Some people love new homes for its modern look and functionalities, while others might love old homes for its charm and character. Everyone is entitled to have different preference and taste, however, personally I would not suggest buy an old home. The reason is that not only are there more things you need to fork out to repair and renovate but also health hazards.
There are 3 major health hazards existed in most old homes, so you might want to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages when you consider buying an old home.
Radon is a natural radioactive gas that comes from underground and usually enter homes through leaks and cracks in the foundation. Radon is considered by The Surgeon General of the United States to be the second leading cause of lung cancer.
Radon is responsible for more than 21,000 death from lung cancer every year, including about 3000 people who never smoked. You might not have realized that you live and smoke in a home with high radon level, if so, your risk of getting a lung cancer is extremely high.
Radon is not irreversible if you find a home you really love. It can be fixed. Sealing the basement floor and ventilation installation can be easily done but could be costly. So make sure you have extra cash at hand.
If the home you are interested in was built before 1940, it definitely contains lead paint, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. However, it is a misconception that there is an extra health hazard as long as your home contains lead paint. Lead paint is not considered to be harmful as long as it is not ingested.
Interior lead paint is usually safe as it has been painted over by Latex-based paint many times over the years. Hazards are hidden in exterior lead paint where sliding peels and flakes off as particles that can become airborne, or even drop into soil and contaminate the whole garden. In this case, if you plan to grow some organic vegetables for daily cooking in your garden, the food would be most likely to be polluted, and it would lead to serious health problem especially for children development.
You can have lead removal professional to eliminate it, but please expect to fork out around $12,000 to $15,000.
Lots of old homes likely to contain asbestos which naturally occurs and could cause lung cancer. But it is only hazardous when its little fiber is released into air and you breathe it in. It is not hazardous if the material is not worn out, frayed or crumbling. You might want to undertake an asbestos testing and removal project for your old home before you move in. The repairs cost anywhere from $500 to $20,000 depending on the extent of the work. Usually if your old furnaces are lined up with asbestos, the cost would range from $10,000 to $20,000.