Pros and Cons of Buying an Old Detached House

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Buying a detached house while on a limited budget can be quite dicey. After looking at a couple of options, would you choose the smaller (but relatively newer) property or would it be wiser to go for the larger (but older), alluring property with nostalgic appeal oozing out of its walls?

While a newer property might have all of the modern structuring of the 21st century, if you’re a lover of the antique, there is an amazing sense of fascination that an old house evokes- what with all of its historical features such as huge wood burning fireplaces, ceilings with rustic wooden beams and much more to get your imagination spinning. What determines which property type you should buy: an old detached building or perhaps a new condo townhouse? Which option will it be for you?

Is an Old Detached House a Better Option?

The pros and cons of the detached house would be discussed from three angles: the financial angle, its maintenance needs and the comfort it provides.

A Financial Perspective

When buying a detached house, location is a key pointer to the degree of appreciation of the house over time.

From a financial standpoint, land is the most important aspect of a home in terms of its value appreciation, in large cities. While a house structure depreciates over time (and has less value than the land on which it stands), the value of the materials used may increase via inflation- which means the value of the structure might also increase with time.

For smaller cities/rural areas, while the land still accounts for most of its price value appreciation (land also appreciates more than structure here), the rise in land value is not as astronomical as for larger, busier cities.

This implies that buying an old detached house in a large city has better financial advantages especially because of the potential land appreciation that has been occurring for several years!

Maintenance Needs

It’s a common assumption that old properties are on the verge of collapsing.  While some old homes have some creaky features, careful selection can help you avoid those, thus you wouldn’t have to spend a fortune on home maintenance. The assumption that you would spend so much footing maintenance bills have made antique-loving home buyers shy away from their dream historical houses, and choose lackluster newer buildings. But here’s the truth: structural costs for older houses don’t necessarily cost a lot because most of these costs are cyclic.

Examples of these cyclic/seasonal costs include changing the roof shingles or furnace every 15 years; and you might even be lucky enough to buy a home that has recently changed its roof!

Also some people think that these old detached may not be environmentally friendly but there are ways to make the real estate industry greener such as investing in their insulation.

Nonetheless, the nostalgic charm of an older house is not enough to replace the need for relevant home plumbing, wiring, heating, windows and roofing; and this might mean your home would have to undergo costly repairs. To avoid getting into this rather appalling situation, when buying an older property you should work with a top reviewed realtor who would be able to point out any possible issues with the house’s structure.


The overriding reason for which you decide to buy either a new house or an old detached house might have nothing to do with either its structure or the financial implications of your decision.

Truth is you may prefer to buy a property that has less piece appreciation because it makes you comfortable. While seemingly flippant, this is a completely sensible line of thought- as your home is one of the most important aspects of your life, and one of its major functions it to make you feel soothed.

While a newer house might be comfortable for some people, a couple of others (typically lovers of historical monuments, antique-lovers and generally old souls) would feel more at home in larger, older detached buildings than in newer but smaller properties. If an old home sparks a connection in you beyond the capacity of newer buildings, you should go for it.


Being an old soul is inherently beautiful, and it may spill over into an innate love for old, detached buildings. If this is your preference, it is best to adequately weigh the financial implications of purchasing this home, its maintenance needs and the comfort it provides whilst working with an experienced real estate agent.

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