What You Should Know When Purchasing an Older Home

In this ever-changing real estate market, purchasing a home no longer feels like finding the right house for you, it is more of a ‘grab and go’ experience. With more and more people across British Columbia trying to find housing, we wanted to know more about older homes.

We dug a little deeper and sat down with Harbord Home Insurance Broker Kenda to chat about what we need to know when purchasing and insuring an older home.


So firstly, what classifies a home as old?

Homes built before 1940 are considered older homes. Housing age classification is based on many criteria, and is highly based on local history. As a rule of thumb, insurance companies stop giving a new home discount after 25 years.

Speaking of history, with older homes- is it just the age of the house that makes it historic?

Although older homes may be beautiful, they don’t all classify as historic. Historic homes are usually in pristine condition and can be found on a Historic Registry.

Is there anything additional we need to know when purchasing a historic home?

If a client has purchased a historic home, the coverage is lesser than a usual homeowners insurance policy, and additional coverage may be required to better protect yourself against the latest bylaws. We suggest talking with one of our experienced brokers to break down exactly what you may be missing.

What about purchasing a non-historic older home? Is there anything that we should look for?

When purchasing an older home there are a few things we suggest you ask your real estate agent, to make sure you are knowledgeable in the questions that your insurance broker is going to ask.

Getting a Certified Home Inspection ranks top on this list. For any home over 25 years old, we are looking for all the material details and age of the wiring, plumbing, roof, heating and appliances/mechanicals. With homes older than 1940, you may need to take it a step further and have a more detailed inspection on these factors. The quality of materials used in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s are often no longer deemed safe for use. Knowing if your older home still has these in use is the first step to knowing whether it’s insurable or not.


Will Home Insurance cost more for an older home?

A lot of factors go into premiums for Home Insurance, and although age does account for one of these factors, it’s not the main one. The good news is- there is no penalty for having an older home.


Well that’s good to hear! When purchasing insurance for older homes, do you come to visit the home?

Depending on the insurance company that is offering coverage, they may, at no cost to you request an additional appraisal on the home. It is preformed by an Independent Home Appraiser; this goes into great detail on all factors of the home to correctly calculate the rebuilding cost of them. It is an exceptionally handy appraisal that can be highly beneficially.


Buying an older home may require some additional research, but shouldn’t deter you from looking at these possible beauties!

If you have any more questions about the possibility of insuring an older home, contact us today!