Purchasing or Listing an Older Home?

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The Charms of Living in an Older Home can be Many! 


There is the history, style, craftsmanship, quirks. However there’s no denying that living in such a home presents many challenges. Maintenance can be tricky and expensive, especially if certain systems and features have been neglected over the years.The following is a small but summarized list of certain isues to pay close attention to.

  • Basement leakage and water penetration is the number one problem with old homes and foundations.


  • Brick, block and stone foundations were not constructed with modern weeping tile systems.   If there was any tar on the foundation it is deteriorated.   Your best defence to reduce basement leakage is good grading near the foundation to drain water away and good eaves and downspout systems to drain water away. 

Out dated wiring is usually an issue in many older homes. 

  •  Knob and tube wiring was used up until the 1940’s.   
  •  The 1950’s so the use of ungrounded wiring and
  •  From the mid 1960’s to late 1970’s aluminum wiring was very common. 
    • If the panel has been upgraded, look for an Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) sticker on the panel.  It’s rare but sometimes you might uncover a 100 amp panel installed on the old 60 amp service leads.  Wiring issues can lead to insurance problems.
  • Energy inefficiency has been very topical the past few years.  Without any upgrades you will find that most older homes were constructed with single-pane windows that can be quite drafty and lead to condensation problems.  Older homes usually have very little insulation in the attic, walls and basement and the heating systems can be quite old.
    • T he government has re-instated the Eco Energy program to assist with improving the energy efficiency in older homes.   
  • Many times the old homes that were on oil have now been converted to gas.
    • A good Question to ask when you see this is where is the old oil tank?  Was it in the home, outside or buried in the ground?  
  • If your home has older water pipes, have them checked to identify the material and determine if they need to be replaced. Some older materials such as galvanized steel, iron, and even lead are still in use today even though new construction does not allow them.
  • Old fireplaces rarely meet current standards. If you see a charming wood burning fireplace please be sure to have it WETT Certified (Wood Energy Technology Transfer). 

A pre listing home inspection when listing an old home and is a good investment! It definitely helps in avoiding and uncovering costly issues that might have a deal turn sour very quickly. 


If you are looking for a Century Home or simply want to avoid the New Home building sites please feel free to contact me and I can help with your search.


I can be reached at RE/MAX Jazz- The Rhythm of the Region




21 Drew Street Oshawa, Ontario

(905) 728-1600 office

(905) 435-7355 direct



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