Old homes meet modern life

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Zwygart Real Estate

I am a huge fan of older homes, but they are different from newer construction. By going in with eyes wide open, buyers can save themselves headache and heartache later down the road.  If you are looking at an older home, pay attention not just to the stunning woodwork or charming quirks, but also look for some of the things that will make your modern life in the home easier.

Are the outlets in each room? How many? Many older homes tend to only have a few outlets run to some rooms, especially bedrooms. This can limit your ability to arrange furniture as well as limiting the types of electronic systems that can go into the rooms.

Does the home have light switches? This sounds silly, but do look. There are a fair number of homes in the area that do not have light switches in the bedrooms. Instead, they have wall lights or outlets for lamps. It may not sound like a big deal to you, but if you have younger children, it could matter a lot.

Has the electrical system been updated? Was the job professionally done or jobbed together piecemeal?  Your home inspector can tell you more about the electrical system, but if you have any doubts, write an offer to purchase allowing for an inspection of the electrical system by a qualified electrician.

How many cable jacks and telephone outlets are there in the home? Are they positioned in rooms that you want them in? It can be a simple project to run outlets and jacks to the places you want them, but it could also be very difficult depending on how those old walls were constructed.

Does the home have the wiring necessary for DSL or high speed internet? Many people get around this issue by setting up wireless internet in their older homes, but if you prefer to be hard wired, you will want to check for internet infrastructure in the home.

How modern is the thermostat? Is it programmable? This can be a simple update if necessary, but a programmable thermostat will help reduce your heating and cooling costs.

Monroe and the Green County area have been home to people for many decades. There are homes in the area that date back 50, 100 or even 150 years. Our lifestyles have changed as the years have gone by. Naturally, these older homes have been modernized to keep up with the changing times, but the degree of renovation in a home can vary a great deal.  It is important to pay attention to details like these.

Posted by


Brenda Carus
Towne Square Realty
Certified EcoBroker, Re/Max Green Agent
Monroe Area Real Estate

Looking for a place to live a real life? Know your neighbors, eat local, abandon your commute, be part of a community - come to Green County. Whatever your preference is, we have it all from surprisingly urban to truly rural and everything in between.


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Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459
Coldwell Banker - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD!


I think it is hard to find the charm that a lot of older vintage homes have.


Tom Braatz

Mar 24, 2009 05:40 PM #1
Connie Case
Platinum Realty Group - Fountain City, TN
Realtor, Knoxville Tn.


I Love old homes, but these things you pointed out are things to be considered! I have lived in an older home and know from personal experience, that the outlets and light switches do make a difference!

Can Charm overcome inconvenience, I don't know!

Mar 25, 2009 01:29 AM #2
Brenda Carus
Century 21 Zwygart Real Estate - Monroe, WI

Tom, I completely agree with you about the charm.  That is why my own home is over 100 years old.

Connie, those outlets and switches make a huge difference.  Many of the things I mentioned here were from personal experience!

Mar 26, 2009 07:24 AM #3
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