Tips For Purchasing A Victorian Home
No doubt, contemplating buying a Victorian home requires a lot of consideration, as would be the case
in any home purchase. It also gives the homebuyer many opportunities to let their individual
Basically there are two types of Victorian homes. The ones that have been updated and have been
kept in good repair and the ones that let the buyer have the opportunity to do updating and repairing.
By that, it is not meant as altering the character and the authenticity of the home, but updating as
far as electrical, plumbing, heating, insulation etc. goes. This will reflect greatly in the purchase
price. A buyer can gain a lot of sweat equity by buying a home and renovating or just do cosmetic work
himself or herself. It is important to remember to keep the character and authenticity of the home in
doing so. This in turn will reflect on the sale price when the time comes to sell the home.
Here is a list of things to be aware of before purchasing:
- Request a termite inspection, even in areas where this is not normally done. Victorian homes are
typically in older established areas with old trees and plenty of vegetation which is a great termite
- If the home does not have wood siding it is very likely that the siding material contains
asbestos. Asbestos was also used in old heat and furnace ducting. This should be taken into
consideration when or if the siding or the furnace needs to be replaced. Removing and disposing
of asbestos requires special handling, which is regulated by the EPA.
- It is important to know if the electrical system and plumbing is up to code. In many cases,
the electrical system needs to be updated to support our modern day electrical appliances
(most of us have a lot of them).
- Be aware that insulation was non-existent when these homes were built. If insulation has not
been added, heating and cooling bills will reflect this. In addition, it is also prudent to see
if storm windows have been added to the original windows.
- Victorian homes were typically built on stone foundations. It is important to have the
foundation checked to make sure it is still in good shape. If there is any doubt, it is a good idea
to get the opinion of a structural engineer.
- All these homes contain lead-base paint, which has in most cases been painted over many times.
But it is important to know that if sanding is done, the lead-base paint layers can be exposed and
can pose a health hazard.
- It is always recommended to have a home inspection done by a home inspector. Preferably one
that is familiar with Victorian homes. The inspector can make you aware of everything you need to
know about the condition of the home before you purchase it.