golden age: 5 benefits of buying an older home

Many home shoppers imagine old houses as nothing but money pits — with horrific visions of crumbling stairs, leaky pipes, and perpetual construction. Well don't cruise on past that aged abode just yet. Older homes have a lot more to offer than you may think.

1. unique design

Everyone knows a cookie-cutter pad when they see one. A lot of newer homes are part of large developments, so there's a good deal of parody between the properties. You're probably familiar with the term "McMansion." This is what they meant.

Older homes, on the other hand, are often more artisanal. They come with unique design flairs — from Dutch doors to dumbwaiters to wainscoted walls — you might not see so readily today. If you want the design of your place to be yours and yours alone, there's usually no better way to go.

2. desirable location

Another plus of buying an older home is the cosmopolitan lifestyle they can sometimes help provide. While most modern developments have to set up wherever there's an abundance of free space (i.e., the 'burbs), older houses tend to have a bit more going on around them. Since they were built first, they're usually more central to the city, with easier access to desirable amenities like restaurants, shops, and museums.

3. affordability

The price of buying an old house can often be lower than what you'd shell out for modern homes of the same size. A big reason why is that previously lived-in homes tend to have more wiggle room when it comes to negotiation, whereas new constructions often come with a firmer asking price. Brand-new homes may also be part of a homeowners association, which means they come with homeowners association fees that add to the overall cost of owning your pad.

4. investment potential

Older homes also tend to make rather strong investments. Since they're in high demand yet relatively short supply, you have a good chance to sell your place for more than you paid for it (as long as it's well-maintained, of course). This is especially true if your place features rare architecture or vintage design that's hard to come by in modern homes.

5. less mystery

From groceries to clothing, consumers are demanding more and more transparency these days. People want to know as much as they can about what they buy. That goes for homes, too. And in this regard, older homes definitely have a leg up on their newer counterparts.

When buying an old house, you'll be able to view disclosure documents that lay out many of its past issues. While realtors don't have to disclose absolutely everything, you should nonetheless get a good idea of the track record of your potential purchase.

New homes, conversely, are relative crapshoots. You may have a solidly built pad that will last decades … or you may have a total lemon. And you probably won't be able to spot major issues with the plumbing, foundation, or other components until it's too late.

insuring your older home

While there's a lot to love about older homes, they have their issues just the same. From questionable wiring to outdated plumbing and appliances, there are certain risk factors to consider when getting homeowners insurance for older for homes.

Thankfully, no matter where you land on the new homes vs. old homes debate, you can rely on Esurance to help you find coverage for your unique pad. Whether you want increased dwelling protection to guard against fires or water backup coverage in case of leaky pipes, you'll be able to tailor a policy to the age and features of your home.

Speak with our licensed agents or start a free homeowners insurance quote from Esurance to start customizing a plan that makes sense for you.

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