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Older Homes in Florida

Many people are drawn to older homes in Florida because they have a character and charm not found in newer construction. Others, seeing good bones and recognizing the home’s potential, plan to flip or renovate it. Regardless of the motivation, buying an old home—25-100 years—can be a dream come true, but it can also come with some insurance nightmares the buyers might not have considered.

While most mortgage lenders require homeowners’ insurance as a condition of lending, the potential for issues with older homes in Florida makes them riskier to insure. In fact, some insurance companies will refuse to insure an old home without some upgrades and repairs. And, even when insurance companies will cover the home, plan to pay higher premiums.

What are some of the issues to consider before buying an old home?

Outdated Electrical System: Since older homes were built before central heating and cooling, microwaves, electric ovens and stoves, they have small circuit breaker boxes. Additionally, the old fuses and wiring aren’t prepared to meet the demands of today’s modern appliances, and an overworked electrical system can result in a fire.

Roof: Since the typical lifespan of a roof is about 25 years, if the roof has not been replaced in recent history, the chance of leaks and water damage is greater. An older roof can cause insurers to charge more for premiums.

Plumbing: Outdated plumbing systems are unpleasant and can result in leaks and water damage. Due to the invasive nature of water damage and the costly repairs surrounding it, an old plumbing system will certainly mean a heftier premium.

Plaster Walls: If you need to repair or replace walls, you’ll find that your old home’s walls are made of lath and plaster, which is much more expensive than sheetrock. While you may choose to make repairs or replacements with lath and plaster to keep your old home accurate and consistent, you may face an issue with an insurance company ponying up the extra money.

If you’re planning to buy an old home, it’s advisable to start getting insurance quotes before you sign the final papers on the mortgage. Since they will call for a thorough inspection, this can also help you to find possible problems with the home. If you do uncover an issue such as faulty electrical or plumbing or an old roof, you can ask the current owner to either make the necessary repairs or discount the selling price. This can help to bring your insurance premiums down or at least give you a little extra wiggle room in your budget if you are forced to make repairs.

If you have any questions at all about older homes in Florida, please give the experts at Reliant Adjusters Group a call at 561-929-9826

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