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Old Houses in Canada - Buyer Beware!

When it comes to the local Lower Mainland real estate market, there is almost no more popular of a location than West Vancouver. Easily located off of Highway 1 to get into the Valley, a short bridge trip away into the Downtown Core, and a CD playlist away from Whistler, West Vancouver is ideally situated to meet many homeowners’ criteria.

West Vancouver real estate has some fantastic properties from a land perspective, and has homes ranging from brand new construction, to old character homes from the boom in the area in the 1950’s. Older homes give a buyer an opportunity to buy something very unique, and can be remodeled inside to meet more modern standards. However, these character homes don’t come without the headaches in some scenarios, and buyers need to do their homework before purchasing.

Older homes often have old wiring throughout the home, which can pose a headache from both a safety and convenience standpoint. It may not be reliable or powerful enough to handle all of your latest electronics running at all times, and the strain that can put on an older system. Furthermore, from an insurance standpoint, many insurance companies tack on hefty premiums to these types of homes as their wiring can pose significant danger in the form of greater fire risk.

Further to wiring, drainage and old piping throughout the home can be a headache when it comes to maintaining the home. The city may require you to look at bringing it up to code, and make costly upgrades to bring it to latest building standards.

You will notice that the modern comforts of large closets are almost non-existent in older homes, and for some homebuyers (read “Wives!”) this can add to restricting the amount of space your rooms have after adding wardrobes or storage areas.

New homes are known for their efficiency’s when it comes to insulation, and in turn heating and cooling. In the cool winter months felt throughout West Vancouver, a homeowner may end up spending loads more paying to run a furnace in a poorly insulated home. And in the warm summer months, may be uncomfortable in a stuffy house that brings in too much of the hot air. The comforts of a modern or newly built house when it comes to insulation is certainly a whole lot different than what you can expect in an older West Vancouver home!

Older homes have loads of character, and bargains can certainly be had. However, that savings doesn’t come without risks or dangers! Whichever route you go, be sure to have fun with the process and find the home perfect for you and your family. Happy hunting!
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