It’s easy enough to fall in love with many of the older homes you may find among real estate listings in Quebec City. The city’s European charm is one of its attractive qualities. Along with the historic buildings and cobblestone streets, you can easily find alluring houses that showcase their undeniable character. You may envision yourself fixing any of these houses up, and you may even want to rent them out to vacationers.
Many of these places feature Old World craftsmanship that you may not easily find among newer houses. The city is more than 400 years old, and you may find lots of old homes that have stood proud and tall with their characteristic French flair.
Just bear in mind that you need to make sure you get a proper home inspection, and you may need a structural engineer to ascertain the place doesn’t have any major problems that you may not be able to overcome easily.
These homes are old. And with age comes problems that you need to face:
Foundation issues. Even new houses can have problems with the foundation after it has settled into the ground. With older homes, this issue is even more crucial.
One issue is the problem of sulfate attack. This is when the foundation cracks and crumbles due to a chemical reaction between the concrete and the soil. Modern homes are generally built with concrete that’s designed to resist this destructive phenomenon, but older homes may have foundations that have been seriously damaged by this chemical reaction.
The other main issue is that with older houses the center beam may start to sink simply because of wear and tear through the years. This can result in sloping floors, bowed walls, and sagging roofs.
Any of these issues can require thousands of dollars to fix, as the foundations may have to be replaced. It will depend on the size of the house.
Outdated electrical wiring. This is another obvious issue, though even really old houses do have electrical wiring. But you need an electrician and a home inspector to check that you don’t have any problems with overloaded circuits and faulty wiring. You may need to have some extra outlets added to accommodate your many electronic gadgets.
Homes that were built in the late 1960s up to the mid-1970s also tended to use aluminum wiring, which was more affordable than copper wiring. But you may have to replace the wiring because it turned out that aluminum wiring was actually a serious fire hazard.
Galvanized pipes. Many older homes have galvanized pipes, and unfortunately, these pipes tend to rust out eventually. That’s why many home insurance companies may not offer you water cover damage if your home has these pipes.
Asbestos. Thanks to the highly publicized asbestos civil suits, most people now know that asbestos is and for your health. But this was only discovered in the mid-1970s, and many homes in Quebec City were built before that time. So you may have asbestos all over the home.
Lead paint. This is another toxic material that you may still find in old homes. It was quite popular until the mid-1950s. You will need a professional renovation service to strip the paint so that you can live in your old home safely.
None of these problems should be deal-breakers, as you may factor them into the final price of the home. Just make sure that you know what to expect when you’re scouring real estate listings for the charming old home you want to live in.