Buying a home is a big decision. Buying an old farmhouse is an even bigger one. With a farmhouse comes many extra responsibilities and considerations. Are you ready to take on the commitment? Read below as we list 7 important considerations when buying a farmhouse.
1. Old Piping, Heating, and Electrical
Many old houses will need a few updates when it comes to piping, heating, and electrical but old farmhouses may require a complete overhaul. The year the farmhouse was built can determine if the piping meets current building codes or not. Another way to figure out if your piping needs replacing is to hire an experienced plumber to inspect your home.
Old homes usually lacked sufficient insulation making it hard to effectively heat the whole house. These homes also aren’t built to support a new heating system, so you may have to explore other options when it comes to heating your home.
Like heating systems, old farmhouses typically weren’t built for modern electrical devices like computers, televisions, or in some cases, refrigerators. If you’re looking to purchase an old farmhouse, odds are you will have to rewire at least a portion of the home which can be costly.
One of the biggest considerations when buying an old farmhouse is the price of renovations. Any farmhouse you buy, unless it’s been recently renovated, will require serious work to achieve move-in ready status. Whether it be adding extra insulation throughout the house, replacing outdated fixtures, or knocking down a wall, you need to be prepared.
3. Building Codes
During the buying process, you most likely will have an inspection done on the home and find out what isn’t up to code. The good news is, if the home is old enough it should be grandfathered in and not required to meet current code requirements. However, if the home undergoes any modifications or replacements, those areas of the home will have to be compliant with the current building codes.
4. Land Upkeep
Most farmhouses come with a large amount of land which means more upkeep for you. You’ll be responsible for the property and anything on it. Usually, land owners will maintain the lawn around their home and let the other areas naturally grow, though the land will still need periodic checks.
If you’re considering purchasing a farmhouse as a family home, there are a few things to consider. Most farmhouses are outside of city limits which means a longer trek into the city for shopping, school, and other activities. If your kids play sports or want to go to a friend’s house, it will mean a longer drive for you.
Living in an isolated area does mean less traffic, less noise, and more privacy for your family. You can invite guests over and they can park wherever they want, stay as late as they want, and you’ll have all the space you need. It also means lots of land for your family to explore and make memories on.
6. Internet and Cell Reception
A large downside to living in an old farmhouse is the lack of cell phone reception and internet access. As mentioned above, farmhouses weren’t built for the modern world so they didn’t have internet hookups. It may be costly and difficult to have wireless internet installed in your home.
7. Hidden Issues
Lastly, any farmhouse is going to have hidden issues that you may find early on or down the road. It’s important to have an emergency budget in case something urgent presents itself. These hidden problems can greatly range in cost and it’s better to be prepared when they do occur.
Is a farmhouse right for you?
Living in and renovating an old farmhouse isn’t for everyone. It takes vision, patience, and money to transform an old farmhouse into a suitable home for modern living. A farmhouse has many pros and cons, just like any home. If you’re considering buying a farmhouse, give us a call at 574-527-1700 or send us an email to Kim@homeswarsaw.com. We’d love to walk through this journey with you.