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Weighing the Possible Perils of Buying a Vintage Home

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By : M Shane    99 or more times read
With the real estate market at an ideal level for plucking up your dream home right now, there are more beautiful vintage homes than ever just waiting for the right buyer to come along. While new homes may be ideal for some buyers, vintage homes can have an amazing degree of charm and quirkiness that is hard to find in more modern homes. However, it is a good idea to keep in mind that when you are buying a vintage home that there are some materials in the home that may require removal.

Depending on the age of your new home and the safety codes in place at the time, that gorgeous little character home that you’re looking at buying can house a variety of possible problems for you and your family. Some of the issues that you might find in vintage homes are lead paint, lead plumbing, and a variety of asbestos products.

To determine if a home is contaminated with lead paint, a professional should be consulted to do an on-site analysis. Lead paint is common in homes built before 1940 and occurs less often in homes built up to 1978. It must be monitored and dealt with if there is any damage to the surface of the paint. Anywhere there is loose paint that is cracked or flaking is a potential danger; loose paint can be scraped off and painted over to seal it in. Walls with old lead paint on them can likewise be wiped down and repainted. Any large-scale renovations should be handled by a professional who is experienced with working with lead contaminated projects.

Lead plumbing is also a common element in some old homes that were built in the early twentieth century which fortunately means that there are fewer homes that suffer with this sort of contamination than with lead paint. Lead contaminated water can cause serious health problems like nerve, liver, and kidney damage especially in small children or fetuses. While it is unlikely that you would need to replace the entire plumbing system, you may need to invest in a water purification system to filter the lead out of your drinking water.

Asbestos is a material that can be a deal breaker for many people who’re looking to buy a home built between 1930 and the late 70s because of the risks associated with it and the perceived difficulty in removing it. While it is true that for proper removal you should hire certified asbestos removal professionals, it is not always necessary to remove the material. If asbestos in the home is damaged, particles can make their way into the air and cause scarring and damage to the lungs of residents. Hire a professional inspector who has experience with working with asbestos to assess what steps—if any—need to be taken. You may decide that if the asbestos is intact that it is worth buying the property after all.

When it comes right down to it, there are many factors in play when you buy a home: character, whether it fulfills your household needs, and what upgrades or repairs might need to be undertaken. Find yourself a good balance between all these requirements to find the best home for you and your family.

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