if you keep these things in mind.


Spotting Problems in an Older Home 


Problem Spot 1: Lead Paint


Homes built before 1978 may have been painted with lead paint which can cause significant health problems. Homeowners are required to disclose any possible existence of lead paint to buyers. It’s dangerous to paint over lead paint so go into this doing your due diligence about safely removing the lead paint.


Problem Spot 2: Asbestos


The usage of asbestos in older homes is common. It may be found wrapping pipes in the basement, as insulation, or in flooring tiles. Typically, the usage of asbestos is only a problem if it’s cracking, flaking, or otherwise damaged. Should you want to do some remodeling projects on a home having asbestos you will need a professional removal team to assist with the safe removal and then replacing the areas with a safer substance. 


Problem Spot 3: Electrical


The demands of modern electrical usage may not be a good fit for the electrical systems found in most older homes. When the home was built such things as computers, mobile devices, televisions, HVAC systems, air conditioners, dishwashers and numerous other appliances weren’t created. Lifestyles have greatly changed and older homes may be lacking when it comes to keeping up with current technology demands. It’s wise to consult with a home inspector and/or electrical contractor to see if the electrical system is up to current code standards and safety levels. While the inspector is taking a look around have them check the outlets to see if these have been grounded—having three holes or only two. 


Problem Spot 4: Cracks, the Foundation, & Water Damage


Sunken, cracked, water damaged, or leaning. These are all signs the foundation may have a problem which needs to be addressed. Not all foundational issues are the same nor have the same fix so consult with a home inspector or building contractor as the costs for repair will vary. While examining the home for any signs of water damage also explore which type of water source is supplying the home. It’s not uncommon for older homes to have a hand-dug well which could be a problem for the water quality if there are any contaminants. Don’t skip on having a water test conducted. 


Problem Spot 5: The Roof 


How does the roof look? When was it last replaced? A roof has a finite time period before it should be replaced. An old, worn roof should be removed in entirety before the new shingles or tiles are installed. The home inspector will help you assess a roof’s age and make recommendations for when to estimate it should be replaced. 


None of the issues discussed should be grounds to avoid making an older home yours. Just make sure to go into the purchase aware of the safety factors and upgrades which should be made. Of course, the Capital Homes Specialists can also assist you with finding any vendors or contractors to help with repairs or remediation in any of these areas. We are not just a real estate team but are here help our clients connect with others when it comes to home maintenance and/or upgrades wanted in the home – even after the sale.


Buying an older home is exhilarating. Let’s do it well by knowing what to look for and teaming up with a real estate professional knowledgeable in the neighborhoods of Baton Rouge. Schedule an appointment today to discuss our listings.   


Michelle Knobloch brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise about buying and selling real estate around the Baton Rouge region to those she serves. Michelle is a multi-year award winning real estate listing specialist and CEO of Capital Homes Specialists where her clients trust her to have up-to-date information on the real estate market. When it’s time to buy, sell, invest, or relocate speak with a trusted professional knowledgeable in the homes and neighborhoods of Baton Rouge and the surrounding parishes.