Having lived in a new build house I have to admit I much prefer the charm and quirkyness that older homes offer. New builds tend to have very little storage and unless you get to design the home yourself, they do tend to be a little boxy with very little character. Old houses have hidden corners and life in them, I really do think they hold on to memories, but with all of this comes problems! And lots of them.
Certas Energy have created a fabulous infographic to help combat the 10 most common problems in old homes. Some of the problems may be easy to determine, for instance drafty windows and lead paint would be obvious and are relatively easy to fix or solve. The likes of leaking oil tanks and asbestos would require professional help and would need to be dealt with to avoid health issues.
The older the house the more issues you will find. So, to be sure before you buy, check anything that could be causing, or may cause future problems. We have had issues with the electrics in a previous house, turning on one light meant others would flicker, switching the kitchen light would cause the trip switch to activate. There was obviously issues within the electrical wiring of the house and it took a professional to come and sort it out, which was just as well as it could have been fatal, causing electrocution or fires.
The most common problem in old houses is mould! We had terrible issues at our first home, after a lot of work trying out store bought sealants and treatments we found that it was leakage from a drainpipe outside that was causing water to pour down the wall, it had been overlooked for so long that the wall was soaked through, causing damp inside. The work involved to correct this was immense and took a great deal of time to sort out.
Having said all of this I would pick an old home over a new one any day!
This is a collaborative post