If a home built in the 1970s is on the market today then you can bet it was built to last. The charm and craftsmanship of an older home are difficult to duplicate in new construction. Antique homes tell a story. If you are looking to continue that story and buy an older home, it is extremely important to get a thorough inspection. Your inspector will alert you to any potential problems. With an older home that list will most likely be long. However, some items deserve extra consideration.
At some point, the home most likely had a septic tank. As the access to public water and sewer became available, maybe the septic tank was abandoned. If this is the case, then you want to make sure the septic tank was properly addressed and not just left unused. Septic tanks that were not properly abandoned may lead to environmental and health risks.
An oil tank may also be buried around the property. Between the 1930s and 1980s, it was common practice to bury residential oil tanks. This was done so homeowners would not have a big metal eyesore sitting outside their windows. These days we are more aware of environmental factors. If an oil tank is underneath the ground, you have no way to know if it is leaking. If it is leaking then you have a big expensive project on your hands. The best solution is to abandon the oil tank before it leaks, and instead opt for aboveground tank installation Westchester County NY.
The most common hazardous materials used in older construction are lead and asbestos. Lead was used in paint made before 1978. It was also used in some plumbing fixtures. This substance is extremely dangerous for children. Most counties require that lead be removed from homes with children. Asbestos is more commonly found in insulation. Generally, if you do not plan on moving or taking out any walls, then the asbestos in the walls may be ok to leave. This depends on a lot of factors, so consult a contractor.
Older homes may be strongly built, but the ground around the homes is subject to factors that can ruin the foundation. Look outside the home for cracks around the foundation or uneven slabs. If you can see any wooden pilings or footings, check them for rot. Inside the home, uneven floors are usually a sign of foundation problems. You may also notice doors and windows that do not close correctly.