New construction has slumped over the last few years, leaving many aspiring buyers to look at older homes, which are attractive for a variety of reasons.

While newer properties are commonly situated in cramped developments, older homes often enjoy larger lots. Adding in unique architecture and what is frequently superior build quality, older homes can potentially offer better value than newer ones, giving buyers more house for their money.

Why We’re Asking:

While older homes do have some characteristic advantages, that doesn’t mean they aren’t without their own set of potential problems. Electrical and plumbing systems, the roof, and other structural linchpins may suffer from years of neglect, leaving a new homeowner with a disaster on their hands.

To find out more, we’re turning to our panel of experts. We want to know what to watch out for when entering the market for an older home. What can an aspiring homeowner look for on their own and when is it time to call in a pro for help evaluating a potential purchase?

So experts, it’s time to weigh in:

What should people consider when purchasing older homes?

What are the pros and cons of purchasing older homes?
Are there certain decades or types of homes that are particularly prone to problems or needing major overhauls?
Are there styles and years that are better than others?
Are there any basic rules such as, ‘don’t buy a home that’s more than 50 years old’?
Do older homes require a more specialized professional for maintenance and services?

Any and all contributions are welcome, but here are some more questions to get you started:

Electricians: What should you look at for wiring?
Contractors: What about structural problems?
Plumbers: Are there specific plumbing problems with older homes?
Roofers: What about old roofs?
Designers: Does purchasing an old home limit you to one kind of design style or are they fairly versatile?

Experts, post your answers in the comment field below!