Buying a Home: Beware of 10-20 Year Old Homes


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The summer home buying season is just around the corner and many people or already searching for a new home. When browsing the selection on hand, beware of the 10 to 20 year old homes.


Simple. The 10 to 20 year range is the time that most of the mechanical systems in a home are nearing the end of their life cycles.

The national average for people selling their homes is around 7 years. That means a lot of people are selling in their homes after living in them 10 to 20 years. There are many sellers who know that it’s about time to start replacing water heaters and HVAC units and they’d just soon the new buyer be stuck with those expenses.

Shingles also need replaced in this time frame. Just because your shingle has a 20 to 30-year warranty, doesn’t mean it will last that long. Besides, they have a pro rated warranty and chances are if it’s over 10 years old there isn’t much left on the warranty.

In the South, a 20 year shingle will normally last between 12 and 15 years before it need replaced, barring any hail storms or other natural disasters.

A professional home inspector can alert you to these costly components. Beware though, most state and national home inspection SOP’s do not require the mention of components at the end of their life cycle. Ask the inspector you hire if he/she mentions components that are at the end of their life cycle. Also ask the inspector if he/she will put the age of these components in the report.

Another item to watch out for is wood siding. Composition wood siding has had its issues also. I’ve even seen Cedar plank siding rotted after 13 years because it was never maintained. A fresh coat and some wood filler can make old rotted siding look pretty good from a distance. Buyer beware.

It’s a huge bummer to move into your ‘new’ 10 to 20 year old home only to find out that the furnace and roof need replaced this year and then next year the water heater and A/C go out. It happens every year, just make sure it doesn’t happen to you. You’ve been warned!

You have permission to reproduce, copy or distribute this article as you see fit as long it remains intact including the resource box below and all links remain live.

Donald Lawson is a Houston Texas home inspector . Licensed in Texas (#5824) and Oklahoma (#454), he currently owns and operates V. I. P. Home Inspections. You can also find more information on Houston Texas Real Estate by clicking on any of these links.


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