When purchasing a home, there are many factors like location, size, and amenities. Age is another critical factor to consider, as there are distinct differences between older and newer homes. Understanding the pros and cons of buying an older home can help you make the best decision and prepare for owning a property.

Pros of Buying an Older Home

Character and Charm

One of the main reasons people purchase an older home is its personality and charm. Many older homes have features that modern homes do not have. These may include coffered ceilings, crown molding, a root cellar, and arched doorways. Older homes often have a unique character that newly-built houses don’t.


Most homes constructed decades ago were built to last. Most materials in older homes are high-quality and resistant to warping and general wear and tear. For example, many older homes have solid hardwood flooring and natural wood cabinets. Materials used in modern homes imitate natural stone or wood and often have a shorter lifespan than those used in older properties.

Lower Upfront Cost

An older property is often priced lower than a newer house with the same square footage. A buyer can usually get a better deal on an older home, which may be a significant benefit if you’re on a budget.

Cons of Buying an Older Home

Maintenance Expenses

When purchasing an older home, be ready to tackle home improvement projects, whether it is rewiring the house, replacing old roofing, or dealing with a sloping foundation. Unfortunately, projects like this are costly. The good news is that you save upfront when buying an older home, leaving more money available to cover updates and maintenance issues.

Expect Outdated Materials When Buying an Older Home

Because older homes may contain materials that we now know are not safe, these properties may require upgrades. For instance, aluminum wiring is present in many older homes due to a shortage of copper wiring in the 1960s. Unfortunately, aluminum wiring is notorious for electrical issues and fires.

Older homes also have a risk of lead-based paints and asbestos insulation used during their construction. Before purchasing an older property, talk to your home inspector to identify issues and concerns.

Smaller Floor Plan

Today’s homes tend to have open floor plans, while older homes feature smaller, separate rooms. When buying an older home, expect lower ceilings, smaller closets, and more walls separating rooms.

While there are benefits to buying an older home, there are also some potential pitfalls. Weigh the pros and cons and order a home inspection if you’re interested in purchasing an older property.

Old House Home Inspectors provides inspection services to customers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. If you’re buying an older home, contact us to request an appointment.