Categories: Home Improvement

What You Need to Look For When Buying A Mid-Century Home

May 17, 2021

Many homebuyers are looking for a mid-twentieth century house because they are built in a charming style and are often situated in established neighborhoods. If you want to buy a home from that era, here are some things to keep in mind.


Older homes are wonderfully designed with interesting features that make a house unique. Faux fireplaces provide more décor than function, although working fireplaces can also be found. Make sure the fireplace is in good condition and is safe for burning wood by having it inspected before use. Check also for fire escape options. Older homes sometimes have wooden or metal outdoor steps for escaping a fire on the side or back of the house. But the steps might not be up to current fire safety codes, so have them checked and repaired if needed.


A mid-century home probably has a newer furnace, as the original one is unlikely to still work. Make sure the furnace has been recently inspected by an HVAC expert to ensure the equipment is working efficiently and there are no leaks releasing gas fumes or carbon monoxide. Many homes from that era do not have central air conditioning, so you may want to check the cost for installing a unit with the current heating system.


If still being used, the original electrical wiring may be worn and not up to code. Older wires, outlets, and electric box could increase the risk of electric shock or a fire. Have a licensed electrician check the electrical system to see if the lines are adequate for the appliances and equipment you plan to use.


Older water lines and plumbing systems in homes of the last century may use galvanized water lines and older fixtures that could be shedding rust into your home’s water. Older plumbing may also be developing leaks or becoming corroded. You may want to have the older plumbing lines replaced by newer pipes and fittings. A real estate agent can advise you on whether this might be the case with the property you want to buy. You can then schedule an inspection by a licensed plumber to evaluate the home’s plumbing system.

Buying an older home is an exciting way to enjoy the classic features of the past architectural design. But make sure the home you buy is up to date with utilities and safety. Consider having a home inspection to check out everything that could need to be updated, so you can plan for these expenses and avoid major repairs later.

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