WhInvesting in Old Properties

If you’re considering purchasing a new property, you’ve probably thought about investing in a Victorian-style home or Italian villa filled with rustic charm. For those of you who are glamorous jet setters, we previously wrote about ‘Marbella the Heart of the Costa del Sol’, and its historically significant homes. Wouldn’t it be a dream to purchase a vacation home situated near fountains and quaint boutiques? We think so too. However, failing to do proper research before investing in an old property means that you could quickly run into unexpected problems soon after buying it. To help you with your decision here’s an exploration of the benefits and challenges that come with purchasing a decades-old home or more:

Benefits of old properties

A good location

Firstly, location is something that you should consider when purchasing a new home. Your safety, overall walkability, as well as your proximity to nature and convenient facilities are significant factors of your property’s monetary value. A major benefit of older properties is that they tend to be located in established neighbourhoods, and often have been passed down through families for generations. When you’re searching for a property, Investopedia suggests checking to see if your dream home is situated near your city’s major routes for easy transport options. Nearby schools, restaurants, and shops are all good signs of a prime investment. Lastly, If your house has a wonderful view, or is near a body of water, then that is definitely an added bonus.

A sense of unique charm

Initially, one of the major factors that tend to attract interested buyers to old-school homes is their aesthetic. For some inspiration, you only have to look at Architectural Digest’s list of the most beautiful European villas in films. On the serene waters of Lake Cuomo is Villa Balbianello, which was constructed by a cardinal in the late 18th century. Its gorgeous architecture and stunning gardens were featured in the blockbuster films, Casino Royale and Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. If you’re interested in living in a home with authentic baroque details, beautiful terraces, and antique furniture, looking at an older property is your safest bet.


Key considerations to make

Can be a challenge to maintain

Everything from roofs and fencing to appliances and electric systems will need a check-up after 20 years — that is, if the property even has some of these modern amenities to begin with. Although peeling paint or structural problems may be the most visible challenges to an old home, sometimes the problem can also be hidden. With over 25 years experience of servicing UK homes, HomeServe points out that burst pipes and blocked drains tend to be the most common problems for all homeowners, along with the need to switch out older boilers. This is especially true for an older property that has not been lived in for a while. Be sure to get a professional to inspect your home’s plumbing and heating system so that you’re adequately prepared for colder seasons, and to make sure you are not missing issues that could be very costly in the future.

Potential legal obligations

Purchasing an old home, especially if its historically significant tends to come with a host of legal obligations. For instance, CNN reports how the Italian town of Cammarata is offering incredibly affordable houses to attract new residents to their small town. However, there’s a catch. The guidelines stipulate that interested buyers must renovate the property (according to proper standards) within three years of the purchase and pay a 5,000 euro deposit, which will be returned once the work is complete. The good news is that “new owners can transform the multi-story buildings into a private house, B&B, hotel, shops or even a restaurant,” which can add up to a worthwhile sum in the future.

Ultimately, investing in an old property comes with significant advantages and disadvantages. In the end, it’s up to you to decide where your priorities lie and whether you have the time and energy to put into maintaining an ageing home. Recently, new developments tend to look very similar in terms of style, so if you want to invest in a property with character and some history behind it, there’s an endless array of vintage options for you to choose from.

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