You had your eye on a beautiful old home in the most historic part of town for years. From the outside, it clearly needs some love and attention, but you’re willing to put the time and effort in. You’ve talked to a real estate agent, drawn up plans to restore it, and know that it’s the perfect home for you.
Older homes have a certain charm from bygone eras that some people can’t resist. A lot of hard work is often involved to get these homes liveable and safe for a family. Even the historic homes that look great from the outside can be riddled with issues that require time and money to repair.
That’s why it’s important to understand what you’re getting when you buy an older home and how it will affect your insurance.
THE CHALLENGES OF INSURING AN OLDER HOME
Older homes come in a variety of ages but for the most part, we’re talking about homes that are 50 to 100 years (or older) in age. These homes are often classified as historic homes and are treated different than your average single family home built in the 1970s or 80s.
In Charlotte, homeowner’s insurance for older homes can be more expensive and harder to find. Some companies won’t insure a home of a certain age. Depending on how long ago a home was built, the cost to replace or repair the home and keep the historic accuracy is much more expensive. The materials and labor required to do the work is much more specialized.
At the same time, older homes are often outdated with old roofs, plumbing, and electrical wiring. These all present very real dangers to the home and if anything goes wrong, major damage can be sustained. As a result, if insurance is available at all, the premiums will often be higher than in a typical home.
OBTAINING INSURANCE FOR AN OLDER HOME
If you’re determined to own the historic home you’ve always dreamed of, there are a few things you’ll need to do and be aware of.
- Talk to an insurance agent who can help you sort through all of your coverage options.
- Be prepared to have to make upgrades and repairs in order to maintain coverage. A new roof, new wiring, and new plumbing are the most common but anything that presents a safety hazard could be subject to replacement or repair.
- Add safety precautions like smoke detectors or sprinkler systems as well as a security system. It might not be historically accurate but it will keep your home safer.
- Be prepared for the insurance company to send out their own inspector to look over the property. This is especially common if the replacement costs for your older home are high. The older the home, the higher the costs to rebuild.
Owning a historic home isn’t impossible if you understand the expenses, dangers, and issues that plague most older homes.
If you’ve got your eye on an older home, contact us at Charlotte Insurance. We’ll let you know what insurance coverage is available and what you can do to improve your chances of finding more affordable and better home insurance.