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Pros and Cons of Buying an Older Home in Atlanta

  • Molly Carter Gaines
  • 03/28/23

There’s a lot to look forward to about the possibility of owning an older home. Older homes often come with unique features that aren’t available in most contemporary homes. They may even tell a story about architectural styles from years past.

On the flip side, there are also some concerns associated with purchasing an older home, and it’s important to take time to think about what you’re getting yourself into if you choose to move forward with buying an older home. Read on for a guide to the positives and negatives that come with shopping for older properties on the Atlanta real estate scene, such as homes for sale in Morningside.

Pro: Lower cost

It’s not always the case, but older homes often cost less than newer homes in a similar size and area. However, remember that the lower cost may indicate that there are concerns with the upkeep or maintenance of the property. You’ll need to factor in higher maintenance costs and any outstanding repairs that need to be done before you can move in. More on that later.

Pro: Better location

Older homes are usually closer to amenities like schools, shops, and the center of town. As time goes on, these areas become more congested, and developers need to move further out into the city to find space for new homes and neighborhoods. This isn’t an issue with most older homes.

Pro: Larger lot size

Because older homes were built at a time when there was more land available, the lots are often more extensive than what you’ll find available with most newer homes. If you want to live on land and have some space between you and your neighbors, perhaps you should consider buying an older Morningside home.

Pro: Opportunities to earn money on your investment

As time goes on, the supply of older houses becomes lower as many homes are torn down or simply deteriorate. The level of demand for beautiful older residences hasn’t changed, though, and you’ll often find that owners of older homes report that their properties regularly increase in value. You can also take on various projects and renovations that will add to the home’s value and increase your ROI later on when you decide to sell.

Pro: You won’t have to wait to move in

If you choose to purchase a brand new home, you’ll have to wait until construction is finished before you can move in. Delays are common, and you may become frustrated as your move-in date continues to get pushed further and further back. If you choose to buy an older home, you won’t have to wait on construction. The only exception, of course, is if you’re planning to perform renovations, but these types of projects are less likely to encounter significant delays than if you were building an entirely new home from scratch.

Pro: More character

Newer homes are often constructed quickly as demand increases. This leads to many newer homes looking alike and not having the same charm or character as you’ll find in many older properties. These homes were often built with the homeowner’s specific wants and needs in mind. The end result is a special appeal and uniqueness that is hard to find.

Pro: A tight-knit neighborhood

One of the interesting perks of living in an older neighborhood is that you’ll have a more tight-knit group of neighbors by your side. Some of the people who live nearby have probably spent several decades in their homes. Before you decide to make an offer, spend time talking with people who already live in the community. You’ll gain valuable insight that can help you make a decision about whether or not the home is right for you.

Con: Outdated features

Older homes often have HVAC or electrical systems that may be out-of-date or non-compliant with modern city ordinances and building codes. If you ever encounter a problem with your home and need to undergo repairs, it may cost more money to repair because of the older system and the scarcity of available materials. The entire system may need to be replaced.

Before you buy an older home, make sure to schedule a thorough professional inspection to ensure there are no surprises after you receive the keys. The inspector will evaluate the property and its features from all angles to receive an inspection report that details any areas of concern. It’s also a good idea to schedule specialized inspections, such as those for the roofing, chimney, lead-based paint, electrical system, and more. You can use the findings from the inspection report to negotiate with the seller or to plan for certain repairs after you move in.

Con: Higher insurance costs

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Older homes often cost more money to insure compared to purchasing a similar policy for a newer home. Insurance companies understand the higher risks that older homes often come with, and they charge accordingly. This is another reason why it’s so important to order an inspection when buying an older home. Most home insurance providers will want to see an inspection report before they issue a policy. If the home inspection shows that your home is in good shape despite its older age, you may not have the same high premium that you would otherwise.

Con: Old tree roots

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

This may sound peculiar, but older homes often have trees with deep roots that can cause issues inside the home itself. As these roots continue to grow, they can run into the home’s plumbing and foundation. This can cause breaking or damage that will be expensive to repair.

Reach out to Molly Carter Gaines when you’re ready to begin shopping for your dream Atlanta area home. Molly is well-versed in Morningside real estate and would love to guide you on your home search. Reach out today to get started toward your goals!

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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