The old saying: “They just don’t make things like they used to” applies to a number of products, and none more so than homes. If you’re the type of person who is attracted to older homes and their old-fashioned appeal, then you’ll want to read on. Older homes, with their architecture and styles, can have a ton of character and charm – but they can also have a lot of problems.

Old Wiring and Plumbing

Homes built a century ago, or close to it, were constructed using the best that the builders had available to them. Odds are, if the home is 100-years old, the wiring has probably been replaced since then. However, it’s extremely important that you inquire as to whether or not it has been, and to find out when. If the wires were replaced at some point in the 70s or 80s, you’re probably ok. But, if the place hasn’t had much done since F.D.R. was in office, you’re probably going to need a good electrician to take a good, long look at what lies behind the walls.

If you find that the home has original wiring, it will need to be replaced. Most insurers won’t insure homes that have old, out-dated wiring.

The same goes for plumbing. Running water is a wonderful thing, and in the short-term, it may seem rather harmless. But over time, water pipes will need to be replaced for any number of reasons. Century-old homes that have been occupied more or less constantly since their construction will not have their original pipes (unless the original plumber was a wizard). Regardless, when you find an old home that you’re interested in, you’ll want to have someone take a good look at the plumbing and ensure that everything seems okay. If the plumbing needs substantial work, you definitely want to know as soon as possible because you can use that info when working out a price.


Many old homes contain several bedrooms, but only one bathroom. If there are more than 3 people who are going to live in the home, you’ll want to make sure there’s at least 2 bathrooms… or look into adding on a second.

Old homes can sometimes have problems with the floors, as the foundation has been sitting for a very long time. Also, older homes can sometimes have had several additions made (such as a second bathroom) which will leave a room or 2 needing to be stepped up or down into. If this unevenness doesn’t bother you, great! If you’re going to have someone in the home who has trouble walking or seeing, though …