Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Can that home handle modern life?

Monroe and the Green County area have been home to people for many decades. There are homes in the area that date back 50, 100 or even 150 years.

Our lifestyles have changed as the years have gone by. Naturally, these older homes have been modernized to keep up with the changing times, but the degree of change in a home can vary a great deal.

If you are looking at an older home, pay attention not just to the stunning woodwork or charming quirks, but also look for some of the things that will make your modern life in the home easier.

Are the outlets in each room? How many? Many older homes tend to only have a few outlets run to some rooms, especially bedrooms. This can limit your ability to arrange furniture as well as limiting the types of electronic systems that can go into the rooms.

Does the home have light switches? This sounds silly, but do look. There are a fair number of homes in the area that do not have light switches in the bedrooms. Instead, they have wall lights or outlets for lamps. This may not sound like a big deal to you, but if you have younger children, it could matter a lot.

Has the electrical system been updated? Your home inspector can tell you more about the electrical system, but if you have any doubts, write an offer to purchase allowing for an inspection of the electrical system by a qualified electrician.

How many cable jacks and telephone outlets are there in the home? Are they positioned in rooms that you want them in? It can be a simple project to run outlets and jacks to the places you want them, but it could also be very difficult depending on how those old walls were constructed.

Does the home have the wiring necessary for DSL or high speed internet? Many people get around this issue by setting up wireless internet in their older homes, but if you prefer to be hard wired, you will want to check for internet infrastructure in the home.

How modern is the thermostat? Is it programmable? This can be a simple update if necessary, but a programmable thermostat will help reduce your heating and cooling costs.

I am a huge fan of older homes, but they are different from newer construction. By going in with eyes wide open, buyers can save themselves headache and heartache later down the road.

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