Interested in Buying an Older Home? When to Buy and When to Run!

Interested in Buying an Older Home? When to Buy and When to Run!

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always been drawn to older homes full of unique character and charm. I’ve considered all the quirks and imperfections in the older homes I’ve lived in, a fair trade off for the unexpected nooks and crannies, ornate woodwork, tall ceilings and original pine floors that these homes boast. And, I love dreaming about the stories each home could tell of its past.

And I am not alone. Through my work as a real estate agent in the older areas around downtown Greenville, I’ve found there are many like me who find something romantic about buying an older home. While falling in love with a home when searching is ideal, it’s important to review the following points to avoid future heartache and major expenses down the road.

  1. Lead Based Paint –Any home built prior to 1978 may have lead based paint but most sellers in this market don’t have records of whether their home has it or not. According to the U.S. EPA, approximately 87 percent of homes built before 1940 contain lead based paint. The good news is if the paint is in good condition, the lead doesn’t usually pose a risk. The hazard comes when lead based paint starts breaking down, peeling or chipping. If that’s the case, or you have particular concerns about lead exposure, it’s best to hire a certified inspector to test a sample for you.
  2. Energy (In)efficiency – While original windows, old systems and original faucets maybe oozing lots of charm, some of them are super inefficient. It’s a great idea to ask the current homeowners for a breakdown of current utility costs, as well as detailed information on the age of major components like the roof, HVAC system, hot water heater, windows, plumbing and electrical. While you’ll want to maintain the historic integrity and charm of an older home, there are still ways to increase efficiency through smart updates after you purchase the home.
  3. Structural Issues – While many old homes are very well constructed, over time issues will arise with any home…foundations will sink, structures shift and moisture can find its way into the home’s support structure. Many things like wall and ceiling cracks, sloping floors, stuck windows and doors that won’t close are typical old house issues, but it’s always recommended to get a thorough inspection done by a reputable home inspector prior to purchasing. This will help ensure there are no major structural issues that need to be addressed.
  4. Bad Renovations – The range of renovations among older homes in Greenville run the gamut between never renovated, should never have been renovated, to award-winning remodels. For any renovations you notice, it’s wise to ask the homeowners if the renovation was permitted by the city, who did the renovation, what all was included with that renovation (ie. was electrical or plumbing updated to code of that time, etc.), is there a warranty on the renovation, etc. If the homeowner states that it was a DIY project with no permitting, I’d advise really checking it out with your inspector or possibly running if it doesn’t look like a professional job. Undoing a messy or careless renovation can be a costly nightmare!
  5. Musty Smells – Many homes with basements often emit musty smells into the home. A licensed home inspector and termite inspector can do a thorough investigation of the basement to make sure there are no moisture issues. Additionally, getting a company to clean the air ducts and vents in an old house is key to eliminating musty smells, dust and pet dander. I can attest that this really helps with allergies too!
  6. Design Guidelines – If you are looking at an historic home in one of Greenville’s seven historic districts that you want to renovate, it’s very important to get a copy of the design guidelines prior to purchase. Many have strict rules about modifications – namely exterior, structural changes and aesthetic changes like exterior paint colors – to make sure the home is preserved correctly.

Now that you know the key things to look for, your search for an older home will be smoother. Buying an older home in one of Greenville’s established neighborhoods is not only an exciting experience it’s a great investment. As you know, Greenville has just been named the fourth fastest-growing city in the nation by the US Census Bureau, so I anticipate the demand for our charming older homes to keep rising and rising.

Poolside Necessities—Summer Must Haves

Poolside Necessities—Summer Must Haves

Summertime means pool time! With how hot and humid it can get here in the Upstate during the summer months, I am thankful for every opportunity I get for a dip in the water. Whether it’s your own private watering hole in your backyard sanctuary or the fun and excitement of your neighborhood oasis, hanging in and around the pool is a staple for summertime traditions. Truly getting into your summer groove and lounging poolside is made so much sweeter when you have your poolside essentials with you. Here are some of my favorite poolside necessities and the inside scoop on where you can snag them, locally:

 

Cabana Station: A cabana station can be as elaborate or as simple as you need it to be. Having a fun, stylish place to store all of your towels and pool accessories is a must to keeping your backyard clutter-free. Invest in a few weather-resistant storage pieces that reflect your personal style. Looking for something a little more lux? I’ve seen cabanas with built in coolers, sunshades and even outdoor showers to rinse off the chlorine. For a truly unique storage piece, check out The Rock House Antiques on Mauldin Road. There are many great local resources for outdoor furniture such as Carolina Furniture & Interiors, The Firehouse Casual Living StoreJeff Lynch, and Craft Stove Store and Patio. A great non-local resource for online ordering is Frontgate.

 

Plush Beach Towels: If you’re going to splurge on any poolside necessity, let it be your beach towels. Investing in ultra plush and super absorbent towels that stand up to the wear and tear of the sun and little ones is must for long summer days. Bright, oversized towels with vibrant designs and patterns add a touch of personal style and fun to an otherwise typical summer staple. Two of my local favorites that currently have colorful beach towels and popular beach blankets are Kate Carlyle on Augusta Road and The Pink Azalea on Main Street in downtown Greenville.

 

Decorative Floaties: Fun, oversized pool floaties are all the rage for Summer 2017. You pick something as functional as a floating lounge chair complete with a cup holder or something totally unexpected and eclectic like a jumbo pink swan to surprise the kiddos. Blown up floaties typically last longer than pool noodles and come in so many different styles and designs. Check out the colorful Havaianas flip flop pool floats at Splash on Main.

 

Waterproof Lounge Chairs and Folding Chairs: During the summertime, I am obsessed with outdoor patio furniture. A lot of pools have tanning ledges these days. It’s great to have a wide and shallow area in the pool that allows for relaxing and cooling off. Waterproof lounging chairs are a great option to place in the shallow end of a wading pool on hot summer days. If you do not have a wading pool, investing in waterproof fabrics and materials for your outdoor chaises is always a good idea if you’ll be sunning yourself by the water. Low-profile folding chairs are also a must have this summer. Sitting on the edge of a pool may not be possible if the ground is hot (and since we’re in Greenville, you know it will be). Folding chairs are great to perch at the edge of your pool if you want to dip your toes in but still keep an eye on the kids out of the water. These pieces are easy to clean and portable. Stop by Carolina Furniture & Interiors on Mall Connector Road, The Firehouse Casual Living Store on Congaree Road, Jeff Lynch on Roper Mountain Road and Craft Stove Store and Patio on Wade Hampton Boulevard for a great selection of outdoor furniture and much more!