Not many things are worse than finding out that the reason your dream home is in your price range is because everything is old. It is easy for a house to look like a money pit when the roof, furnace, air conditioner, and water heater will all need to be replaced very soon. Avoid that surprise by paying attention during your home search. Keep in mind how long the major systems last and how old they are in the home you are considering.

Most of the big systems in a home have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years. That is usually a surprise to my home inspection clients. The roof, furnace, air conditioning, and water heater all last around 15 to 20 years. That doesn’t mean every air conditioner quits working at exactly 15 years. It means that after 15 to 20 years, more than likely, you will be replacing it in the very near future. I know it sounds crazy but it seems to work out that way.

I like to compare it to a car with 100,000 miles. Plenty of cars keep running after 100,000 or even 150,000 miles. They don’t just break down and die on the side of the road. But you can count on them needing repairs pretty often. You can keep making the repairs to keep them running but sooner than later, it’s going to be time to trade for a newer model

Most of the big systems in a home are the same thing. Once they hit 15 to 20 years old they don’t just quit. They may have a few more years in them but be careful. Plan on making repairs every year or so until they finally get replaced.

Home Warranties can be nice to get you through the 1st year you own a new home. Especially if everything is near or past the 15 to 20 year old mark. Just don’t put too much faith in them to get you new equipment. Most equipment can be repaired. Warranties can be great to get that done for cheap but it will just buy you a little more time.

If you are lucky not everything will need to be replaced at the same time. That can make any dream home look like a money pit. Make sure some things have been updated you are looking at a 15 to 20 year old home. Plan to update the rest while you own the home.